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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.
Written by  :  devils102 (17)
Written on  :  Dec 08, 2004
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars

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Summary

The worst parts of Half-Life with a new main character

The Good

Blue Shift places you in the shoes of Barney Calhoun, one of the many security guards you learned to either love or hate in Half-Life. After a great opening sequence (my favorite part of the game), Barney must find a way to escape the facility while killing as many critters as possible. The game plays much like Half-Life, in fact exactly like Half-Life. You'll find the same weapons and enemies so veterans of the original should be right at home. I found it cool to play someone other than Freeman for a change which is probably the games biggest attraction. And there is cool moment where Calhoun's and Freeman's stories overlap which are interesting to see.

The Bad

The games biggest downside is its length, but I don't want to dwell on that because its been said in every other review. Let's just say its short, within the 3-5 hour range, which in inexcusable even for an expansion pack. Blue Shift has a few other problems as well. It doesn't add any new weapons or enemies to the existing Half-Life world. Perhaps even worse it doesn't really add any new situations that the original didn't explore. You're fighting the same bad guys in the same way you did before. While that may not seem like such a bad thing since the original was so good, it seems like Valve just took the most monotonous parts of Half-Life and decided to throw them together. Opening sequence aside, Blue Shift doesn't really reproduce the "wow" moments that the original did. Also, Calhoun, as it turns out, had practically nothing to do with the Black Mesa incident. He doesn't play a major role in the story arc at all. It would have been a much better game if Calhoun's objective was to protect and save some of the research team(seeing how he is a SECURITY OFFICER!!), or protect some of the equipment, that would have made for a much better story.

The Bottom Line

I just played the game for the first time a week ago, and as I write this Half-Life 2 was released 2 weeks ago. So basically anyone who wants to play Blue Shift already has. That said, if you're thinking of picking it up before you play Half-Life 2 or if you're new to Half-Life altogether, I wouldn't recommend it. There is some fun to be had here, if you liked Half-Life, you won't HATE Blue Shift. But really, there's nothing new to do here. I wouldn't expect Valve to make to many allusions to Blue Shift in Half-Life 2 either since it is by far the weakest game in the Half-Life trilogy. So really, in less you're a hardcore Half-Life fan, you can probably sit out Blue Shift.