! Black Mesa Source: A Release Date !

I have the most terrible guilt about gazumping Jim’s sterling Sunday Papers, but I do so with signficant news. SIGNIFICANT. So significant that I’m attempting to post this from my phone while on the train. Will it work? Will you ever see these words? Such a vague, mysterious situation draws certain parallels with the subject of this post – the fabled, long-delayed, oft-accused of non-corporeal status Half-Life 1 fan remake Black Mesa Source. Which, would you Adam & Eve it, now has a release date.

That release date is September 14, the team behind BMS has quietly revealed. So, a mere 12 days from now. Let there be much rejoincing/nervousness.

There is a complication, and I don’t mean ‘how could a team of modders pull off a remake of one of the greatest games ever made, for free?’ I mean that this initial release only goes so far as the Lambda Core level. Which means a) it’ll last about 8-10 hours (hey, still better than most CODs) and b) no Xen. Yet. Is that good news or bad news? I honestly don’t know. And are they delaying because they just haven’t finished, or because they haven’t worked out how to make Xen not-awful (apart from the giant testicle spider, of course)? I honestly don’t know. But give me a break, I’m writing this on a five-inch touch screen – it took me ten minutes just to insert the bloody URL.

12 days! 12 days until the impossible!


  1. GallonOfAlan says:

    > splut <

    According to the forum thread Xen will not be gone – it will be *expanded* !

    Possibly with a boob monster boss or something.

    • Thirith says:

      We’ll get the Xen equivalent of Jackson’s The Hobbit movies. Half an hour of material stretched to 8-10 hours. There may even be some implied romance between Gordon Freeman and the Gonarch.

      • Parthon says:

        Have you even read the hobbit?

        • cptgone says:

          and if so, did you perform the proper rites of divination while extracting the hobbit’s entrails?

        • Thirith says:

          Only about five or six times. Why?

          NB: Sheesh, some people here are given to po-faced overreaction…

          • zubbuz says:

            I think what he was getting at is the fact that The Hobbit, combined with a ton of background info revealed in other Tolkien work (eg the meeting of The White Council, the driving of Sauron from Dol Guldur etc), there is plenty of stuff to make several movies…

            Short stories always make the best movies anyway because they don’t have to go through cutting out huge chunks to fit it all in…

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      • JohnnyMaverik says:

        Show me somebody who claims they have read the Hobbit in 30 minutes and I’ll show you somebody who just looked up the synopsis on Wikipedia.

        • dE says:

          You misunderstood. It’s not read in 30 minutes, but it is a book so high on fluff and filler content that the essence amounts to not that much content to be had. The pages where something is happening, where the story is actually progressing, are by far the smallest part of the book.

          • Iskariot says:

            I am not a fan of Tolkien, but that is pure nonsense. You obviously have not read the Hobbit at all.
            Apparently for some books have to be quick Rambo action snacks. But there is such a thing as literature too. And the rules of true literary fantasy are quite different from the more superficial action based popular pulp.

          • JackShandy says:

            It’s totally fine to have interesting things that don’t explicitly shuttle characters further along the rollercoaster.

          • dE says:

            I have read the Hobbit and sorely regretted it.

            The part of the content which can be effectively shown in a movie without completely losing people’s interest, needs to be founded on story progression. Yes, you can balance it out with scenario exposition but it needs some sort of healthy balance. The book didn’t have that balance. For the most part, it was about as interesting as a travel log.

          • Sparkasaurusmex says:

            LOL well some of us like books. They aren’t all meant to be fast page turners that can be made into saturday blockbuster movies.

          • maninahat says:

            It’s annoying how a person saying “this book has too much fluff” becomes “I can’t read anything but Dan Brown books” in the minds of some people. Stop jumping to the most extreme antithesis, for fuck’s sake.

            Besides, Tolkien books do have a lot of fluff. It’s a totally legitimate criticism, and, astonishingly, I don’t have a problem with people wanting to skip the blody camp fire songs.

          • Scandalous_J says:

            Maninahat that is the best comment I have read in weeks.

