It’s safe to say that Valve’s Half-Life was nothing short of revolutionary. The “thinking man’s FPS” stood out from its contemporaries thanks to the unique blend of action and puzzle-solving.
Exploring the Black Mesa Facility with Dr. Gordon Freeman gave the player a chance to experience the new quality of first-person shooter. But it wasn’t the only reason why Half-Life is to this day considered a gaming revolution. The Source Engine used by Valve has become a go-to for developers across the board. Thanks to its easy moddability, both homegrown developers and big companies could use it to run their titles. And today’s article will focus on some of those games. Without further ado, let’s dive in into our list of games made with Source Engine.
|Black Mesa||2015-05-05||Adventure||Crowbar Collective||22%|
|Titanfall 2||2016-10-28||Action & Shooter||Respawn Entertainment||59%|
|The Stanley Parable||2013-10-17||Adventure||Galactic Cafe||22%|
|Half Life 2 Episode Two||2007-10-10||Action & Shooter||Valve|
|The Beginners Guide||2015-10-01||Adventure||Everything Unlimited Ltd.||9%|
|Dino D Day||2011-04-08||Action & Shooter||800 North and Digital Ranch||82%|
|Half Life Opposing Force||1999-11-01||Action & Shooter||Gearbox Software|
|Half Life Blue Shift||2001-06-01||Strategy||Gearbox Software|
|Counter Strike 1 Anthology||2004-03-01||Action & Shooter|
|Vampire The Masquerade Bloodlines||2004-11-16||Adventure||Troika Games||10%|
|The Ship Remasted||2016-10-31||Indie||Blazing Griffin||66%|
|Left 4 Dead 2||2009-11-16||Action & Shooter||Valve|
|Zeno Clash||2009-04-21||Action & Shooter||ACE Team||9%|
|Eye Divine Cybermancy||2011-07-29||Action & Shooter||Streum On Studio||67%|
|Dear Esther||Adventure||Robert Briscoe||51%|
|Blade Symphony||2014-05-07||Adventure||Puny Human||89%|
|Consortium||2014-01-08||Adventure||Interdimensional Games Inc|
|Insurgency||2014-01-22||Action & Shooter||New World Interactive||18%|
Black Mesa is nothing else but a remake of the original Half-Life. The player returns to the titular facility as the series’s protagonist, Gordon Freeman, and explores its dark corridors, fighting aliens and solving puzzles. The developers at Crowbar Collective started Black Mesa as a mod for the original Half-Life, but with time it’s become a full-fledged remake of the game. With Valve’s approval, the game was fully released in 2020, after 15 years of development. Funnily enough, Black Mesa’s release coincided with the premiere of Half-Life: Alyx – the first official Half-Life title since the sequel to the original game.
Black Mesa makes full use of the latest version of Source Engine, which means that various changes were introduced in terms of the visuals and the gameplay mechanics. The physics, platforming, and puzzle-solving received a solid overhaul, as did the enemy AI. The game is more challenging now, with the levels offering the player various ways of approaching the objective. Black Mesa also offers a multiplayer deathmatch mode on updated arenas.
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
In the sequel to the acclaimed mech FPS, the player enters the fight against the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation, which aims at seizing complete control of the galactic Frontier. Titanfall 2 introduces a single-player story campaign. The player controls the anti-IMC militia member Jack Cooper and the Titan BT-7274 fighting on the planet Typhon to prevent IMC’s domination plans.
Titanfall 2 is an example of what (heavily modified) Source Engine is capable of. While Black Mesa built its assets from the ground up basing on those of the original Half-Life, Titanfall 2 is an entirely different beast, offering impressive mechanics, two gameplay modes, and tons of fun with this combination of a platforming ga and a first-person shooter. Titanfall 2 is a perfect game for the fans of giant robots and intense action.
Contagion is the first strictly multiplayer game on our list. Contagion is a successor to Zombie Panic Source, a zombie-themed Half-Life 2 mod. In the game, the players compete against each other in three modes, while the undead roam the arena, acting as an additional threat to the players. If a player is killed by one of the zombies, they are reanimated as one and can join the AI to ruin the day for the non-zombie players.
