Long in the works Black Mesa—the fan-made Half-Life remake—is out. For real. It's been in development longer than some folks who might play it today have been alive. Black Mesa 1.0 is now live and officially a graduate from Steam Early Access. From the sounds of it, Crowbar Collective's 15-year project is coming out Cum Laude.
Black Mesa has been playable for a bit now, but if you were waiting to get your hands dirty until the official release candidate, today's the day. There's a full-on trailer to celebrate launch day and everything. It's bright, colorful, and properly celebratory for pushing the big red button on a long-running fan project.
Alice0 took a crack at Black Mesa's final Xen chapter a few months back when it was playable in beta and came away impressed. "I’ve not played the full Xen yet but I have skipped around a few levels and damn, it’s fancy," she says. "The Nihilath battle is particularly more dramatic. Xen still has a load of jumping puzzles, mind, and one elevator battle which goes on several beats too long. But I am glad that parts are still weird and colourful. Some of the new bits have a ’90s technoalien’ vibe so strong they could be Winamp skins."
Crowbar Collective have released a long list of 1.0 patch notes for Black Mesa which you can read in their Steam post. During their run in Early Access, the team say they were able to make a laundry list of fixes like redesigning puzzles, visual updates, and AI improvements. They caution that any Steam Workshop mods that beta players have installed should be disabled as they'll likely not yet be updated for the newest game version. Although this is now the big one-oh, Crowbar Collective already have loose plans for a 1.5 version of the game.
The 1.0 version of the game went live yesterday on March 5th as planned but apparently a multiplayer bug held up the official cutting of the "early access" ribbon. Crowbar Collective have now switched the game to a "released" state, so presumably that patch has now been added.
It's a big month for crowbar fans, with Black Mesa now pushing off the dock proper and Half-Life: Alyx launching on March 23rd. Graham's already taken a stroll around some of Alyx's environments in VR and they look swell.
Black Mesa is available on Steam where you can pry into it for £15/€18/$20.