If we acknowledge that many jokes have been made about the Half-Life series then may we, you and I, accept that there’s no need for us to crack any more and vow never to ever again ever?
The commercial version of Black Mesa [official site], the fan-made remake of Valve’s seminal Half-Life, arrived on Steam today at £14.99/$19.99. On Steam Early Access, to be precise, as it’s still missing the Xen chapters. While those are absent, present are new additions since the free mod release like Steam Workshop support and deathmatch on six classic HLDM maps.
Since the original free release in 2012, developers Crowbar Collective tell us, they’ve “updated the game with new voice over, new weapon animations and models, AI improvements, and more.” They’ve reworked a few areas of the game, and introduced a lot of prettier art assets.
Also that multiplayer. Right now, it supports deathmatch and team deathmatch on Bounce, Gasworks, Lambdabunker, Stalkyard, Subtransit, and Undertow.
That Steam Workshop modding support will let folks share maps as well as full-on mods. Quick, everyone remake your old Half-Life mods for Black Mesa!
They don’t say how long they intend to be in Early Access, as it seems remaking the widely-disliked Xen sections is still proving troublesome. They also plan to add more multiplayer maps and modes, and give the Earth side of Half-Life another polishing-up too.
You can still download the original mod for free, if you fancy. Crowbar Collective had previously said they planned to update the mod as well, and that “shortly after the Steam release there will be a completely new free version of the game”. I couldn’t tell you what’s going on with that plan now, partially because their servers seem swamped so finding anything on the forums is a real pain.