As a fan-made remake of one of the most popular video game franchises of all time, it is only to be expected that the developers of Black Mesa would follow in the footsteps of the original team behind Half-Life as much as possible.
Unfortunately for its fans, that also seems to extend to Valve’s infamously slow development schedule. Although Crowbar Collective released the first teaser trailer for Black Mesa over 8 years ago, it would be another 4 years before the game was released in any kind of playable state. Even today, Black Mesa is still unfinished; the Xen segment that concludes the original Half-Life is in an apparent development limbo after Crowbar announced they would be extending the chapter.
According to a post on the game’s Steam news page, this has been delayed even further:
“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. We do not want to compromise on Xen’s quality in any way. That said, we consider December to be a do-or-die deadline.”
Though certainly disappointing for Black Mesa’s fans, Crowbar did provide a couple of screenshots as a way of apology. Check them out:
To their credit, the developers seem to have done an awesome job of bringing Xen to life. The landscape seems to more closely resemble a deep-sea coral reef than anything from the original game. Considering Xen’s status as the least popular segment of Half-Life, the final release will likely feature some very welcome (and long-awaited) changes.
Crowbar also showed off a couple of updates the studio has been applying elsewhere as well. Black Mesa now has a new dynamic lighting system, as well as some adjusted colors and animations.
Track these changes and more by following the studio on Twitter, where the developers are semi-active in promoting their project and engaging with the community. Further news can be found on Black Mesa’s official website or Steam store page.