Half-Life: Blue Shift (2001)

3.48 from 126 votes
The second expansion to the 1998 first-person shooter Half-Life, showing the events of the Black Mesa invasion in a different perspective: from a rookie security guard.
First released
Jun 12, 2001
HL: Blue Shift, HL: BS
Developed by
Gearbox Software LLC
Published by
Sierra, Valve Corporation
Mac, PC, Linux
First-Person Shooter
Horror, Sci-Fi, Modern Military
  • PC - Half-Life: Blue Shift United States
  • PC - Half-Life 1 Anthology United States
  • PC - Half-Life 1 Anthology United Kingdom
  • PC - Half-Life 1 Anthology Japan
  • PC - Half-Life Platinum Collection United States

Community reviews

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*Warning: spoilers* Great but very short expansion for Half-Life
I loved the second expansion, Half-Life: Blue Shift for the Half-Life series. It puts the player, once again, in a new perspective of the story, this time as a security guard at the Black Mesa facility. It got enhanced graphics, another piece of the plot and a fresh new experience.

In this game, you play as the Barney Calhoun, a security guard for the Black Mesa facility. You ride the train to work, just like Gordon Freeman in the original game, and are sent to inspect a broken elevator with the mechanics. When inspecting, the elevator goes haywire and plummets to the bottom of the complex, with you inside it.

You try to find your way back to the surface and suddenly hear the HECU forces attacking the facility. When arriving to the classification yard, you meet Dr. Rosenberg and his colleagues, who want to escape the facility using new teleporter technology. They sent you to a location from where you must find a pinpoint research device thingy so a teleport outside the Black Mesa facility can be made possible.

You are searching for power cells to power up the teleporter device, while fighting Xen aliens and HECU forces. You make it back to Rosenberg and his buddies and they teleport themselves to safety. Just when Barney wants to enter the teleporter himself, the door is breached and HECU is entering the room, firing immediately on you. The teleporter explodes and you enter a state of “Harmonic reflux” in which you get sent all over the place, including the Xen world, Black Mesa locations and, the location where you see Gordon Freeman getting captured by HECU. Eventually, the teleporter gets stable again and you are teleported to the location of the escaped scientists. You than enter a SUV and call it a day.

For some reason, Valve decided to enhance the graphics in this expansion. It looks beautiful and almost look like a HD remake of the original game. The weapon detail, the facial features of NPC’s, it is all really good. The animations and effects are also spot on. That came out of the blue (pun intended).

Sound and control wise, the game still uses the same scheme from the original Half-Life game. In terms of weapons, it is just a small selection of weapons used in the original Half-Life game. All the fancy weapons from Half-Life: Opposing Force are not present sadly.

The only downside to Half-Life: Blue Shift is, like mentioned before, its length. This game can be completed in less than four hours. It really felt like just another two levels. It is a shame really, considering the beautiful new look of the game. This expansion does also not add anything in terms of multiplayer.

Even so, Half-Life Blue shift is still a great expansion and gives you a nice little story from yet another perspective.

Definitely recommend it.
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1539 users have this game in their library 26 users have this game in their wishlist 51 users love this game 3 users are playing this game 334 users have completed this game