Relive Half-Life in this highly acclaimed, fan-made recreation
Recent Reviews:
Very Positive (346) - 91% of the 346 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Very Positive (10,167) - 93% of the 10,167 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
May 5, 2015

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Making a game with the scope and scale of Black Mesa is a massive undertaking. Back in 2012 we made the decision to release what we had completed up to that point, and were blown away by the community’s response, feedback, and improvements to our work. We want to keep that relationship alive and well by using Early Access as a tool for allowing our community to participate in the final phase of Black Mesa’s development.

In addition, our ambitions go beyond the original Xen chapters found in Half-Life. We have a standard of quality that we have to achieve. Early Access allows us to commit resources to bring you the remaining chapters with the quality that you expect.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“We currently have the first ~85% of our single player campaign completed (8-12 hours). For the last 15% we want to not only recreate it, but improve upon it to make it an enjoyable and memorable experience.

We plan to have the game out of Early Access in 2018.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“The conclusion of the single player campaign, with the addition of the Xen chapters
Final polish on the Earth-based chapters of the single player campaign”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“Over 8-12 hours of single player campaign. Multiplayer deathmatch and team deathmatch with 8 completely re-imagined Half-Life 1 maps on the Source Engine.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“Black Mesa will be $19.99 USD during the Early Access phase. This price will not change after we move out of Early Access.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We intend to work closely with our community as we complete the final portions of Black Mesa. We started out as a modding team aiming to do true justice to a Half-Life: Source port, and we won’t forget our roots.

The Black Mesa game hub and forums will be the primary points of interaction with our users. Many team members regularly browse these areas to discuss ideas with the community, and to show progress on game development. Community feedback will be sorted into groups and taken into account as we develop.

We also support Steam Workshop, and will be watching and encouraging developments there.”
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Recent updates View all (25)

December 23, 2017

Steam Sale, December Update, and Patch Notes

Happy Holidays, and happy Steam Winter Sale everyone! Black Mesa is currently $4.99, our largest discount yet.

We released an update for Black Mesa (currently on public beta) that adds real-time dynamic lights, lens flares, god rays, and a host of other features to the existing earthbound sections of the game. The goal of this update is to get the released version of the game as close to our internal build as possible. This way, the final Xen release can be closer to a simple map drop; with less potential for engine and code issues affecting players on their first time playing Xen. We are hoping to test the engine and solve all feature and performance problems before the real release, so that everyone can enjoy our definitive vision of the game without issues.

As promised, here is an update on where we are at with developing the Xen chapters.

We are striving to make sure Xen is fun, well thought-out, and cohesive. Each chapter has its own theme and artstyle, and we are developing them in parallel to ensure they are all at the same high standard of quality. Xen, in its current form, is made up of 14 maps across these final 5 chapters, with each map alone being significantly larger than the originals. We are putting our full effort into completing Xen in a timely manner so that everyone can have the complete Black Mesa experience!

Screenshots From the Update

Upcoming Feature
Improved Prop Lighting
While developing Xen, we realized the existing Source lighting just wasn't accurate enough. In the original Source, up to 4 lights are allowed per object and there is no self-shadowing. This works fine for small or medium sized objects, but for something like a massive, detailed rock archway, the limitations appear. In the screenshot, the vines hanging under the arch do not appear properly in shadow, and the arch looks strangely flat because only 4 light samples are being taken.

Our new static lighting supports all the nearby lights in the scene, self-shadows correctly, and also works seamlessly with both our new skydome lighting and our new dynamic lights. This makes a big difference "merging" the objects with their environment.

Left is the old style of prop lighting, Right is the new:

The new lighting is much less flat overall, displays colours which are truer to the scene’s real tone, and shadows in a much more appealing and realistic manner.

Patch Notes

New Features
Dynamic Lights - Full featured dynamic lights that are able to cast real time shadows, project textures, and emit volumetric light (godrays). These have been implemented across earthbound to help amp up the visual fidelity and “nextgen-ness”.

Lens Flares - New entity that creates a lens flare with customizable colors, styles, and effects. These have been implemented across earthbound too; only on lights we deemed very bright or important enough to warrant a lens flare.

Overhauled CSM and Godrays - Cascade Shadow Maps (CSM) have been totally rewritten and now run better than before. Godrays are completely overhauled to run smoother and operate off of a new entity that automatically gets the sun angle from the environment light.

