Made by Gearbox Software and originally released in 2001 as an add-on to Half-Life, Blue Shift is a return to the Black Mesa Research Facility in which you play as Barney Calhoun, the security guard sidekick who helped Gordon out of so many sticky situations.
User reviews:
Recent:
Very Positive (96 reviews) - 92% of the 96 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
Overall:
Very Positive (2,153 reviews) - 90% of the 2,153 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jun 1, 2001

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About This Game

Made by Gearbox Software and originally released in 2001 as an add-on to Half-Life, Blue Shift is a return to the Black Mesa Research Facility in which you play as Barney Calhoun, the security guard sidekick who helped Gordon out of so many sticky situations.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux

    Minimum: 500 mhz processor, 96mb ram, 16mb video card, Windows XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    Recommended: 800 mhz processor, 128mb ram, 32mb+ video card, Windows XP, Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection

    Minimum: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3, 1GB RAM, 4GB Hard Drive Space,NVIDIA GeForce 8 or higher, ATI X1600 or higher, or Intel HD 3000 or higher Mouse, Keyboard, Internet Connection
    Minimum: Linux Ubuntu 12.04, Dual-core from Intel or AMD at 2.8 GHz, 1GB Memory, nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT, ATI/AMD Radeaon HD2600/3600 (Graphic Drivers: nVidia 310, AMD 12.11), OpenGL 2.1, 4GB Hard Drive Space, OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
Customer reviews
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Recent:
Very Positive (96 reviews)
Overall:
Very Positive (2,153 reviews)
Recently Posted
Barno Calhoune
( 10.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 27
Half-Life: Blue Shift was released in 2001 as the second Gearbox Half-Life expansion. In this game, you play as Barney Calhoun, a Black Mesa security guard during the time of the original Half-Life's Resonance Cascade, and the subsequent invasion of Black Mesa by the US military in attempt to cover the event up.

The game is similar to Opposing Force in that it illustrates a part of the world of Half-Life during the time of the Resonance Cascade, though from the eyes of someone other than Gordon Freeman. In Blue Shift's case, you start in a similar environment to Gordon within the depths of the Black Mesa Research Facility as an employee there, and after a casual introduction into basic mechanics and the neat environment Barney works in, you're thrown into combat quickly after the Cascade hits within 15 minutes into the game.

Most of the basic weaponry Gordon has in Half-Life can be used by Barney, from the Shotgun to the Revolver to the Crowbar, and the plot surrounds Barney's attempt to escape Black Mesa and resist against US marines who are pouring in to the facility to cover the whole Cascade up, along the way, you'll solve puzzles, fight baddies, and help scientists to find the way for yourself and others to escape the doomed facility before the impending nuclear destruction of the facility kills your chances.

The game itself is pretty great; because it was built around the same engine and built around Half-Life as an independent game, it resists many problems itself; most being attributable to those that Half-Life had itself (the flashlight that could stick to surfaces across the room). That being said, the game has a few glitches (saves breaking, certain elevator scenes near the beginning leading to game-overs, Gordon getting stuck on the tram tracks, etc) but none that were utterly game-breaking or capable of ruining the player's experience.

That being said, this game's main problem is its length and the amount of content it introduces. While Opposing Force, the previous Gearbox Half-Life expansion, had within it a fairly long plot, introduced many new weapons, aliens, and even had a boss battle, Blue Shift is fairly short and doesn't really introduce new weapons, (that being said, most of them to my knoweldge use different skins) and in my opinion, serves more as a compliment to the original game by allowing fans of Half-Life to see more of Black Mesa behind the scenes.

To summarize: In my opinion the game is great and is my personal favorite of the Half-Life expansions and vies with Half-Life 1 for the best original Half-Life title; I've always enjoyed the character of Barney Calhoun, and I find it enjoyable that there's an entire expansion detailing his own escape from the Black Mesa complex. However, I do recognize the flaws that this game has: This game doesn't introduce as much content as Opposing Force did to be considered a different title from Half-Life, and isn't as long as either Opposing Force or Half-Life to have as much of an impact on the average player post-completion. That all being said, I enjoyed what it was, the narrative and story was solid, and I enjoyed the chance to see the Resonance Cascade and the subsequent invasion of Black Mesa from the eyes of Barney. The game has a certain narrative to it that creates an interesting environment that compliments the plot, and because of its length, you spend more time with other characters and as such are able to more greatly build an understanding of their character because you spend more time together. While it's short and doesn't add much to the Half-Life universe, I myself liked it and found it enjoyable, even if it's only around 2-3 hours long in comparison to the original Half-Life being around 10-12 hours in length.

