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About : Half-Life: Blue Shift

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Blurb

Plot: Barney Calhoun, a mid-ranking security guard in Black Mesa, is responsible for the preservation of equipment and materials and the welfare of research personnel in a cavernous underground sector of the facility. At the time of the resonance cascade, Calhoun is trapped in an elevator with two scientists. He wakes up at the bottom of the lift shaft, and soon finds himself fighting through the facility's underground areas to reach the surface and escape. Calhoun rescues some scientists who have been locked in railway cars in Black Mesa's classification yards. One of the scientists, Dr. Rosenberg (who is also a character in Decay), advises Calhoun that the entire facility is surrounded by Hazardous Environment Combat Unit Marines intent upon killing all base personnel to cover-up Black Mesa's research into extradimensional exploration. The only way to escape, Rosenberg explains, is to use an old prototype of the Lambda Complex teleporter; if it works, they can reach an obscure entrance to Black Mesa which (hopefully) has been overlooked by the Marines. The remainder of the game takes place in an abandoned, walled-up sector of the base originally built for research of the first teleporter device. Calhoun, Rosenberg, and two other scientists (Walter Bennet and Simmons) try to restart the prototype teleporter. Calhoun is briefly teleported to a ruined human research camp on Xen to operate a triangulation device. Upon his return, Calhoun fights off Marines and aliens while the three scientists teleport out of the facility. Calhoun experiences a brief malfunction while teleporting: he is quickly "zapped" through different locations across Black Mesa and is imbued with a green glow. Finally, he returns safely to the remote facility entrance where he and the three scientists escape in a Black Mesa SUV. At several points during Blue Shift, Calhoun almost meets the protagonist of Half-Life, Gordon Freeman: Calhoun is locked outside the door to Area 3 Security Facilities and sees Freeman go past on the tram heading towards Sector C (In the opening sequence of Half-Life Gordon Freeman sees a guard locked out of a door on the inside of the tunnel); using remote cameras, Calhoun also sees Freeman heading towards the H.E.V. Storage Area from the surveillance room; during the ending sequence of Blue Shift, Calhoun sees Freeman being dragged by H.E.C.U. soldiers towards a trash compactor. Blue Shift is the shortest game in the Half-Life series (with the exception of Half Life 2: Episode One) with all the events taking place immediately after the resonance cascade. Blue Shift is also arguably the most disturbing — as most of the events take place on the surface in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the player sees firsthand the panic of the Black Mesa personnel as they desperately try to flee the facility by any means necessary. It is interesting to note that aside from the PlayStation 2-only Decay, Blue Shift is arguably the only HL1-based game with a "happy ending". At the end of Half-Life, Gordon Freeman is conscripted by the mysterious G-Man, and Opposing Force's Adrian Shephard is indefinitely detained by the same individual to ensure his silence. However, in Blue Shift, Barney and his three scientist companions escape Black Mesa and the scrutiny of the G-Man, whose brief report suggests he deems them too insignificant to bother further monitoring or eliminating. Some game weapons: .357 Magnum (Colt Python revolver): An extremely powerful and accurate gun. It has a long reload time and a 6-round cylinder. Good for dispatching enemies in one hit, especially from a distance. Shotgun (Franchi SPAS-12): Does high damage at close range, but its broad fire cone makes it weak at a distance. It can be reloaded one shell at a time, but is slow to fully reload. Its secondary fire shoots two shells at once. Shotgun is the additional equipment of the Black Mesa Security, storing in security armoury, but Calhoun would not be able to get one before the crisis. Satchel charge: A high-explosive that can be thrown a short distance and detonated when the player presses fire. Secondary fire allows the player to place several satchels and detonate them simultaneously. Snarks (alien weapon): Small, aggressive alien creatures that quickly pursue their target, pestering and biting, until finally exploding after several seconds (or if shot). If they cannot locate a hostile target, they will turn on the player that set them loose. When used in number, they are very effective at drawing enemies out from their cover, or distracting them from attacking the player.

Credits

Chris Jensen-music sound track
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