Gamers have been clamoring for Half-Life 3 for so long that it’s been a running joke for years. While Valve has remained mostly silent on another sequel, the developer has allowed modders to run wild with the code from Half-Life and Half-Life 2 to create a variety of updates and add-ons to the beloved titles.
One project in particular that caught a lot of attention back in 2012 was a fan-made remake of the original Half-Life, dubbed Black Mesa. The “remake” added better graphics and other updates from the modern era to the 1998 title, and received positive reviews across the web. That project has been continuously updated over the last 3 years, and now, the commercial version of Black Mesa has hit Steam Early Access.
Developers Crowbar Collective state that this new version of Black Mesa, which sells for $19,99, now features “new voice over, new weapon animations and models, AI improvements, and more.”
Black Mesa, which was created using Valve’s Source engine, also supports multiplayer, with deathmatch and team deathmatch modes available across maps including Bounce, Gasworks, Lambdabunker, Stalkyard, Subtransit, and Undertow.
The game also now has Steam Workshop support, meaning that Black Mesa is likely to receive plenty of additional mods and updates from the community in the coming weeks.
With all of that said, the game is still in Early Access for a reason. Most notably, the game’s Xen chapters are still missing, but will be patched in at a later date. Crowbar Collective does not have a timetable for the Early Access period, but had said that, along with the additional levels, they will be releasing more multiplayer maps and modes, and give the Earth side of Half-Life another coat of polish.
It’s important to note that while this premium version of Black Mesa is now on sale, the original mod can still be downloaded for free. What’s more, the developer has previously stated that they will be releasing a completely new free version of the game at some point now that the commercial version is out.
Valve seems caught up in a lot of other projects right now, ranging from its upcoming Steam boxes to the continued success of Dota 2. Half-Life 3 will likely remain a pipe dream for the immediate future, so Black Mesa is likely the closest thing to a modern Half-Life that fans are going to get for now. If nothing else, it’s refreshing to see a community of gamers remain so passionate about a franchise, even without much support from the developer.
Black Mesa is available now on Steam Early Access for $19.99.
Source: Rock, Paper, Shotgun