        • Stromko says:

          No one ever implied that the books aren’t worth reading, but long explanations of cuisine and internal monologues tend not to translate well to movies. That’s probably why the Game of Thrones TV series makes sure to include plenty of sex and violence. We should be thankful that Peter Jackson isn’t adding a hobbit brothel and quit putting words in the mouths of other commentators.

      • Tyshalle says:

        Oh shit. You’ve pissed off the LotR super-nerds. Take cover, now you’ve really done it!

        • dE says:

          Pfft, the LOTR super-nerds need a good smack on the head. I blame them for the generic fantasy crap we get in every single game and movie. Tolkien was a copy cat, nicking bits and pieces from legends and myths, stitching them together into one big Frankenstein Story Monster. He left out the original parts of the legends and myths of course as they were deeply rooted in local mythology.
          What was left, were a collection of empty shells to project lore and story on. It worked for him. But it essentially took away all personality those myths ever had. Those empty shells are now hardcoded into peoples brains. An elf has to be slim and super beautiful and uber smart. A dwarf will always wield axes, dig too deep and have silly beards.

          Heck, the issues with the fantasy races we have, come from Tolkien too. He didn’t put a lot of focus on the concept of female dwarves (as his story didn’t need it) So every other fantasy story is now struggling with explaining how dwarf populations bloody work. They fall back on Tolkiens empty shells. Heck, I’ve had an argument with someone that downright claimed Tolkien invented dwarves and elves. There is such a rich soil of myths and legends behind those empty shells – but people only ever want the Tolkien Shells.

          There, there. That’s how you set a fire to a LOTR Fanboi Convention.

          • MadTinkerer says:

            “Pfft, the LOTR super-nerds need a good smack on the head. I blame them for the generic fantasy crap we get in every single game and movie.”

            Wrong target, dummy. You’re blaming the influence of D&D on Tolkien. I say this as a fan of D&D and Tolkien. One of the big differences is that D&D inspires people to publish their own stuff with no quality control where Tolkien inspires people to say “oh crap, I have to invent several functioning languages before I’m up to this standard?” and give up.

            EDIT: Also, wait, crap. Why the fuck are we discussing Tolkien in a Black Mesa article?

            Thirith, I’ll be watching you…

          • PoLLeNSKi says:

            Read the Silmarillion and the appendices from his books, there’s so MUCH background detail it’s ridiculous, he definitely didn’t skimp on it.

            re: female Dwarves

            “Dis was the daughter of Thrain II. She is the only dwarf-women named in these histories. It was said by Gimli that there are few dwarf-women, probably no more than a third of the whole people. They seldom walk abroad except at great need. They are in voice and appearance, and in garbif they must go on a journey, so like to the dwarf-men that the eyes and ears of other peoples cannot tell them apart. This is given rise to the foolish opinion among Men that there are no dwarf-women, and that Dwarves ‘grow out of stone’. It is beause of the fewness of women among them in the kind of the Dwarves increases slowly, and is in peril when they have no secure dwellings. For Dwarves take only one wife or husband each in their lives, and are jealous, as in all matters of their rights. The numner of dwarf-men that marry is actually less than one third. For not all the women take husbands: some desire none;some desire one that they cannot get, and so will have no other. As for the men, very many also do not desire marraige, being engrossed in their crafts.” Return of the King appendices.

          • ScubaMonster says:

            “Tolkien was a copy cat, nicking bits and pieces from legends and myths”

            Haha, oh my god are you a moron. Tolkien is the copy cat? If that’s the measure we’re using, then all authors of fantasy literature after him are complete shills (which isn’t true by the way). That would also include any game using fantasy archetypes (pen and paper as well as video games).

            The thing is, yes, maybe some of the things he used were from folklore of civilizations, but they were done in such a manner that wasn’t done before. Go find any reference of elves in our world and compare that to Tolkien elves. None of it is the same. Most of those things bear only the name in resemblance. He took it and made it unique and all his own.

            If you told us what books and computer games you find enjoyable and great, I guarantee you I could find things that came before them that they build upon. In this day and age, nothing is truly original or unique.

            You’re making yourself look like an idiot the more you talk out of your ass. Stop, just stop. You’re making me laugh too hard. I’m not a Lord of the Rings fanboy by a long shot, but you sir are spouting half truths and flat out misconceptions born of ignorance.