Contagion features three match types, each featuring a different objective. There’s Hunted, a 16-player deathmatch; Escape, a cooperative mode focused on the player team moving through the level killing zombies and completing objectives; and Extraction, in which the player must find and protect AI survivors from the waves of zombies and wait for rescue. There’s also Flatline mode, where the players fend of waves of zombies on a single map, with each wave unlocking a new portion of it. If you’re a fan of zombie-themed multiplayer games, then Contagion should be right up your alley.
The Stanley Parable
There was once a guy named Stanley. He was an employee at a certain office building, raked with managing data flow and fulfilling his job without question. Guided by the voice of the Narrator, Stanley carried out his tasks diligently until a system malfunction interrupted his routine. Unsure of what to do, Stanley began exploring the building and discovering the meaning of the free will.
The Stanley Parable isn’t the most complicated game on our list, but it shows the kind of things the Source can be used for. The game offers the player various choices of what actions to carry out around the office building – either following the Narrator’s instructions or ignoring them altogether. The comedy resulting from the Narrator trying to adjust his story to match Stanley’s (or rather, the player’s) erratic actions is priceless and worth checking out for the fans of uncomplicated adventure games.
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
Quite possibly the most famous Source Engine game on our list. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is a worldwide multiplayer phenomenon with the player base counted in millions. The game offers several multiplayer gameplay modes, including deathmatch, demolition, and competitive. The last one is especially popular as it provides the players a chance to climb the leaderboards and achieve higher ranks, with which come the bragging rights in the CS: GO community.
No one expected this small Half-Life mod to become one of the most played multiplayer FPS games, but lo and behold, it happened. Thanks to a combination of “easy to learn, hard to master” gameplay mechanics and global hype that had grown over the years, CS: GO is worth mentioning on our list as a title that has changed the way we look at fan-made mods.
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
Half-Life 2 takes place 20 years after the events in Black Mesa. Dr. Gordon Freeman is awoken from stasis only to discover that the extradimensional creatures he encountered in the first game had taken over the Earth. Humanity has been reduced to small pockets of survivors trying to fight back against the invaders. Aided by the mysterious G-Man, Freeman once again takes up arms against the threat.
The sequel to Half-Life is probably one of the most often modded games in history. The developers of various indie titles used Half-Life 2 as the cornerstone of their own games or simply modded the title to include new features, thus giving it a new life. Half-Life 2 is a symbol of the Source Engine’s versatility and the modders’ resourcefulness.
The Beginner's Guide
|Developer:||Everything Unlimited Ltd.|
The Beginner’s Guide takes the player into the mind of a game developer. Narrated by the game’s designer himself, Davey Wreden, the player explores various unfinished games created by the developer named Coda. As the player experiences these abstract titles, their job is to figure out Coda’s nature by interacting with their creations.
The Beginner’s Guide is another curiosity on our list of Source Engine games. Much like The Stanley Parable, TBG is an adventure game, which has the player interact with the environment, solving puzzles, picking dialogue options, etc. It’s an example of where creativity can lead us when we let our imaginations loose, as the abstract worlds created by the developers are strange sights to behold.
|Genre:||Action & Shooter|
|Developer:||800 North and Digital Ranch|
Driven by the need to gain the upper hand over the Allies, Adolf Hitler devises a plan to assure his victory in World War II – dinosaurs! With the help of secret technology, the Axis bring back the ancient reptiles to life and use them as their new weapons of war. The Allies are left defenseless against the might of the vicious creatures with machine guns mounted on their backs until they bring back dinosaurs of their own and even the scales on the battlefield.
Surprise – another Half-Life 2 mod! Dino D-Day is a wacky multiplayer game, which offers the player a chance to control both human soldiers and their machine gun dino-pets. The game features several player classes for both the Axis and the Allies, giving each side at least one dinosaur unit. The modes available in Dino D-Day include team deathmatch and objective mode. Dino D-Day is the perfect title for you if you’re interested in unconventional multiplayer FPS games.