Half-Life: Blue Shift


Blue Shift is set in the same location and time frame as that of Half-Life, taking place at a remote New Mexico laboratory called the Black Mesa Research Facility. In Half-Life, the player takes on the role of Gordon Freeman, a scientist involved in an accident that opens an inter-dimensional portal to the borderworld of Xen, allowing the alien creatures of Xen to attack the facility. As in Half-Life first expansion pack Opposing Force, Blue Shift shows the events of Half-Life from the perspective of a different protagonist. You are Barney Calhoun, a mid-level security officer at the Black Mesa Research Facility, with Level 3 security clearance. As a Black Mesa security guard, you are tasked with duties including guarding assigned sections, performing general maintenance, and assisting the science team when required. As you arrive at work, there are all sorts of malfunctions going on, ranging from malfunctioning doors, failing computer equipment and disabled transport systems. Seems those guys at Anomalous Materials are pushing the system again to perform one of their tests...

Your first task is to fix a malfunctioning elevator. Just as you've fixed it, disaster strikes - the whole system breaks down, the elevator crashes, chaos erupts and aliens teleport into the Black Mesa facility, killing every human in sight. As you recover from the elevator crash, you have only one goal: escape the facility alive. At first you'll go through the water canals and maintenance tunnels, encountering Headcrabs, Alien Slaves, Zombies and more otherworldly creatures. But once you arrive near the train depot, you find out that aliens are not your only concern as the government has sent in army forces to kill everything in Black Mesa, including any remaining personnel. Your only way out is to find a scientist, called Dr. Rosenberg, and help him activate an old prototype teleportation device and use that to escape Black Mesa. However, to make the device work, you need to travel to Xen, the home planet of the aliens...

Blue Shift is the second expansion for Half-Life, originally intended as part of a Dreamcast version of the original game. Although the Dreamcast port was later cancelled, the PC version continued development and was released as a standalone product. As such the game is very short and was heavily criticized for it, as well as for its lack of new content. The player is given access to a limited selection of Half-Life's original weaponry, the variety of enemies is limited and there are no bosses. It does however include a High Definition pack that upgrades the models and textures in both Blue Shift and the preceding Half-Life games, doubling the number of polygons. At the Electronic Entertainment Expo in 2001, Gearbox announced that development of Blue Shift had been completed and exhibited a playable version of the end product. The game was released on June 12, 2001.

Blue Shift and the High Definition pack were initially absent from the launch of Valve's content delivery system Steam in September 2003, despite the presence of both Half-Life and Opposing Force on the system. The game was released on Steam on August 29, 2005 along with the High Definition Pack, although initially both Opposing Force and Blue Shift featured the soundtrack of Half-Life, rather than their own. This was later fixed. Blue Shift was also published as part of Sierra's Half-Life: Generation compilation in 2002, and as part of Valve Software and Electronic Arts' Half Life 1: Anthology on September 26, 2005.

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External links

- Half-Life: Blue Shift at MobyGames
- Half-Life: Blue Shift at Wikipedia