          • dogsolitude_uk says:

            @ScubaMonster: Yeah, Tolkein was a copy cat. Check this out. It’s from part of the Poetic Edda, Voluspa, which predated Tolkein by about 900 years:

            8. In their dwellings at peace | they played at tables,
            Of gold no lack | did the gods then know,–
            Till thither came | up giant-maids three,
            Huge of might, | out of Jotunheim.

            9. Then sought the gods | their assembly-seats,
            The holy ones, | and council held,
            To find who should raise | the race of dwarfs
            Out of Brimir’s blood | and the legs of Blain.

            10. There was Motsognir | the mightiest made
            Of all the dwarfs, | and Durin next;
            Many a likeness | of men they made,
            The dwarfs in the earth, | as Durin said.

            11. Nyi and Nithi, | Northri and Suthri,
            Austri and Vestri, | Althjof, Dvalin,
            Nar and Nain, | Niping, Dain,
            Bifur, Bofur, | Bombur, Nori,
            An and Onar, | Ai, Mjothvitnir.

            12. Vigg and Gandalf | Vindalf, Thrain,
            Thekk and Thorin, | Thror, Vit and Lit,
            Nyr and Nyrath,– | now have I told–
            Regin and Rathsvith– | the list aright.

            13. Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,
            Hepti, Vili, | Hannar, Sviur,
            (Billing, Bruni, | Bildr and Buri,)
            Frar, Hornbori, | Fræg and Loni,
            Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.

            14. The race of the dwarfs | in Dvalin’s throng
            Down to Lofar | the list must I tell;
            The rocks they left, | and through wet lands
            They sought a home | in the fields of sand.

            …Need I go on? Note the names of the Dwarves in verses 9, 10, 11. Now, go and read the Prose Edda and Beowulf and tell me that Tolkein didn’t make, erm, ‘extensive use’ of those sources.

            Basically, the Lord of The Rings, the Hobbit and the whole Middle Earth thing is the logical, natural consequence of having a Professor of Anglo Saxon with an interest in Norse Myths and Old English, a shed, a lot of biros and bags of time. Add a smattering of ‘Merrie Englande’ nostalgia beloved of Daily Express Readers and there you pretty much have it.

            I fully accept that pretty much all works are derivative in some way, but Tolkein’s stuff is more of a remix than a reinvention. What grinds my gears is that few people know that the Eddas even exist, which I think is a real shame.

          • jon_hill987 says:

            A note on Tolkien’s Elves: They are NOTHING like those of myth and legend, Discworld Elves (see Lords and Ladies) are closer (and in fact a parody of) the myths.

          • equatorian says:

            The number of people who knows that the Eddas exist (which I do) is probably not much lower than the people who knows that the Silmarillion exists. On the same note, there’s plenty of people who’s watched the Game of Thrones, but much fewer who actually studied the War of the Roses in-depth.

            People who take from face value will always outnumber people who dig deeper. THEY are why we have generic orcs and elves and dwarves. Tolkien’s take on them were quite novel to the non-mythology geek readership at the time—–elves and dwarves in popular concept were different then, and it was our fault that the concept faded into ‘oh, you know, folklore studies!’ as Tolkien nerds copy Tolkien almost wholesale in a more cookie-cutter way to make tabletop games and New Elves/Orcs/Dwarves enter the mainstream nerd vocabulary forever.

          • scatterbrainless says:

            Oh god, I… I thought I had gotten less nerdy than this after high school… but… and please don’t hurt me, wasn’t Tolkien’s whole project to produce a kind of bricoleur combination of all those myths, and their relevance to the modern age? *ducks for cover*

  2. Andy_Panthro says:

    No Xen is certainly a plus from my point of view.

    • varangian says:

      Amen to that. I loved HL1 all the way through to Surface Tension. Somewhere after the bit where you had to arrange for the Gigant to get bombed it started getting repetitive – go in room, aliens materialise, die, reload, line up gun on area where aliens warp in, kill aliens, on to next room, aliens materialise etc. By the time I got to Xen I was so bored I’d turned on God mode just to get it over with. Made Xen a lot easier but I didn’t come across anything there that was very compelling. I played HL1 through a good few times after but always bailed before Xen, so unless the BM team come up with a re-imagining that makes it more fun they can get this release out and call it a day and I’ll be happy.

