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Dear Gordon... Black Mesa shows first peek at Xen

The Black Mesa [official site] gang have shared a first look at Xen in their Half-Life remake. You might remember that they launched Black Mesa without Half-Life’s oft-maligned final chapter, set in the alien world of Xen, because doing it right was taking yonks. You might further remember they’re planning to launch Xen in summer 2017. You might… well, I was surprised by this first peek at a Dear Esther-lookin’ cavern.

You can see the full-size screenshot over here. It’s interesting! Valve’s own Xen had plenty of scientists scattered across Xen, showing the many deaths they met on their forays into the alien dimension, but this has them clearly a little more established and building a little. Neat-o.

Dooo you suppose it’s what became of this cave, the one with the butterfly-powered teleporter, in Half-Life’s first level of Xen? Wild guess. My memories of Xen are a little hazy but that sprang to mind.

I suppose I’d hoped it would be way more organic and meaty and weird. I liked the old pastel colours and swirly ice cream fudge sundae waters. This is only one single screenshot mind, so I’d be a fool to assume it’s all like this. Who’s a fool? Not me, says the name tag sewn into my underwear.

Here’s what the Black Mesa mob had to say as they shared this:

“Currently our specific focus is on gameplay: crafting a fun and cohesive experience from start to finish. We want our version of Xen to feel like it really belongs with the rest of the game in terms of mechanics, cohesion and progression. But we also want to push the boundaries and explore this unique and varied setting; to build an experience that feels both fresh and familiar to players from all walks of Half-Life veterancy. While our Xen is certainly going to be gorgeous, we are first and foremost really committed to making sure that the gameplay works on every level.”

Okey cokey!

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Alice O'Connor

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When not writing news, Alice may be found in the sea.

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