In the end, the game's narrative and plot outshine its gameplay for me; it's interesting to see the quest of a security guard escaping Black Mesa while it's under seize by Xen creatures and the military, and the ending is a complete contrast of the ending of Half-Life, and I can't help but feeling like it hit all its narrative marks in those regards.

I myself recommend it, but whether you want to pay 5 bucks for something like this is your opinion in the end. That being said, I myself got it as a part of the Half Life Complete Steam Bundle, which goes on sale during every major seasonal Steam sale. If you were thinking of getting this title or any of the other games in the Half-Life franchise, I'd suggest you turn to that bundle during a sale, as you get discounts for all the games if you buy it, so it's cheaper than buying each game individually.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mr.Unknown
( 3.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
Half-Life: Blue Shift is a very short game and can take you a maximum of 3 hours. That's how long it took for me at least, others say that it took them about 2 hours to be the game. It's as short as MGSV: Ground Zeroes, but doesn't mean that I didn't have with this game. On the contrary, I enjoyed it for what it was.

GAMEPLAY!

The game plays just like Half-Life 1 and Opposing Force (no big surprise, honestly), but instead of the HEV or PCV suit from the other games, you have your security guard helmet and vest as the armor you got. You can't use the Health or Shield regeneration station, instead you must find pick up dropped helmets and vests from dead security guards. It makes sense as in the other games, the security guards never really seem to be wearing any special suits like the HEV or PCV.

There is no new weapons in this game, all you have is the standard military weapons from the original game.

There is also no new enemies to fight, you got the Vortiguants, Marines, Headcrabs, Barnacles, and Zombies. I pretty sure there were more enemies, but those are only ones I remember.

Pretty much, this is like the original game except your a security guard.

LORE!

As I said, there are no new enemies so, you won't be seeing any new aliens or special black ops here like Opposing Force did. Instead, you will be fighting the traditional enemies from the base game. In terms of story, it answers some questions, such as how Barney got out of Black Mesa and how does the portals work. There not a lot of things here that is new here.

VERDICT!

Although, I really listed a lot of cons to the game that will turn people off. I'm still going to reccomend this for anyone who wants a little more insight on Black Mesa and the Security Team. It's definitely not a bad game, but it just lacks anything new. Still, I think people will find it pretty enjoyable.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
King
( 8.0 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
A must play for fans of the Half-Life series. This game is a short but very enjoyable expansion to the original Half-Life. In total the game has 8 chapters and can be completed in under 10 hours.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
[CG] Medic Olkie
( 5.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
No matter its age, its ♥♥♥♥ing amazing
Helpful? Yes No Funny
same
( 111.8 hrs on record )
Posted: July 26
None of your friends have played this game recently. Tell them why they should.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Strange guy
( 3.1 hrs on record )
Posted: July 23
Short, lacking in new content but ultimately good and fun expansion to Half-Life.

Xen once again sucks a bit, with a crawling maze and annoying platforming, but those are only short sections and the rest is fine.

From a story perspective Blue Shift shows a bit more of how Black Mesa operates, and gives a little more history on the technology key to the HL story, but overall it is an unessential tale of a minor characters escape.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
NULL
( 14.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
Great game and is a very nice pair with Opposing force, great game however can feel repetitive at times 8/10
Helpful? Yes No Funny
FieryPandaren
( 1.6 hrs on record )
Posted: July 22
10/10 would Calhoun Again *If I Was An Experienced Modder i could have Made A Black Mesa Mod For This Expansion*
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Tohru Adachi
( 7.4 hrs on record )
Posted: July 20
good game all around but a little to much money i wish i was cheaper still a good game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
gaybun
( 2.7 hrs on record )
Posted: July 20
Though the other expansion packs and games in the Half-Life series outrank Blue Shift, this doesn't mean it's a bad game. Blue Shift still offers the great story and gameplay in the Half-Life series and is worth playing.

