Posts Tagged ‘Black Mesa’

Black Mesa is dreaming of a Xen Christmas

So committed is third-party Half-Life remake Black Mesa [official site] to emulation of its much vaunted inspiration that it has now fully embraced ValveTime. Black Mesa was first released as a free mod in 2012, followed by a spit’n’polished paid version two years ago, but still with the notorious jump’n’fail alien world section from Half Life’s final act missing. Plan was to rethink rather than merely remake Xen, in a planned act of historical revisionism to make people think Half-Life was brillo all the way through. (Note: Half-Life was brillo all the way through).

Last Autumn, the team declared the Gordon would finally be bouncing his away across fleshy coral oddities once away this summer. Well, no – there’s been a delay. The good news is, they are now showing off Xen’s great outdoors for the first time, as well as revealing a few changes planned for Black Mesa as a whole.

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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. Read the rest of this entry »

Black Mesa’s Xen Coming In Summer 2017

The makers of Black Mesa [official site] have announced plans to add the final section of their Half-Life remake, Xen, in summer 2017. They explain that it’s taking so long because they’re really fleshing out that alien world.

I do admire the confidence to declare you’re making Xen bigger, given how unpopular that section is with some players. They might be happier to hear you’ve decided Gordon Freeman’s muteness is because he’s really three dogs crammed into an HEV suit, so you’re replacing his pain sound effects with barks and yelps. But no, the Black Mesa gang are determined to make Xen proper good. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Half-Life: Blue Shift?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Gearbox’s Barney-starring add-on is the black sheep of the Half-Life family, although at the time I never encountered any reason why that should be the case. My teenage tastes were perhaps less discerning then, but more importantly any return to Black Mesa was irresistible. I wanted new monsters and new guns, everything that a young’un wants from a follow-up to their favourite shooter, and I also had a vain hope that maybe I’d get to shoot that creepy suit-guy in the face and rescue Gordon.
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Black Mesa Restores Cut Surface Tension Levels

The alien world of Xen is the biggest part of Half-Life still to come to its fancy remake Black Mesa [official site], but developers Crowbar Collective have been working on plenty more. Over the weekend they released an update heavily expanding the ‘Surface Tension’ chapter, adding back areas that didn’t make the cut before. They’ve also added dynamic shadows to outdoor areas, revisited and polished-up some levels, massively sped up loading times, and… it sounds like a cracker of an update for a game which was already great.

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Black Mesa Mod Won’t See Xen, Because Technology

Now that the commercial version of Half-Life fan remake Black Mesa [official site] is out in Early Access form (and pretty great so far), what’ll happen to the original free mod?

Not that much, really – which is hardly a surprise. Developers Crowbar Collective haven’t given up on it, as they said they wouldn’t, but expect future updates to be more along the lines of bug fixes than big additions. The mod won’t see Xen, for starters. The older version of the Source engine the mod uses isn’t up to handling the pretty Xen they want to make, see, and they can’t change it.

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Premature Evaluation: Black Mesa

Alt-text is having a week off to recover from the election. Soz.

Each week Marsh Davies latches onto Early Access like a brain-eating alien parisitoid and slurps up any stories he can find. This week we’re back in Black Mesa [official site] – the classy fan remake of Half-Life 1 in a hybrid version of the Source engine which was used for its sequels. An incomplete release of the project was made available on Steam for free last year, but the Early Access incarnation is a more polished, ongoing, funded development, with additional chapters planned, multiplayer, workshop integration and modding tools.

If the past is another country, then it’s one under constant mnemonic invasion from the present. This is doubly true of moments from a distant childhood, a time when experience was already enlarged so dramatically by the imagination, when the emotional significance of toys, or books, or games far exceeded their actual sophistication – and it is these responses which then endure in memory, rewriting the reality. 22 years of brain death has sneakily uprezzed my recollection of the original Syndicate, for example, transforming it into a glorious cyberpunk cityscape that its crude, mud-paletted pixels have never really deserved. So when I say Black Mesa is every bit as good as the Half-Life I remember playing 17 years ago, you’ll understand that I’m praising something much greater than an act of recreation.

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Black Mesa Inbound: HL Remake On Steam Early Access

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.

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Black Mesa Coming To Steam For Real Moneydollars

Spare some change? I'm just a poor, hardworking headcrab who's been let down by The System.

Halfy birthday, Hap-Life! Well, I guess it’s technically the day after your birthday now, but an upgraded version of Source-powered Half-Life tribute Black Mesa still counts as a gift, I think. You might remember that the free labor of time, love, and more time was greenlit a while back, but now it’s finally taking the Lab Facility Train Ride of Ultimate Auspiciousness over to Steam. Better still, Gabe and the knights of the Valve table have given it their blessing, allowing the Black Mesa team to earn some especially pretty pennies for their hard work. The Steam version will include new features too, but not Xen. That’s apparently still “a ways off,” sadly.