      • grundus says:

        Amen to god mode, I think I also turned clipping off when there was all sorts of jumping to be done. At that point it was eff this gameplay, I’m just here for the story.

    • Legion23 says:

      I did not like Xen very much either, but I would prefer to have it in the remake at some time just for the “complete experience” reason.

      • DickSocrates says:

        Xen is one of the worst parts of any game, ever. From a level design viewpoint it was atrocious and furstrating. From a fiction/lore perspective it made the already silly looking alien “threat” look even more ridiculous. Xen isn’t a harsh alien world, it’s a comedy dimension.

    • Muzman says:

      I’d rather they cut the stupid forced fail and all of Residue Processing personally. That’s by far the most tedious section. Xen is quite short once you know what to do. Plus it looks cool.

    • GreatGreyBeast says:

      I like Xen. :(

      And I don’t get why people complain about the platforming, of all things. The sticky spots for me were Gonarch, a small amount of getting lost in the factory area, and the final battle. That there was a lot of platforming never even occured to me till I started reading other people’s thoughts on the internet, years later. I mean, with the jump boots and slow, gliding motion, they do everything possible to make it easy for you. The only platforming section that I found even remotely challenging was the big hanging crates towards the beginning of the game (which only got worse in the Source engine).

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Yeah, really don’t get all the angst about Xen platforming. It wasn’t that hard. I’m very much looking forward to seeing what Black Mesa does with it; that late-90s 3D engine really didn’t do justice to organic shapes and textures.

    • Pindie says:

      I liked Xen.
      Platforming was easy, are you people joking or what? I sure hope you are just trying to sound cool.
      The visuals were great and the change of pace was welcomed.

      The worst parts were the never ending On The Rail and the gimmicky final boss.

  3. BULArmy says:

    I have played twice HL1, getting both times to Lambda Core took me like 12-14h. And Xen is for the most part, as Yahtzee recently said one of the bad things FPSs took from HL, first person platforming.
    Still I can’t wait! Wanted to play again HL1 and this mod for so much time.

    • YourMessageHere says:

      So for the sake of everyone who’s pretending to be cool enough to remember exactly which bit of HL was Lambda Core, but actually can’t put a title to a scene, what happens in that bit? Is that past the giant tentacle? Is it past the train bit? How about the bit where you direct airstrikes onto giant armoured bastards? Is it that bit with all the teleports? Or is it the bit where you finally jump in the portal to Xen?

      • Joshua says:

        It’s the bit where you jump to xen.

        So I geuss it ends directly when you step into the portal.

      • Spengbab says:

        The Core is the chapter where you defend yourself against all manner of aliens while the portal generator starts… generating? Its also the part where you finally get that longjump module for the HEV suit (The thing from the training course that never actually makes an appearance in the game, except for the short stroll in Xen)

    • Bobby Oxygen says:

      HL didn’t invent first-person platforming, it had been around for a while already. And I can’t remember any mainstream FPS after HL1 that had as much platforming in it until Mirror’s Edge came out.

  4. ShadowNate says:

    Soundtrack is now available for download and Joel Nielsen’s work on it is just AWESOME!
    Also, very excited about the release!
    Xen is already under work, and then there’s also the Death Match mode to wait for :)

  5. Scandalous_J says:

    By George!!

  6. DonDrapersAcidTrip says:

    I remember Halflife 1 taking a hell of a lot longer than 8-10 hours.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Yeah, I mean maybe it is nostalgia talking but I remember HL1 taking me an awful lot of time to complete.

    • povu says:

      Steam says I’ve put 10 hours into Half Life: Source. That was my first playthrough.

      But I imagine if Half Life was one of your first game experiences it probably would have taken you longer.

      • LionsPhil says:

        Steam badly misreports playtime.

        HL1’s a long game. It was an impressive feat with a lot of skipping to get it down to an hour’s speedrun. If you’re actually exploring the spaces you can easily burn a half-hour before you’ve even kicked off the disaster.