It's just the at the bottom of an insanely good series.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
10.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 27
Half-Life: Blue Shift was released in 2001 as the second Gearbox Half-Life expansion. In this game, you play as Barney Calhoun, a Black Mesa security guard during the time of the original Half-Life's Resonance Cascade, and the subsequent invasion of Black Mesa by the US military in attempt to cover the event up.

The game is similar to Opposing Force in that it illustrates a part of the world of Half-Life during the time of the Resonance Cascade, though from the eyes of someone other than Gordon Freeman. In Blue Shift's case, you start in a similar environment to Gordon within the depths of the Black Mesa Research Facility as an employee there, and after a casual introduction into basic mechanics and the neat environment Barney works in, you're thrown into combat quickly after the Cascade hits within 15 minutes into the game.

Most of the basic weaponry Gordon has in Half-Life can be used by Barney, from the Shotgun to the Revolver to the Crowbar, and the plot surrounds Barney's attempt to escape Black Mesa and resist against US marines who are pouring in to the facility to cover the whole Cascade up, along the way, you'll solve puzzles, fight baddies, and help scientists to find the way for yourself and others to escape the doomed facility before the impending nuclear destruction of the facility kills your chances.

The game itself is pretty great; because it was built around the same engine and built around Half-Life as an independent game, it resists many problems itself; most being attributable to those that Half-Life had itself (the flashlight that could stick to surfaces across the room). That being said, the game has a few glitches (saves breaking, certain elevator scenes near the beginning leading to game-overs, Gordon getting stuck on the tram tracks, etc) but none that were utterly game-breaking or capable of ruining the player's experience.

That being said, this game's main problem is its length and the amount of content it introduces. While Opposing Force, the previous Gearbox Half-Life expansion, had within it a fairly long plot, introduced many new weapons, aliens, and even had a boss battle, Blue Shift is fairly short and doesn't really introduce new weapons, (that being said, most of them to my knoweldge use different skins) and in my opinion, serves more as a compliment to the original game by allowing fans of Half-Life to see more of Black Mesa behind the scenes.

To summarize: In my opinion the game is great and is my personal favorite of the Half-Life expansions and vies with Half-Life 1 for the best original Half-Life title; I've always enjoyed the character of Barney Calhoun, and I find it enjoyable that there's an entire expansion detailing his own escape from the Black Mesa complex. However, I do recognize the flaws that this game has: This game doesn't introduce as much content as Opposing Force did to be considered a different title from Half-Life, and isn't as long as either Opposing Force or Half-Life to have as much of an impact on the average player post-completion. That all being said, I enjoyed what it was, the narrative and story was solid, and I enjoyed the chance to see the Resonance Cascade and the subsequent invasion of Black Mesa from the eyes of Barney. The game has a certain narrative to it that creates an interesting environment that compliments the plot, and because of its length, you spend more time with other characters and as such are able to more greatly build an understanding of their character because you spend more time together. While it's short and doesn't add much to the Half-Life universe, I myself liked it and found it enjoyable, even if it's only around 2-3 hours long in comparison to the original Half-Life being around 10-12 hours in length.

In the end, the game's narrative and plot outshine its gameplay for me; it's interesting to see the quest of a security guard escaping Black Mesa while it's under seize by Xen creatures and the military, and the ending is a complete contrast of the ending of Half-Life, and I can't help but feeling like it hit all its narrative marks in those regards.

I myself recommend it, but whether you want to pay 5 bucks for something like this is your opinion in the end. That being said, I myself got it as a part of the Half Life Complete Steam Bundle, which goes on sale during every major seasonal Steam sale. If you were thinking of getting this title or any of the other games in the Half-Life franchise, I'd suggest you turn to that bundle during a sale, as you get discounts for all the games if you buy it, so it's cheaper than buying each game individually.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
9 of 9 people (100%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: June 30
Ever wanted to know what it was like to be in the Black Mesa incident in the perspective of a security guard? No? Well f**k you it's a good game.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
4 of 4 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
5.1 hrs on record
Posted: July 2
Product received for free
Another part of the Half-Life franchise, and the blue sheep (hue) of the series, Blue Shift is a small addon to the first game.
You're put in the shoes of Barney Calhoun, AKA every security guard seen in HL1. He's really only relevant in HL2, let's be honest.
It's a quick adventure, mostly comprising of an escort mission, a small trip to Xen, and a small trip to the basement. The puzzles were a bit confusing at first, but were overall fun.
It didn't add any new weapons or enemies, but I can excuse this as there's a clear focus on the story elements.

