You can pick up dead hound-eyes, anything else is too big to pick up.
I always play Normal when going through the Half Life games, which provides an at-times challenging level of difficulty while not being too stressful. When I played Black Mesa it felt like Normal had been replaced with Hard a lot of the time.
And it is mainly to do with those damn marines.
What I’ve noticed is that when the HECU spot you, they often just stand there in the open, firing straight at ya. They don’t bolt for cover, they don’t move at all. Just stay glued to the spot constantly firing, behaving like a damn sentry turret. Leading up to the dam, I had five of them standing in formation in the middle of the road about 200 meters away, bolt rigid and just constantly firing at me. In the original Half Life, the human grunts felt alive- they tried to flank you, spread out across the battlefield and reacted when you shot them. In Black Mesa they are literally just turrets with a human body and really accurate sensors.
(Forgive the delayed response)
I must agree with you.
To be honest I commented to the team a while back that I thought the whole game needed to be tightened down and made more difficult. I guess I was afraid it would be released and there would be this swarm of ‘holy cow, that was boring’. I am glad I was proven wrong. VERY glad.
Did I mention yet how proud of these guys I am?
Brings a tear to my mommy eye.
I thought the game was really difficult up until you got the hivehand. Then it’s comically easy. You can use it to kill virtually every npc before you even see them, even on hard.
Hornets are god-damn beastly.
However, I’m not prone to using the hivehand, so this translates into an acute fear of alien grunts.
Please save me from the hornets.
Oh god, those agrunts are beastly. I basically had to hit one in the face with a rocket and follow up with a triple blast from the Tau cannon to kill it. The hivehand is better than HL’s but it’s tough to use against multiple assailants.
I have, however, re-purposed the Hivehand as my snark-killing weapon of choice. The tracking effect works wonders on killing the fast moving little buggers.
I loved the hivehand. Just the thought of those bastard Vortigaunts taking a swarm of bees up the ass without a chance to lightning beam me back makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.
There are only a handful of things I would tweak, (and seeing as I am here, I will list them off)
The HECU should probably have a minor time delay on their sight to shoot response. I personally never had a problem with them finding me through walls, but I did have minor annoyances with them shooting the instant they were around a corner.
The Vortigaunt’s lightning attack might possibly be slowed down by about 0.2 seconds. Not a big issue, probably the least issue for everyone else, but still annoyed the hell out of me personally.
There were a few places where you got cheap shotted by the HECU. The shootout in questionable ethics where the guys are on the roof shooting through the skylights as an example. Just points where they are in completely unpredictable spots where you get trashed unless you know they are there ahead of time. I’m not talking about Xen creatures here, throw as many surprise headcrabs and stuff as you like.
The bullsquid could probably do with a buff. More damage with their spit attack or possibly the same damage, but done over time up to three seconds or something. I can appreciate the Ichtyosaur needing a buff but honestly that fucker scares the shit out of me so you will see no buff reccomendations from me.
The helicopter fight, just needs to be so that he can’t shoot rockets and chainguns at the same time. The player should probably be given a small chance to find new cover.
Anyways, this is me being nit picky. The only technical issues I had with the entire 8 hour + game. 9.5/10, would play again.
Personally, it disappoints me, because no matter how well they place the enemies once you got the hivehand you can skip every single enemy encounter without consequence simply by shooting around corners before you come to them & the only way around it is cheap zombie-in-the-closet bullshit.
Also, you can hurt the Osprey with it:
(and this roof was too easily accessible & should have had used more nodraw)
Hivehand creates mini-explosions, that’s why you can take down Osprey with it (try damaging yourself by firing secondary hornets to the wall while standing near it)
My suggest list of balance improvements:
- vorts should deal more damage
- HECU should either deal less damage or fire less accurately
- alien grunts should use their hivehand more often instead of running around and changing position like idiots and giving time for enemy to kill them, they also should have slightly more health
- ichy should have twice as much health and should swim faster when chasing the player
- zombie torso should take 1 less crowbar hit to kill
- something must be done to make alien grunts win fights with HECU, maybe they should deal more damage to HECU than to any other entity
To be honest, I didn’t even know there was an option to change the difficulty so I guess the standard difficulty is normal… which was too easy for my taste.
I think the soldiers on HL1 were a lot harder to kill than they are on BMS, but that might be because I was only 11 years old or so back then.