        • kyrieee says:

          The record is actually half an hour :P

          • LionsPhil says:

            I know, but I’m talking about the Half-Life in an Hour playthrough which appeared on RPS in the past, which still skips huge chunks with dirty tricks like pushing buttons from the wrong side of walls.

          • Xerian says:

            And this one utilises dirty tricks aswell, if not dirtier. Speedhack for one thing, and well.. Yeah, I’d hardly call it an actual run in any case, as you miss out on the entire experience when you hurry through a game, but jolly… I’m excited about this release.

          • kyrieee says:

            Not sure what you mean by speedhack.
            He uses a script that spams jump instead of binding it to scroll on the mousewheel, you pretty much have to if you want to bunny jump in Half-Life.

      • ReV_VAdAUL says:

        HL1 certainly was one of my first gaming experiences.

        The Half Life Uplink demo was utterly amazing and I doubt any game will blow my mind as much as it did.

        I hope Black Mesa Source is good because this is kicking off quite a nostalgia trip.

        • Skabooga says:

          Ah man, that Half-Life: Uplink demo. My brother and I must have played it twenty times each before we broke down and bought the game.

          • Mollusc Infestation says:

            Same. My brother and I still quote the dialogue on an embarrassingly regular basis. “Yes. YOU could survive in that…. suit of yours.”

          • vedder says:

            I had to reduce the screensize to thumbnail size in order to get a fluent framerate because my pc was so crappy back then. But I still loved it immensely.

  7. impeus says:


    Maybe they are releasing it partially complete after discussions with Valve so as to NOT CLASH WITH HL3 IN ANY WAY?!


    As you were. There’s a yarn conspiracy on a knitting forum I need to attend to.

  8. LukaD says:

    No reason to double-plenk.

  9. Paul says:

    Excluding Xen makes this better than HL1 by default as far as I am concerned.
    Cannot wait.

    • RobinOttens says:

      I liked the Xen levels! It was a change of pace to the rest of the game sure. But they were fun to explore and felt like a big, climactic, weird alien epilogue to the big journey. Same with HL2’s ending.

      Cannot wait for this mod also.

      • Lemming says:

        I liked the idea of the Xen levels more than I liked what we actually got. With the right crew behind it, it has the potential to be really atmospheric and alien without feeling like you’ve arrived in the Super Mario dimension.

      • Skabooga says:

        I enjoyed the Xen levels as well, although admittedly the atmosphere was a bigger draw than the actual execution. However, I wouldn’t say they are half as bad as some the people around here would.

    • bear912 says:

      I’ll be honest, I secretly enjoy Xen. The exterior Xen environments were a bit Super Mario and could definitely have used some revision to put them more in line with the context of the game. The interior environments, though? I loved those. They had a strange, organo-Gothic sensibility just seemed to make sense inside the world, and inside the game. The Gonarch and the Nihilinth fit right into this as well, and I’m probably one of the five people on earth who actually quite liked the Nihilinth battle…

    • televizor says:

      When I first played it, the Xen level were like big orgasmic payoff.
      I was hoping I’d see then in HL2.

    • fish99 says:

      I never got the hate for the Xen levels. As far as I remember they were pretty short too. A few jumping puzzles, 2 bosses and that was about it.

  10. skx says:

    Its good they finally decided to release something. That should release some pressure they had and give more space to recalibrate or reconsider the Project or gather new worthy feedback.

  11. cjd says:

    I don’t see a year. Lets hope they do mean this year!

  12. AmateurScience says:

    Wait, Jim Sterling is writing the Sunday Papers now? Please no.

  13. Anonymediscret says:

    I just replayed HL1 on my netbook while on vacation, so I say this : don’t you dare say Black Mesa Source is not pretty enough ! You don’t remember what HL1 truly looks like !

    ps : I assume you need HL2 installed for BMS to work ?

    • Amstrad says:

      Nope, you just need access to the “Source SDK Base 2007” which comes free to anyone with a Steam account these days.

      • Donjo says:

        Awesomes… I thought I might need to either buy HL1 or go on an expedition through my parents attic.

  14. Troll says:

    You guys sound like you have BMS stop bitching about Xen. I thought it was a really interesting place in HL1.