Overall: It was fun, albeit short. Get it on sale.
8/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
111.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 26
None of your friends have played this game recently. Tell them why they should.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
This Game is all about what happened to barney in the black mesa ... i recommend you to play this game before playing half-life 2 ....
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 3
J'viens de me rendre compte qu'on joue barney et qu'on voit freeman quand il passe pour aller a Black Mesa. Sinon un très bon jeu.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: July 7
This game shares the same structure and mechanical flaws that Half-Life has, being effectively the same game. Where this game is set apart from that game though, is in the construction and flow of the game. This one, (a much shorter game), flows much better, and other than one or two spots, it forgoes the platform game style that Half-Life has. Only occassionally do you have to leap, duck and weave across impossible terrain and asinine engineered structures, and by the removal of this completely annoying aspect of the original game, this one has not aged as poorly....

Let's face it, games back then, especially of this genre, grew from those platform styled games, and it's what game developers knew, but it's old hat and it doesn't stack up well. Thankfully Blue Shift doesn't fall into that old game cliche often.

The plot for Blue Shift flows better as well. Instead of just hunting down an alien to kill it, this is a better defined story arc, requiring working towards a non-violent goal of escape (though not without a good dose of alien and military murder-mayhem along the way). Interesting, considering in the original you're a scientist and this one you're a security guard.

For anyone that is curious about Half-Life, this is probably the game for you, since it's short and IMO, better. (still be prepared for Crate Smashing II - Return of the Exploding Rubbish, and for clunky and clumsy game controls.

3.5/5
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
0.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 12
It's a good addition to Half-Life. It's rather short, so it's not much good on it's own. But if you have Half-Life already, it's a good expansion of it. I wish it was longer, but it is interesting to see the Black Mesa Incident from another person's POV. Bottom line, if you have and like Half-Life, get this. If not, then don't bother.
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
2.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 14
Blue Shift is the second PC expansion for the Half-Life games. Originally, Blue Shift was meant to be an add-on for the Dreamcast version of Half-Life, much like Half-Life: Decay was an add-on for the PlayStation 2 version of Half-Life. (Which you can now play as a mod for the original Half-Life: moddb)

The fact that Blue Shift was originally just an add-on which became an expansion later on is really visible when looking at the time it takes to finish it. Opposing Force took me 6.6 hours to complete on normal, while Blue Shift took me 2.5 hours. In my opinion, Blue Shift is also too easy with too many health crates laying everywhere. What also makes visible that it was originally just an add-on is that you get no new weapons, and you only get to use the non-alien weapons of the original Half-Life. Even though this expansion of the Half-Life universe is maybe lesser in content. I still enjoyed it. It is short which makes it get to the action directly. Also, you go to the alien dimension more often in this one.

The gameplay in this expansion is mostly just shooting and not really any puzzle solving. The game also doesn't have any boss fights. Everything is mostly combat oriented. With some more parts in the alien dimension.

This expansion takes place at the same time as the previous Half-Life games with references to the previous expansion and the original game. The only difference this time is that you experience the story from the perspective of a security guard.

Throughout the story, you can really see the style of Gearbox once again with adding a lot of humor in it. What I think is funny to mention is that one of the characters is voice acted by the voice actor of Duke Nukem. Years later, Gearbox went on to create Duke Nukem Forever.

With Blue Shift I encountered some bugs. One was that every time I loaded a checkpoint the game acted as if I was holding the mouse button. So when I spawned the weapon just kept shooting.

It was fun to play Half-Life again from a different point of view. but in my opinion the expansions like this or Opposing Force don't really add too much to the story. Still, this expansion pack has some nice action during the short time of playing.

Reviews of the other Half-Life games:
Half-Life
Half-Life: Opposing Force
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 11
Considerablly much faster to complete than its counterpart Opposing Force.

I did enjoy this, however yet again as in Opposing Forces it did have some bugs regarding to NPC's following you, were you would have to chase them and Re-Click (E) on them to get them to follow as the straggle behind and stop.

Did enjoy, but can't wait for the Remake of this in improved graphics (Guard Duty) by Tripmine Studios

as an fan of the whole series from HL1 right up to the newest games (Black Mesa) I rate this an 9/10
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