When it comes to Black Mesa, it might seem like Half-Life fans are now so starved for new content that they have recreated the first game themselves just to have something to play. It’s important to remember, then, that the fan-made remake of the original Half-Life was first worked on in 2004 – back when Half-Life was a series with a promising sequel and bright future ahead of it – and has been painfully slow in development since then. Black Mesa finally released in 2012 to rave reviews, and since then, developer Crowbar Collective has been promising content updates related to the infamous “Xen” levels from the original Half-Life.
Fans who have been following the Black Mesa saga so far can guess where this is going. Black Mesa‘s development team has been indefinitely delaying the release of the Xen levels content since the original promise was made, and the latest target date was sometime during this summer. Unfortunately, however, a summer media update on the Steam community forums has revealed that Black Mesa‘s final content will now arrive sometime in December. One of the Crowbar Collective devs had this to say:
“Unfortunately, as some of you may have already predicted, we are going to need to push back our planned release of Xen to later this year, in December. We know that this is not what anyone would want to hear, but after taking a long and hard look at what we want to achieve, we have decided that this is for the best…that said, we consider December to be a do-or-die deadline.”
While it’s tempting to dismiss Crowbar Collective’s notion of a “do-or-die deadline” in December, the fact is the development team is a collection of Half-Life fans who, despite many delays, now have a track record of coming through on their promises to the community. The fact that Black Mesa often experiences delays in content is likely down to the fact that Crowbar Collective has a number of other personal and professional commitments each member must attend to, and the fact that Black Mesa released free means that the remake’s continued existence is mostly an extremely well-executed passion project.
That being said, there are some positives from the latest update on Black Mesa‘s final content creation – the summer media update also included some screens of the Xen levels, and they look absolutely gorgeous. One of the images, seen above, shows that the development team has managed to capture the weird, unearthly vibe that made Half-Life‘s Xen levels so breath-taking and memorable, and it appears Crowbar Collective’s commitment to quality is paying off.
That’s good, too, because there have been reports suggesting that Half-Life 3 may never happen. If that’s the case, fans will likely have no problem waiting a little longer to get some quality hands-on time with the man they call Freeman later this year.
Black Mesa‘s Xen update will release in December on Steam.
Source: Steam Community Forums