  15. pagad says:

    I really liked Xen.

    Sure, the jumping puzzles got annoying, but I loved the art design. It felt incredibly eerie and atmospheric. I’m looking forward to its reimagining in the Source engine, presumably minus the annoying gameplay issues.

    • Was Neurotic says:

      I’m with you on this. The idea of going back to the source (haha) seemed like a good, logical, interesting move to me. I have no horrifying memories of the play experience there either, and on each play-through I always enjoyed it.

      Yes, I know I’m in the 1% with this opinion, but since RPS doesn’t do email alerts, you can all flame the crap out of me now and I’ll never know, weeeeeee!

  16. Cytrom says:

    Awesome, was waiting for this for a long time.
    Will it be availible on steam? Also, what’s valve’s stance on this? Aren’t they gonna sue them or something?

    Any other game company would have destroyed a mod using / mimicking their ‘intellectual property’ years ago. I’m not sure if valve doesn’t care or they were just not paying attention… or alternatively, it’s gonna get released by valve itself for 15-30$, posing it as ‘their’ brand new game.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      A while back (probably years ago given how long this project has been going) Valve made them change the name, probably for trademark reasons, but are otherwise totally cool with the project.

    • ShadowNate says:

      “Any other game company would have destroyed a mod using / mimicking their ‘intellectual property’”

      Not really. There are such occurencies of “cease and desist” letters send to fan-made games/sequels/remakes but there are plenty of fan made mods and games that continue or remake or re-imagine commercial popular/classic games. I am mostly thinking examples from the adventure game genre (Kings Quest series, Space Quest series, Broken Sword series, Quest for the Glory, Maniac Mansion etc) but there are examples from the action genre (e.g. the Freespace campaing that was remade for the Freespace 2 open source project as a mod, or the privateer game that was remade twice (Remake and Gemini Gold)

      • Cytrom says:

        The difference being that those are mostly dead franchises that would never see a true spirited “official” sequel and most of the companies behind them are long gone. While valve is still an active company and half life is supposedly not a dead franchise yet.

        • Hematite says:

          but presumably half-life is half-dead.


        • Rusty_S85 says:

          If that is the case well then I want to see the whole “Redneck Rampage” franchise from Xatrix entertainment be remade. God knows how many hours Ive put on that game as a kid when it was new and I long to kill some alien clones and drink boose and eat pork rhinds to raise my health.

  17. Rich says:

    Like I said before, I really hope they’ve reconsidered the Duke Nukum-esque marine voices. Very un-Half-Life.

    • ShadowNate says:

      So you bothered to say it twice (or more times -who cares), but you didn’t bother to check what the developers have said about this (since 2 days after the gameplay video leak)?

      They have changed the voices and added the radio filter. There.

      • Rich says:

        Did I look? Yes. Did I find? No. Care to share a link or two?
        I brought it up again because I genuinely hoped they’d addressed my one worry and, if they had, someone might be able to let me and anyone else who might have missed it know.

        Last thing I read (a few days after the video was posted here) was their justification for the macho voices; they were going for an action movie feel. I could see their point, but it was still a bad decision.
        Glad they reversed it. I look forward playing through this when I can give it the time it deserves.

        Edit: Nope, still can’t find anything to back you up.

        • ShadowNate says:

          Look for the “Questions and answers regarding recent gameplay footage” in their Forum “News” Section. The OP summarizes their official comments on the gameplay leak and their response to the received feedback (look for: “What are you doing in response to the feedback you’ve received?”).

          • Rich says:

            Thanks. That is where I was looking but I got hung up on:
            “Why is the voice acting so bad? Everything is intentional; the soldiers are meant to sound like over-the-top movie bad guys. We’re not interested in trying to get you to empathise with the enemies.”
            which I still has me worried. Applying static to everyone and re-recording the scripted voices should do it.
            Previously the “All I know for sure is he’s been killin’ my buddies” scene just sounded wrong.

        • Lemming says:

          Do you actually remember what they used to sound like? They were cheesy as fuck, mate:

          • Rich says:

            They sound barely human yes? All part of their image.
            The problem with the new voice work is that it sounds (sounded) too human, and too Hollywood.

