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Posts tagged “Crowbar Collective”

Feature: Spit and shine, Mr. Freeman

Black Mesa review

What is the half-life of Half-Life? I would have long ago described Valve's first-person shooter as my favourite game, but revisiting it last month in preparation for Half-Life: Alyx made clear how many parts of its design have aged. Enter Black Mesa, a fan-made remake of the original Half-Life, inside Half-Life 2's Source engine. Over 8 years since we first reviewed its earliest release, the…

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Black Mesa will finally launch on March 5

After fifteen years in development in various forms, Black Mesa will finally launch in full on March 5. Started as a mod, the Valve-sanctioned remake of Half-Life eventually became its own commercial game and entered early access in May 2015. Since then, they've been working on remaking the much-maligned final chapter of Xen, overhauling and fixing bits, and generally tweaking. Which they've now about finished.…

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Black Mesa can finally be completed in its entirety with a public 1.0 beta

Ambitious and seemingly never-ending, Black Mesa's long development has almost reached its completion. Developers Crowbar Collective released a content-complete version 1.0 beta of the Half-Life remake on Steam earlier this week - an uninterrupted journey through Black Mesa's corridors and the Xen border world. Sixteen years after a group of dissatisfied modders sought to one-up Valve's Source port of Half-Life, Gordon Freeman's no good, very…

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Black Mesa’s final 1.0 release is almost ready for public scrutiny

Fifteen years. Five UK Prime Ministers. Both my entire High School and University runs combined. Through it all, Black Mesa has been there, churning away, promising that one day it'd be done. After eight years, it was. Sort of. Released a Xen-less mod, it would take another eight years for the developers behind the notorious Half-Life remake, Crowbar Collective, to finally be done with it.…

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Black Mesa’s full Xen chapter and ending is now playable in beta

After fifteen years of development in one form or another, Black Mesa is almost finished. A new public beta build of the Valve-sanctioned Half-Life fan remake unveils the final chapters of Xen, the alien world much-maligned in Half-Life and absent from the initial release of Black Mesa. With this, the game can now be played in full from beginning to end. And damn, their expanded…

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Black Mesa ventures deeper into Xen

As the many hapless scientists now wearing wee aliens as hats (and Valve Software themselves) could tell you, one need be careful with Half-Life's alien dimension of Xen. That's why the gang behind sanctioned remake Black Mesa gang have taken their time remaking those much-reviled end-game levels, initially releasing the game without any Xen then getting back to work on it. They've been gradually expanding…

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It’s crab-fighting time: Black Mesa’s Xen beta is diving into the Gonarch’s Lair

It feels like only yesterday that Half-Life remake Black Mesa was a joke. The highest-profile vaporware of the Source modding community. That thing had been milling around since 2005. Nobody thought it would ever actually come out. I remember feeling properly shook when eventually did in 2012, seven years later. Except, it wasn't exactly done. Crowbar Collective have been trying to figure out Xen, Half-Life's…

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Black Mesa launches its first three Xen maps into public beta

The long-delayed Xen chapters of Black Mesa - Crowbar Collective's remake of the original Half-Life - feel tantalisingly close now. In a Steam blog post yesterday, the devs warn that "If you want the polished, complete Xen experience, you should wait. It won’t be long!", but if you're ready for your first taste of their re-imagined alien world, you can try it now. The first…

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Black Mesa shows off Xen to celebrate Half-Life’s birthday

To celebrate Half-Life's twentieth birthday today [more on that later today -continuity ed.], the Black Mesa gang have made a new trailer showing progress on their commercial Half-Life fan remake's final chapters, the alien world of Xen. They also say that they're now planning to add the Xen chapter in 2019, some time from March to the end of June, so that's three-ish years after…

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Black Mesa’s vision of Xen is bigger, bolder & nearly done

Sometimes, things just take time. When an amateur team remake an FPS classic up to AAA standards in a modern engine in their spare time? Yeah, that'll take a while, but the patience seems to be paying off for fans of Black Mesa. While so so far the ambitious (and Valve-endorsed) Half-Life remake has mostly adhered to the structure of the original, developers Crowbar Collective reckon…

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Black Mesa’s Xen chapters delayed again

If your Christmas plans include gathering the family around the meat tree and singing songs celebrating the return of our saviour, Gordon Freeman, I have bad news: Black Mesa is delaying the launch of its final chapters. The sanctioned fan-made Half-Life remake had previously planned to launch the remade Xen levels in mid-December but yeah, that's not happening any more. Why? Because they're still not…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Feature: Mutton Dressed As Lambda?

Premature Evaluation: Black Mesa

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…

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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,…

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