In short: it is one of the most awesome, inspired, detailed and ambitious mods/games that i have witnessed so far. The levels are just wonderfully modeled and textured, the music is devine and where the dev-team/designers have left the paths of the original game, they did with expertise and ton of great ideas and wit.
But where there is a lot of light, there also is shadow … which brings us to …
The looong sermon:
I/we am/are running a little game-studio here, all of us HUGE HL1/2-fans and so a test group of 5 persons was immediately assembled (skill above avg to really good).
My main personal problem with the mod is: What’s the target group?
If it is made for hardcore CounterStrikers, well, excellent! That’s what these guys & girls need and want.
If it is made for broad public: the designers and developers may have missed their target.
All of my testers, including me, love the mod - love it NOW! After having played it 4 times minimum on all difficulty settings. But the first time around it was like a brawl in Gomorrha, ppl cursing the developers to infinity and back )
In a nutshell: the 1st time around we all were really frustrated at times (dying 20+ times and not even at Blast Pit). Speaking only for myself, one of the eeriest things I can encounter is something I TOTALLY LUUURVE, but which doesn’t let me get “in sync” with it. But let me say: I synced into the mod the 2nd time around, coz I didn’t expect it to be a total likeness of HL1 anymore. Once I had accepted that the BMS-team was partly doing their own thing, I played it like it was a new game to me and it all got a lot easier.
But even without that, the fact that nobody even considered abandoning the test is a rock-solid testimony to the superlative level of immersion the developers/designers have achieved.
On the other hand, I cannot fully subscribe to some points that developers have made in this thread: “the guy who wrote the music” (GREAT! work, btw) suggests to lay low and use items to achieve your goal. That shifts BMS too much into the genre of a “semi-tactical” shooter for me, coz it’s not what I have “learned” in HL1. Then again, playing it the sneaksy way (which I enjoy a lot) is not really possible as the enemies are super-observant and each encounter with foes results in a furious fight.
What I am saying is: I haven’t found much opportunity to outwit opponents and stealth-kill them or take them by surprise (Crossbow/357 aside, which i do not use in BMS, which I find quite ok as I do not like sniper-action much, not in a HL1 mod that is).
I actually WANT to run into a room full of soldiers, blazing guns and all, and I expect to live … to live, coz I took them by surprise. But this is simply not possible (partly due to the Source Engine).
But enough of that banter. What we all need to understand is that the BMS team fulfilled THEIR dream. They sure have thought about every single aspect that has been mentioned in this thread long and thoroughly and they made their decision for their “baby”, knowing that accolades and critiques alike will be theirs too.
Upon us gamers falls the honor of reporting back to the developers and doing so I’d like to finish by saying: Let’s tread lightly and treat them with the respect they deserve. Having read the 15 pages of this thread, I can assure you - as a developer - that after years of hard work, “critique” like ‘your shotgun sucks!’, ‘your mp5 sucks’, ‘your sucks’ does not necessarily make the sun rise in any developers mood.
I am also positively convinced that the BMS-team will blow us away with an update including many fixes for many players and with a full Xen-chapter that will be certainly up to par with everything up to LamdaCore.
Thanks for the mod, BMS-team, thanks for the patience, readers
(being not a native speaker, pls, excuse punctuation and erros)