Band / Artist: Joel Nielsen
Genre: Independent Game Soundtrack
Original half life, the game to change all first person shooters. It's the game that set the bar, creating the story driven first-person shooter genre. Originally it came out in 1997, winning over 50 PC Game of the Year awards. Like all 3D games from 97, it has the joy of being incredibly outdated now, but spawning a huge fanbase and an entire franchise.
And thats where Black Mesa comes in. Originally the project was called Black Mesa: Source because it was recreating the Black Mesa Test Facility from game 1, and using the new Source engine as the main way of building it. All of the work was done by a small team of indie modders, and I know that some of the reason for the incredible time drag in releasing it was due to the meshing of 2 separate teams that had both started on the same project, and decided to merge and pool resources as soon as they realized that they were competing against one another. the end results can be sort of seen here.
The updated experience goes for both streamlining elements of the original gameplay, and for creating a much more modern modelling for all of the characters. It is in its first official alpha release, but I've seen an incredibly promising mod addition..
..that I hope gets adopted into the next alpha release, which should also continue the storyline along into Xen.
I've played through the game twice as it is in this stage, and i've had a lot of fun doing so. I cant wait to see a version repacked that includes the updated sections from the secondary modding developer, as well as the finishes to the story.
As far as the music goes, it has a good sound that you can tell was very much inspired by the score work from Half Life 2, and the later two episodes extending the storyline onward into some pretty engaging places. As much as I'm looking forward to seeing where the Valve team is going to go with their story, I am incredibly grateful for this mod, and the music that come along with it, which is awesome desk music while I'm working.
So play the game, get the soundtrack, have a fun time.
Black Mesa Soundtrack