the Junkyard: Blue Shift

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Blue Shift
Blue Shift
Posted by: Mhaddy on Sat Jun 16th, 2001 at 6:35 PM
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Genre: First Person Shooter
Release Date: 0-0-0
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Released in 1998, Half-Life, winner of the Game of the Year award from a myriad of gaming websites and gaming magazines is probably the most MOD’ed game out there. Thanks to the ongoing support from Valve. The most popular of the MODs being Counter-Strike, developed by two ordinary individuals who shared a passion for the game. Now they’re stinking rich, bastards.

The latest reincarnation of the game to be repackaged and sold in stores is Blue Shift, which sets you in the shoes of security guard, Barney Calhoun. As Valve / Sierra once again try to sell the same game from another perspective. First was the view of the scientist Gordon Freeman in the original Half-Life, then came the view of the marines in Opposing Forces and now from the view of the security guards in Blue Shift.

Fear not though, several things have been improved / added to the existing package to make it a good deal at $40 CDN.

"All in all, this game was rather a big disappointment."

First off, Blue Shift comes packaged with a full copy of Opposing Forces and Team Fortress Classic So, unless you have the latter you’re actually getting three games in one for 40 bucks. Not bad...

Next we have the graphics. While the engine has not been redone, the polygons on the models have been upped which makes things a little more ‘rounder’. Textures have been revamped along with the High Definition Pack (which upgrade textures and models in the three HL games) things are looking mighty fine. Though, there is nothing new here – just revamped visuals.

One thing I really adored in Half-Life was it’s use of ambient and positional audio. For a FPS, this kind of thing usually isn’t focused on (instead gameplay is). However, Blue Shift improves on it’s predecessor’s and truly immerses you in the game – providing you’ve got the hardware and speakers to back it up. But again... nothing new here.

Gameplay and controls are exactly the same as the original game, almost four years back. Though this is not necessarily a bad thing, it would be nice to see something new. When Half-Life was first released it was golden. Now, with so many MODs, reincarnations and repackaged deals (that could’ve been released as a download)... things are really starting to sour.

One of the plus sides to Blue Shift are it’s maps. Though the scenario still places you in the Black Mesa compound, we’re on the ‘other end’ of said compound and therefore, things are a little different.

Scripting of the enemies and other characters in the game seem to have been improved as well. Now enemies attack in hordes and try to box you in; nice touch. Unfortunately though, there are no new enemies to slaughter. Since this is merely another angle on the game I suppose it’d be kind of odd to introduce new enemies but then again – we’re on the opposite side of the compound, so who knows?

All in all, this game was rather a big disappointment. Same engine. Same gameplay. Same controls. Slightly altered graphics and models. Same sound. Nothing’s new. All you bring out of Blue Shift are some new maps, slightly improved visuals and a different perspective on the same old scenario that was introduced in ’98. So is it worth buying? If you’re a Half-Life fanatic, definitely. But if you’re not, don’t bother. It ain’t worth it.

Fin: Final Thoughts:
the final verdict

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