          • Lemming says:

            I linked a specific part to make a point, and they sound very much human, and very much action-movie cheese.

  18. Retro says:

    Hi RPS, I love you guys, but could you please not do the ‘hide the important info below the break’ game? Do you really need the extra click? It’s quite inconvenient..

    • Lemming says:

      Well if everyone could read all the info from the front page, they’d have no idea how many people read the article.

  19. Rikard Peterson says:

    Seems popular. When I try the link I get “The server is too busy at the moment. Please try again later.”

  20. Dominic White says:

    All I think Xen needs in terms of redesign is less trying to descend through platforms using HL1’s notoriously finnicky/deadly fall damage, and just more focus on using the long-jump module to cover horizontal spans. You’d still have jumping, but it would be a lot more intuitive, less likely to sap your health, and the old descending platform areas can just have you taken there by a single moving platform instead of having to hop between several.

  21. phelix says:

    “So significant that I’m attempt to post this from my phone while on the train.”

    The grammar nazi inside me twists and churns.

  22. Was Neurotic says:

    Is it stand-alone, or do I need to re-install something first?

    • Lemming says:

      I believe you need a copy of the source SDK (which comes with all the source games), that’s it.

  23. Premium User Badge

    phuzz says:

    Bloody hell!
    This is going to be the longest 12 days ever.

  24. makute says:

    Add a couple of exclamation points more, and that title would be on flames.

  25. Prime says:

    These are truly the End Times.

    Xen was awesome. Everyone who disagrees is wrong.

  26. Ninja Foodstuff says:

    Does anyone know if this will be Mac-compatible? Their site is overwhelmed right now, so it’s difficult to find out

    • Tuskin38 says:

      No it won’t Valve hasn’t updated the SDK to make Mac capable mods.

  27. JackDandy says:

    OohhhhOOHHHOHHHh YEeeeeaaaaahhhhh

  28. pakoito says:

    I think you were looking for this ¡ for the title ;)

  29. horseflesh says:

    Too bad I stopped using steam.

    I’m wondering if this will rekindle interest in Half-Life sufficient to get Half-Life 3 out the doors of Valve?

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Considering that Valve, as a company, are incapable of agreeing on what the snack bar should be stocked with, that seems unlikely. I still believe that it will be the Tech Demo/Launch title for the next engine Valve makes.

  30. Jackablade says:

    You know if the teleporter at the end of Lambda Core just dumped you straight into the G-Man’s train car that’d make for just as satisfying an ending (which is to say not all that satisfying at all) as doing it by jumping into the giant floating baby brain.

    • ShadowNate says:

      I don’t think they intend to skip the Xen part, even in this first release. So probably not. A fade to black or something similar would do for the first part.

    • Tuskin38 says:

      It probably ends with “To Be Continued”

      • Ravenholme says:

        Cut to black, Gordon’s Heavy Breathing, “To Be Continued”, and then roll credits.

        Calling it now.

  31. gshauger says:

    I always find it cute when people try and criticize what is arguably the greatest PC game of all time. The Xen levels were fine…in fact they were incredibly atmospheric.

    • LionsPhil says:

      “Greatest” is not a synonym for “flawless”.

      • gshauger says:

        Never said it was…but acting like the last 10% of the game was atrocious is a gross exaggeration.

        • dE says:

          Or subject to *gasp* different tastes!?

        • EPICTHEFAIL says:

          If it turns out that you have an opinion on a certain other game`s last 10%, I will be the first to point it out.

    • fish99 says:

      Glad you put that ‘arguably’ in there, since I can think of at least 4 games that were better IMO (Thief, Thief 2, System Shock 2, Stalker SoC).

  32. pixelpusher says:

    Wench! Fetch me a fresh pair of pantaloons as I appear to have soiled myself.

  33. noclip says:

    Oh dear. Does this mean the Mayan apocalypse is happening too?

  34. Post-Internet Syndrome says:


  35. m0ntag says:

    As someone who plays through the Half-Life series once a year, I’m exceptionally excited. I know Half-Life 1 well and Half-Life 2 (and it’s episodes) also well. If this turns out as I hope it does, I think I’ll have to add it on somewhere in there. Can’t wait!

