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Half-Life: Blue Shift (Windows)

68
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.6
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
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Description

Return to the Black Mesa complex in this additional Half-Life storyline. In this module, you play Barney Calhoun, a security officer working Blue Shift who is present at Black Mesa at the same time as Gordon Freeman. Your goal is to try to get out of Black Mesa alive as all hell breaks loose and reality is altered around you.

This version can be played stand-alone and also includes the Half-Life High Definition Pack that replaces most of the Half-Life/Opposing Force/Blue Shift player and weapon models and textures with updated high-res models and textures.

Additionally included in the Blue Shift package (US version only) is the previous expansion is Half-Life: Opposing Force.

Screenshots

Half-Life: Blue Shift Windows Where the hell am I?
Half-Life: Blue Shift Windows That's a blowtorch. Definitely NOT good.
Half-Life: Blue Shift Windows Wait a second -- these soldiers are trying to kill me!
Half-Life: Blue Shift Windows There are no new weapons in Blue Shift but your SMG gets a complete makeover with the high definition textures.

Alternate Titles

  • "戰慄時空:關鍵時刻" -- Chinese spelling (traditional)
  • "半条命: 蓝色行动" -- Chinese spelling (simplified)
  • "HL: BS" -- Informal abbreviation
  • "Half-Life: Guard Duty" -- Working title
  • "Bantiao Ming: Lanse Xingdong" -- Chinese title
  • "ハーフライフ: ブルーシフト" -- Japanese spelling

Part of the Following Groups

User Reviews

Good game, but could have been better *Katakis* (37844) 2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars2.8 Stars
The Making of Barney Calhoun vicrabb (6980) 3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars3.2 Stars
More Half-Life to feed your craving. Steelysama (106) 4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars4.8 Stars
Short, but sweet Trixter (8734) 3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars3.6 Stars
Perfect asset to fit the trilogy. コナン (78106) 3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars3.67 Stars
Surprisingly Not Boo Shift. MasterMegid (897) 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars
The worst parts of Half-Life with a new main character devils102 (17) 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars
Should have been cheaper but worth the money if you don't have Opposing Force yet Rebel_lord (34) 4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars4.2 Stars
quality rather then quantity connor steven (5) unrated
Short, but overall good Stargazer (99) 4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars

The Press Says

Computer Gaming World (CGW) Jul, 2001 4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars4 Stars 80
2404.org PC Gaming Oct 06, 2002 8 out of 10 80
Game Chronicles Jun 25, 2001 7.6 out of 10 76
FiringSquad Jun 26, 2001 75 out of 100 75
4Players.de Jun 26, 2001 73 out of 100 73
Gamezilla Jul 09, 2001 72 out of 100 72
GameSpy Jun 15, 2001 70 out of 100 70
ActionTrip Jun 13, 2001 68 out of 100 68
GameSpot (Belgium/Netherlands) Jun 13, 2001 63 out of 100 63
PC Gameplay (Benelux) Jul, 2001 56 out of 100 56

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Trivia

Advertisement

The advertising on the back of the box is rife with inaccuracies.
  • Two new episodes for "the best PC game ever" -- The Half-Life: Opposing Force add-on is not new. In fact, there are some versions of the box with a sticker on the front giving existing owners of Opposing Force a $10 rebate. This rebate, by the way, involves not only cutting up the Blue Shift box but also requires sending in the Opposing Force CD.

  • Return to Black Mesa as the security guard who allied with Gordon Freeman in the original, award-winning thriller. -- There were multiple security guards who interacted with Freeman.

  • 32-Person Multiplayer. Battle opponents from around the world in Capture the Flag and more Half-Life online games. -- This is misleading. While it is possible to play online Half-Life games with this package because it includes the original engine (not storyline, just the engine), there are no Blue Shift-specific games or features except for some additional levels.

  • Includes the Half-Life HD Pack. Automatically upgrade all of your weapons and characters with new high definition content. -- There is nothing technically wrong with this statement, but it leads people to believe that the weapons themselves are upgraded, not just their appearance.

Barney

The name of the main character, Barney Calhoun, is a tongue-in-cheek reference to what most fans of Half-Life started calling the various security guards around the Black Mesa complex in both Half-Life and Opposing Force. The reason the fans started to call the guards "Barneys", is because they were usually slow, dim-witted, and not very helpful, which is very much like the deputy sheriff Barney on the old show The Andy Griffith Show.

Development

Blue Shift was going to be the killer app added to the Half Life Dreamcast port, specially since Sierra promised to take full advantage of the Dreamcast's capabilities to handle the new high definition models. The Dreamcast port of Half Life had been in development limbo since 1999 and was eagerly awaited by every Dreamcast owner and his sister until Sierra flushed the port following SEGA's decision to flush the console.

Freeware release

On August 24th, 2005, the full expansion was released for free through Valve's electronic distribution platform Steam for anyone that owns the Half-Life Premier Pack, the Half-Life 2 Silver package, or the Half-Life 2 Gold package.

German version

There are a number of changes in some German releases of the game:
  • All human enemies were replaced with robots (not when the HD Pack is installed)
  • All blood (except blood which is part of the level design) and gore effects were removed
  • Killed scientists don't die but sit on the ground and shake their head
  • Some cries of fear were toned down

References

In the beginning of the game, there is an arcade cabinet with the game Prax Wars. This is a little joke by Randy Pitchford. He had been working on the game Prax War at Rebel Boat Rocker for Electronic Arts, but it was never released. The extra "s" was added because people often mistakenly referred to the company as Rebel Boat Rockers or to the Gearbox game as Half-Life: Opposing Forces. Also, they couldn't use the real name as EA still held the rights.

Information also contributed by NGC 5194, Sciere and Zovni.

Related Web Sites

  • Blue Shift UHS hints (These hints give you nudges before the final solutions are revealed so you can solve the game on your own.)
frin (147) added Half-Life: Blue Shift (Windows) on Jun 24, 2001
Other platforms contributed by dukat (8)