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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.


Half-Life: Blue Shift Windows Today's menu, hot lead on 101 way.
Half-Life: Blue Shift Linux Attacked by a Vortigaunt and a bull squid.
Half-Life: Blue Shift Windows Gordon Freeman without H.E.V. suit (He's wearing that ridiculous tie).
Half-Life: Blue Shift Windows Swift moving and double barrelled shotgun will have to suffice against five hostile marines.

Promo Images

Half-Life: Blue Shift Screenshot
Half-Life: Blue Shift Screenshot
Half-Life: Blue Shift Screenshot
Half-Life: Blue Shift Screenshot


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 Windows Katakis | カタキス (40066)
The Making of Barney Calhoun Windows vicrabb (7291)
More Half-Life to feed your craving. Windows Steelysama (106)
Short, but sweet Windows Trixter (9122)
Perfect asset to fit the trilogy. Windows MAT (194488)
Surprisingly Not Boo Shift. Windows MasterMegid (902)
The worst parts of Half-Life with a new main character Windows devils102 (20)
Should have been cheaper but worth the money if you don't have Opposing Force yet Windows Rebel_lord (40)
quality rather then quantity Windows connor steven (5)
Short, but overall good Windows Stargazer (105)

Critic Reviews

GameZone Windows Jun 28, 2001 9 out of 10 90
Armchair Empire, The Windows Jul 06, 2001 8.7 out of 10 87 Windows Jun 29, 2001 78 out of 100 78
Game.EXE Windows Aug, 2001 3.8 out of 5 76 Windows Jun 26, 2001 73 out of 100 73
Game Informer Magazine Windows Aug, 2001 7 out of 10 70
IGN Windows Jun 12, 2001 7 out of 10 70 Windows Jun 29, 2001 60 out of 100 60
Gameplay (Benelux) Windows Jul 02, 2001 56 out of 100 56
Gamekult Windows Jun 12, 2001 4 out of 10 40


There are currently no topics for this game.



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.


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.


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


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

Contributed to by dukat (8) and frin (153)