  36. Spakkenkhrist says:

    I have logged in to complain about something, I just haven’t decided what yet.

    There’s some serious neck-bearding going on in this thread.

  37. Moonracer says:

    My main fear is for the creators. No matter how good this mod is I think it is guaranteed to have most of the deserved positive feedback drowned out by negativity due to the amount of hype and expectation built up.

    So a huge thank you and congratulations to everyone involved in putting the project together. I’m looking forward to seeing what has been done differently.

    • ReV_VAdAUL says:

      Alas regardless of the quality of the mod I imagine we’re going to see a great many “witty” realisations that BM:S can be interpreted as Bowel Movement: Shit and similar.

    • Baines says:

      Yes, I figure this is going to get some pretty crippling backlash.

      I wonder if that is why they are stopping before Xen, particularly if they aren’t quite sure what to do with a rather unliked area. If the backlash to what they release in September is strong enough, they might just say “**** it” and quit, thus saving themselves the effort making Xen at all. If they find enough positive response, maybe they’ll find the willpower to keep going.

  38. Vinraith says:

    Never having made it much past the first boss battle in Xen anyway, this sounds fine by me. All the good parts are prior to the game becoming a bad first-person platformer anyway.

  39. Classicgamer says:

    Very cool looking game… I’ve been playing Blacklight: Retribution for awhile now as my primary shooting game. Any idea on how much the game will be?

  40. Tuskin38 says:

    News sites and fans still call if Black Mesa Source, it hasn’t been official called Black Mesa Source for years, valve asked them to remove that from the mods name and they complied.

  41. Slinkyboy says:

    So they’re giving us a small part of the game??? I wanted the whole thing… Free is free, I’ll take it. Which game do I need installed on Steam to be able to play?

    • Tuskin38 says:

      Actually you’re getting the Large part of the game, 8-10 hours of content. Xen is only a small portion of it, and according to one of the devs, Xen will be released ‘in a reasonable about of time’ another one said maybe 4-5 months.

      And you need any source game that gives you the Source SDK Base, which I think is any source game by Valve other then HL:S.

  42. televizor says:

    I see nothing but love for the Xen levels from the RPS brotherhood.
    One love, half a life.

  43. Very Real Talker says:

    black mesa source has always looked impressive, but to me spending all these years to remake half-life 1 will always be pathetic

  44. fish99 says:

    Saw the headline “Resurrection Looms for Half Life” on the BBC rss feed this morning and thought it was going to be about HL3 /sigh

    Gotta kinda agree with the comment above, while I admire them for what they’ve achieved, couldn’t they have spent the same time making a new game they could actually sell?

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      Yes, because the idea of a hobby, a devoted fan, and any kind of non-profit work is utterly nonsensical. These guys are doing a far better job for free, than the game`s own developer did while charging people for it. They are supremely talented, and quite deserving of respect. They are doing this because they love the game, and want to improve upon what little it lacks in (namely the fact that it is now much prettier).

      • fish99 says:

        Valve created that universe and everything in it, the story, the world, the enemies, the weapons, the AI, the music, the SFX, everything. These guys are recreating it in another engine (made by Valve). The end result may look nicer but that’s due to technology having advanced 14 years. So no you cannot say they are doing ‘a better job than Valve did’, when all the creativity was Valves.

        With that out of the way, yeah I admire the effort and devotion but I just feel it’s somewhat misplaced. They could have made a new SP story in the HL universe (I’d be more excited about playing that than HL again), or a new game entirely, in the same time. Whatever though, it’s their lives.

        • Rusty_S85 says:

          Which is why I kind of wonder why it took them this long to create the game considering they are using a story line that is already created, using characters already created, and even using a location already created. All they had to really do is follow the building blocks of what already exsisted to create the better graphics version they created using what Valve created in 1998 as a blueprint.

          But then again they did change a lot in the game to put their own artistic spin on it.

  45. horseflesh says:

    This is being reported on by the BBC. WTH.

    link to bbc.com

    • EPICTHEFAIL says:

      I love the way everyone is still shocked and confused when traditional media actually pay attention to anything made after 1990.

  46. Shodex says: