Mod and Steam versions comprasion


Hi guys. I made a short comprasion of the most important diffirences between the two versions of black mesa. I hope you’ll enjoy it.


Nice video, pretty well balanced and thought out. Misses a few key points though, such as:

  • CSM and Godrays. These 2 major graphical features (which we made ourselves) dramatically improve the look of outside areas.
  • Many improved/remade assets to bring the game’s base up to a higher quality. Better pipes, vehicles, rocks, and many others. Lots of the high-tech machinery was redone too.
  • Lighting - it wasn’t “made darker”. We added ambient occlusion, which makes the lighting much more realistic.
  • The Marines weren’t just rebalanced with numbers. Their AI was completely rewritten from scratch.
  • The Marines weren’t the only thing that was rebalanced. I rebalanced the entire game, significantly in places. Almost everything is slightly different (and a lot better, in my opinion).
  • The Marines didn’t just have their radio fx removed. They were entirely rerecorded with a new voice actor and direction. Michael Tsarouhas absolutely nailed the role and tone.
  • Most of the weapon models were remade and reanimated to a much higher quality. Also new particles and sounds. People were extremely critical of the look and feel of the mod version’s weapons.
  • Surface Tension Uncut is not just a port of the mod version. It’s entirely new and extremely polished and brilliant compared to the older version. We spent MONTHS working on it.
  • Huge numbers of bugfixes and stability fixes. The game may still not perform as perfectly as it could, but it’s definitely significantly more stable than the mod version, with a lot less bugs.
  • Continued updates and improvements. The mod version won’t get these! We have some fun stuff planned for after Xen, as well, if it all goes according to plan.
  • Works on Linux! With a Mac version coming soon too!
    Those are just ones I can think of from the top of my head. There’s loads more, but probably not worth mentioning in a video. The Xen update will also bring with it a huge number of large engine improvements (I can’t talk about these yet), and many more fixes and changes. But…of course you can’t know how good any of that is until it’s in your hands and you’ve played it.


It could’ve been better, mainly because you don’t seem to be up to date with everything that’s happening with the game, and you’ve also made a couple of mistakes. But I’ll start with the beginning.

  1. Performance and how hardware demanding the game is: The new engine is actually more optimized and it’s also able to handle stuff that the free version simply can’t, which is also the main reason why Xen won’t be coming to the first. However, the team is gradually improving the graphics which will require more powerful hardware. So far we’ve got Cascade Shadow Mapping and Godrays, and Xen is also expected to be as demanding as STU was.

Despite this, there’s still plenty of room for improvements here. Many have experienced major FPS drops in the more graphic intensive areas, or with plenty of activity, despite having more than decent hardware. I myself experienced some FPS issues, but mostly in MP. SP seems to run much smoother for me.

  1. Changes: In the beginning you stated that it looks almost identical, aside from minor changes here and there + the lightning. That’s an inconsistency from my point of view as towards the end of the video you state that STU was added into the Steam version which actually brings quite a major change in design and gameplay to the whole chapter. Furthermore, the Steam version also features plenty of higher quality/redone assets in many areas, some of which were shown in your pictures.

When it comes to the AI, not only the Vorts and the Marines got some tweaking but the Alien Grunts too. The AI is also going to be improved over time.

Then, you talk about the changes to the weapons, but mention only the effectiveness of the new MP5, never saying anything about the others, including their look. All weapons feature new models without missing faces, 3 of which (Shotgun, Crossbow, ad Gluon) have been subsequently improved even further in an update. Moreover, weapon bobbing was added and the sprinting animations have been reworked.

Talking about the MP, you could’ve elaborated more about the redesign, not to mention that you didn’t show any pictures of the actual maps. The devs have also stated that they plan on expanding MP too, potentially with co-op, after the release of Xen.

And a bit of a poor choice of words when talking about the achievements. It would’ve been better if you simply left the part where you say the Steam version features achievements that are also assigned to your account, rather than just in the game.

  1. Price and whether it’s worth buying the Steam version: As it is right now, it very much depends on what everyone is looking for. So far we have better graphics and performance, continuous support (not to mention that it supports Linux, whereas the 2012 one doesn’t and CC is considering Mac as well), Workshop + actual and updated tools, and MP, which is dead in general. If someone is looking for these, then they have them.

I forgot to mention that CC wants Black Mesa to be primarily a SP game, which is why it’s their main focus.

If they simply want the SP campaign, well, they’ll have to wait until Summer 2017 (by the way, you didn’t mention when Xen is expected to arrive) if they want the complete experience. If they’re looking for MP then they’re likely going to have a difficult time with it since there’s barely anyone playing, + right now it only features remade maps from the original Half-Life, nothing else.

Don’t take it the wrong way, just giving you a hand for the future. In general, I’d suggest doing more research and elaborating more on what you say.


I got to admit, I forgot about that linux compatibility, I’ll put the proper annotation

I didn’t mention most of the new graphical effects, because for most of the people, the only noticable diffirence would be darker areas. Of course, if you know about those other changes, you might notice them, and they are very welcome.

AI is improved, and I am aware of that, and I think I put it the wrong way in the video.

I didn’t mention new gun models and animations because I thought they are not that important. I’ll put a proper annotation, because I changed my mind.

I didn’t mention the possibility of summer release, because it isn’t even a confirmed information.

about the bug fixes. it’s pretty obvious that they were made in never version, so I thought it wasn’t that necessairly to be mentioned. 2012 version wasn’t that full of them, by the way.

I’ll also put the annotation mentioning that the free version won’t get any kind of update, anymore.

Thank you for those comments. They are very helpful :slight_smile:


Actually, CSM combined with Godrays makes quite a visible difference.


Keep in mind that they are just “targeting” to release it this summer.
Considering that there are no news since christmas, I think it’s pretty save to assume they are not going to release it this summer


That’s a weird assumption to make for no reason!

We’re still targetting summer release. Being tight-lipped and not releasing information or pictures is to keep the surprises under wraps, not because we’re going to miss our targets.


Oh. Okay then. Glad to hear that :slight_smile:

Still, I don’t see a point in mentioning that in the video


I was very happy to see the animation fix on the MP5 in Commercial. It looks a lot more realistic now. (I don’t remember Gordon using the charging handle on a full mag dump in mod version)


The steam version is better in every single way. We do not need a video to tell us that


So retail rewrote Hgrunt AI again? So THAT’S why the game felt a lot less difficult. I recently got up to WGH and was amazed at how much less I was dying. The lessened difficulty was necessary, considering that one area with the infamous “I’m the one man who knows everything!” scientist killed me at least 20 times on the 2012 mod due to how aimbot-perfect the AI was at killing me quickly.


That room was the absolute worst, definitely stuck out in my memory as one of the most frustrating areas in the mod version. Huge improvement there in retail


agree. Fixed AI is the best change of retail version


It wasn’t that bad for me there (I did die 3 or 4 times though, which I still seem to be doing in the current version).

From my experience, they were murder pretty much everywhere… noticeably in the same chapter, but on the surface where that plane comes… what a cruel joke it was…

it wasn’t fun to fight them at all in the mod…


It’s kinda funny in a way that in the steam version, the guards and scientists have better aim (with pistols) than the hgrunts.