Half-Life: Blue Shift... I REALLY want to go in-depth with this game, people... but it's just too short to say much about it... so... I'll try...
Blue Shift is another expansion pack for Half-Life 1. Much like it's predecassor, you take the view of Barney Calhoun, a security officer working in Black Mesa and a personal friend to Gordon Freeman. Here's the thing that probably many people wondered in their Christmas of 2001. Opening the game up from the box, popping it into their brand-new Windows XP computer, and watching the opening sequence, and noticing something different... the outstanding graphics for the time. Seriously, as far as I know, this game is only famous for two things, Barney appearing as a major character in Half-Life 2, 3 years later, and the graphics in this game for 2001, as Opposed, *ahem*, opposed to Opposing Force and the original Half-Life. If you had essentially the i7 type of computer of back then, and were one of the cool kids already with a GameCube, PS2, and original Xbox in your possesion, you were amazed with the visuals of Blue Shift. But, I'm sorry to say... that's really is almost the only reason this game is... well... was known. The story is about as basic as it can get.
Barney Calhoun is doing duty as a security officer in the Black Mesa Research Facility and going down an elevator when, shock, the facility experiences a Resonance Cascade caused by Gordon Freeman submitting a Xen(ian) crystal in a test chamber for analysis, causing confused alien species to enter Black Mesa and vaporise all the remaining employees at every turn (satisfying) and your goal is to, you guessed it, escape the facility with the few surviving scientists guiding your way to a possible exit, while killing all the aliens that you can kill. Eventually, though, Barney is able to teleport himself at the surface of the facility, along with Dr. Rosenberg, shortly after witnessing a montage of the events Gordon Freeman faced. He supposedly drives away along with a few scientists in an SUV to safety, away from Black Mesa.
Pros: Graphics and animations were innovative for the time. The game also served as the basis for Barney's purpose in the next Half-Life game, Half-Life 2, and did it fairly well.
Cons: Game felt EXTREMELY short and, personally, I just didn't find Dr. Rosenberg very interesting. Only took me about 2 hours to beat, and 4 more just to TRY Hard difficulty and to see if it made a difference, but just felt like the first Half-Life game on Normal. Speaking of which... the Easy mode of Half-Life: Blue Shift is just about the most boring excuse of a Half-Life game I've ever seen. I'm sorry, but I don't find the constant, constant, CONSTANT health packs, ammo, suit health, and health machines ALL over the friggin place to be like a Half-Life game. To be honest, HARD mode seems to have this down... it makes the health packs, etc. give you LESS health, suit health, etc. But in Easy mode... I think I had a harder time playing the 2nd stage of Portal 1. Also... no G-Man.
Overall, it's a passable Half-Life game. It still has the dark humor as the other titles, and the story, while short, still felt like a good distraction from time to time. Only play Blue Shift if you're EXTRA curious about the story of Barney Calhoun. Wanna know how short the game is? Writing this review took longer than the game itself, lol.