Half-Life Mod Black Mesa Delays Xen Levels, Outlines December Update
The developers of the popular, Black Mesa mod for Half-Life (which rebuilds the game from scratch in the Source engine) have announced they are pushing the much anticipated Xen levels into next year, but will have an update to improve the rest of the game next month.
Seems like just yesterday we were announcing that Black Mesa was going to be releasing soon... in 2012. Since then, the mod has released without the Xen levels, gone from a free mod to a paid product, and made a number of improvements along the way. In the most recent community update for the paid mod, project lead Adam Engels said that while they were hoping to release the last few levels for the game this year, that's not happening. Engels did not announce a new date, but said "we have an internal deadline we are confident in, and we will be getting everyone more details as we get closer to that date."
Instead of the last few levels, the team will release an update that will layer on some new visual effects and features they have been working on concurrently with the Xen levels, and hope to test in December before making them final once Xen releases. This includes lens flares, godrays, and everyone's favorite, four-way texture blends! For the full breakdown of what players can expect next month, head over the game's blog on Steam.
When that update hits, the team will also have additional details about where they stand on the Xen levels, and when players may be able to finally see the journey of this long-awaited mod come to an end.
I played the original Black Mesa mod a while ago and enjoyed it quite a bit - enough that I'm contemplating giving it another go once the new levels hit. Here's hoping they come out when there aren't a ton of major games coming out. Oh, who am I kidding: That's "Always" now.