That chopper closing in on me at the canyon got to murder me a couple of times though…
Guess I’ll have to check out hard mode too now c:
What kind of noob just whores the hivehand though? I barely used it, except to kill snarks and to play with it for just half a level before I got bored.
It’s slow as hell at firing. Auto-shot is soooo slow compared to other guns, even if it has the homing ability. And rapid fire has no homing… and sprays worse than a shotgun.
Also the ammo regen is really slow… and it has a tiny ‘clip’ compared to other guns before they need reloading. And almost all other guns reload faster than the hivehand. Some (like the TAU cannon) don’t even need reloading.
The hivehand sucks. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. The shotgun firing at double-barrelled mode does way more damage at even long range on hard and there is ammo for it everywhere.
I just used the hivehand for the very reason it was put in the game (to kill annoying snarks).
I don’t agree with anything except your last point and,
Ichy needs more health, already swims fast enough. Try playing the game at hard and then tell me that balancing is bad. I bet that 90% of the people complaining here haven’t played the game on hard at all…
Lawl leijon, the hivehand regenerated hornets at like 4 per second…but there’s a slightly longer delay for ammo regen after shooting a hornet, so it’s not too good if you’re in an intense firefight with 4+ marines and their Assassin-level training.
Rapid fire is quite beast, you do know that it fires the hornets in a very tight 3x3 grid…fire all 8 using secondary fire at a stationary target, you’ll see what I mean.
Speaking of Assassins…I wonder how 3 of them would cope against 3 HECU soldiers…heheheh
By the way, if you’re willing/know how to tweak the game to your taste, go to
and find a file called skill.cfg, in it are the damage values for all weapons used by the player and NPCs, as well as the reaction time, but this was explained in greater detail in a “Post your BMS tweaks” thread somewhere…
You can pick up Houndeyes.
The kind of “noob” that knows how to strategically use it. The homing hornets make it easy to pick off enemies whenever they are spread out. The rapid fire is good whenever enemies are stationary and firing/preparing to fire at you. The slow ammo regeneration keeps it from being overpowered so you still have to find cover.
I found it particularly useful to pick off barnacles and headcrabs as well as a handful of vorts on catwalks.
The default difficulty is easy. At least it was for me.
I’ve been playing Black Mesa on Hard and nothing else, and I like the challenge.
So to all those who complain about Normal being too hard, why not just go to easy? I’m tired of the Half-life series being way too easy on hard, so for me Black Mesa’s difficulty level is better than anything I dared hope for.
That said, I agree with the people who think the balance between aliens and grunts is unbalanced; I would want the aliens to be tougher, though, not the grunts to be weakened.
Also, what’s up with the Ichtyosaur only needing 2 arrows? I remember it being 5+ on hard in the original.
Funny thing is, I tried BM on easy mode, and it was just too easy. The soldiers had very little health and didn’t do that much damage. Then I switched it back to normal mode, and it still felt like they were way too accurate etc. They definitely need to be nerfed. And the aliens need to stop trying to do their damn melee attack so much, because it gets them killed.
Right because after you get the hivehand you’re totally supposed to abandon every other weapon in the game. Hence why the devs continued to include various types of other weapon’s ammunition throughout further levels! /sarcasm
Hm, silly suggestion: Choose for yourself whether to use the hivehand or not. If you find it to be overpowered, don’t use it. If you find it practical, use it. Why is it the developer’s job to force you into a playstyle? Do what you want instead of complaining about what you could do but don’t want to.
Ensuring that the combat is balanced is the developers’ job. If something is overpowered or underpowered, you should always point it out. For instance, why are the snarks so horribly useless? You only get them once, and it’s later than in the original. And they can barely do anything.
I really don’t get this mindset of “if there’s something you don’t like, shut up and deal with it”. Everyone should report what they did or didn’t like. Devs need input from players. It’s how games get better.
Regarding the soldiers, after playing the game some more, I have come to the conclusion that this isn’t an issue of having “too much” difficulty, so much as it is about “wrong” difficulty. The soldiers would be more fun if they threw more grenades or moved around more, rather than have insane reaction times and accuracy. Most of the time, they don’t even bother moving much. Once I’m in view, they’ll usually just stand in place, aim at me, and hold the trigger. Even when I’m in cover, they’ll almost never throw grenades. Even the Combine soldiers were more interesting, because at least they looked like they were doing stuff.