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Mod A Mod: Surface Tension Uncut Beefs Up Black Mesa

BRUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!
When I’d finished the excellent Half-Life remake mod Black Mesa I was a bit discombobulated. I looked at the clock and realised that my allotted ten hour slot for playing it had come up short. I was a full 53 minutes early. What was going on? The only explanation was there was a time slip while I was hopping around being Gordon. I put it down to a rogue CERN test and moved on with my life. But now I’ve been made aware of Surface Tension Uncut, a mod that restores the Surface Tension section from the original Half-Life to its full glory in Black Mesa.
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Wot I Think: Black Mesa

he's probably not a problem, probably

Half-Life is back. Back in Black Mesa, the fan-made, Source-powered remake that’s been years in the making. It was never going to happen, and then suddenly it did. After all that, is it a polished recreation of Valve’s beloved shooter, or an awkward perversion? I’ll be waiting for you, in the word chamber.
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So Anyway, Black Mesa’s Out Now

We now bring you this transmission, directly from alternate universe evil (or are they the good ones?) Bizarro RPS:

John: Goodness, what a boring day it’s been. Probably the least exciting in recorded history.

Jim: Here’s an idle musing for you: joy is dead. And so is God.

Adam: Wouldn’t it be amazing if a spiritual successor to Total Annihilation just made $2 million, a thinly veiled follow-up to Planescape: Torment was just announced, and an agonizingly long-awaited Half-Life remake finally launched – all in the same day?

John: Well, I mean, Ubisoft just announced its new always online double-DRM. If you disconnect from the Internet, it kills you. That’s something, right? Something that kills you, I mean.

Alec: [Says nothing. Still on vacation. Evil vacation.]

Me, under the iron grip of the Neo-British Colonial Extermination Empire: Can I… ? Can I eat now? It’s been days.

All: No.

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Greenlit: Black Mesa, Zomboid, McPixel, More

The saga of Steam Greenlight has, thus far, been packed with unexpected surprises, whiplash-inducing twists, and sudden bursts of lava-like sensuality. Unfortunately, hardly any of it has been related to actual, you know, games. Instead, Greenlight itself and its (in some cases, not-so-well-explained) policies have hogged the spotlight, with Valve doing its best to tweak and modify the system as it goes along. Now, though, the first batch of community-tested, Valve-approved games is getting its chance to shine. Also, one of them is Half-Life.

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Powering Up: Black Mesa Screenshots

Gordon should really look harder for alternate routes.

Black Mesa is coming this Friday. THIS FRIDAY. Can you believe it? I still can’t believe it. And yet, so it has been written. To whet your appetite for all things Lambda, the Black Mesa Modification Team (really guys? That’s your name? You’ll be writing yourself into a corner after you finish Xen) have released seven new fancy pants-sized screenshots of iconic moments and locales from throughout the fan-made reboot of Gordon Freeman’s original adventure, including a glimpse of both a Gargantua and a distinctively creepy looking Bullsquid. Those tentacles…

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Black Mesa Invites You To Look At Its Bowels

There’s a big, big part of me (which may or may not be my conscience) that feels grumpily determined to not ever post about the e’er-delayed fan Half-Life remake Black Mesa. I’ve been a member of the never gonna happen club for a long time now, but in the interests of OBJECTIVE, SOBER REPORTAGE I will pretend to take the devs at their word when they tell us they’ll be finally releasing something ‘soon-ish’ and show you these new screenshots which purportedly “really give you the first glimpse into the gameplay of Black Mesa.”

They come via the Source-powered mod project’s Book of Faces page, which just did that ‘give us 20,000 Likes and we’ll continue our marketing campaign’ business to ‘unlock’ them.
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What Happened To Black Mesa: Source? Part Two

ICONIC IMAGERY.

The rumors of Black Mesa‘s death have been greatly exaggerated. It has, however, been over three years since Gordon Freeman went for an all-too-brief jog in his shiny new hazard suit. No, gaming’s favorite man of zero words and 1000 crowbar swings per minute hasn’t suddenly affixed a chainsaw to his gun or moved his adventures to an unnamed wartorn Middle Eastern setting, but a lot’s changed.

Once upon a time, this was Valve’s firstborn with a fresh coat of paint. Now, though, the Black Mesa team’s pouring its own blood, sweat, and tears into one of gaming’s most sacred holy grails – for better or worse. Only time will tell. But how much time? One more year? Two? Half-Life 2: Episode 3 (aka, a billion)? And what state is the remake in now? I spoke with project lead Carlos Montero about all of that and more.

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Interview: What Happened To Black Mesa: Source? Part 1

Back in Black Mesa.

The universe has a weird fondness for improbable coincidences. Name your franchise Half-Life, and it takes half a lifetime to come out. Create a robust mod based around a game in that franchise, and its development mirrors that of its crowbar-wielding, hazard-suit chic father series nearly one-to-one. The lofty promises, the incredibly lengthy periods of radio silence, the incessant cries of “vaporware” and “it’ll probably be a huge letdown” – all of it.

Maybe, though, that part’s not such a coincidence. To hear project lead Carlos Montero tell it, Black Mesa‘s an obsessively redesigned, rebuilt-from-the-ground-up love letter to Valve’s opus. The goal, then, is to improve on something already considered by many to be perfect. And that, as it’s turned out, has been a lot harder than Montero and his constantly fluctuating team first assumed. So, first up, we’re delving into what exactly has taken so long – especially in light of 2008’s rather stunning trailer that promised a release date of, er, three years ago.

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