New Crossbow Scope - Crossbow scope no longer uses an in game camera to zoom in. This makes the scope easier to aim and increases performance by removing a second rendering pass. It also fixes a number of visual bugs with using the scope throughout the game.

Image Based Ambient Lighting - Lighting can now be generated based off of the skybox image. This allows mappers to have significantly more accurate environmental lighting, which automatically takes into account the nuances and difference colours of the sky. This is unlike any other version of Source, where environment lighting is simply one flat colour picked by the mapper.

4 Way Texture Support - 4 way texture blends are now supported in engine, each with their own bump map, specular map, and procedural blending options. This allows for much more variety in texturing natural landscapes, as most older versions of Source only support 2 way texture blends.

Color Correction - All existing earthbound maps now utilize color correction.

Better Hammer Compiles - Hammer now uses current windows themes and the compiler does not block you from continuing to use Hammer; running in a separate batch window (similar to CSGO).

Added Support for $treesway - Props can now move in the wind using tree sway. This creates more much more dynamic looking natural environments, with a very small performance cost.

Implemented Hammer Instance Support - Hammer can now instance other VMFs to support modular level design.

Improved Blood Particles - Updated and improved blood particle effects for NPCs, to not look as blocky and unrealistic.

New Long Jump Mechanics - Modified long jump mechanics to be more similar to modern day games (press “jump” twice to long jump). Added a long jump recharge meter and “mana” mechanic to keep people from spamming long jump in both single and multiplayer (the long jump has a limited charge, with a medium base recharge rate, and the jumps consume this charge). Added a small “pop jump” mechanic to allow course corrects while player is mid air.

Dynamic Light Implementation - Moved all existing old Source dynamic lights over to our new dynamic lights system. This should improve visuals and reduce hitching when a dynamic light is activated (such as explosions, flashlight, Xen portal, muzzle flash, etc).

Doubled Source Displacement Limit - Max number of displacements allowed per map from 2048 to 4096. This allows the creation of more detailed and expansive natural outdoor environments.

Fixed Hammer Shaded Textured View - No more horrendous fullbright mapping!

Bug Fixes

Fixed HECU not holding weapons correctly

Fixed scientist ties jiggling out of control when FPS is low

Fixed instances where Vort would not react to player

Fixed ragdoll errors after loading a saved game

Fixed rappelling HECU sometimes getting stuck in Osprey

Fixed helicopter rockets getting stuck underwater

Fixed grenade throw mechanics, grenades should be much easier to throw now

Fixed crash from blowing up zombie HECU

Fixed HECU turrets not shooting at zombie HECU

Added IK (Inverse Kinematics) setup on Houndeye/Bullsquid

Fixed Houndeye hitboxes, ragdoll, and gibs

Added glow back to Houndeye’s blue stripes

Fixed skinning on Houndeye

Fixed player being able to pick up assassin’s pistol

Fixed and improved Alien Controller AI and combat

Fixed Agrunt hornet tracking to be more fair, making the Agunts more fun to fight

Updated Vort eyes

Fixed Vorts getting stuck after loading a save game

Added HUD icon for players using voice chat in multiplayer

Added hit indicators in multiplayer

Fixed UI spectate bugs in multiplayer

Increased crossbow zoom sensitivity in multiplayer

Fixed satchel being able to be thrown through the ground

Fixed TOW launchers in Crossfire breaking if you moved them too much

Fix fast weapon switch getting turned off in multiplayer

Fixed ent_create not respecting sv_cheats

Fixed filter_damage being able to crash servers

Temporarily removed blood on weapons and hands, to fix the engine hitching when the effect is first applied

Fixed Tau firing with limited ammo. The Tau will not longer auto fire if you do not have enough ammo for a full charge.

Fixed Tau overcharge not hurting the player

Fixed soundscapes not playing underwater

Fixed maps crashing if there were no lights in VMF

Fixed UI errors with certain translation files (Russian, Chinese)

Fixed shotgun shells disappearing during reload animation

Fixed missing translations in Italian closed captions

Split last map of Lambda Core into two maps, for better performance

Fixed VRAD to always pay attention to “Disable Vertex Lighting” in Hammer

Fixed crossbow aiming too high when zoomed in

Fixed various crashes and bugs when using the workshop tools

Known Issues
Dynamic light shadows sometimes flicker

Wall decals sometimes flicker

Props sometimes “pop” with different lighting values

Shadows from dynamic lights sometimes flicker on surfaces tangent to light, or when light is moving very fast

When using dynamic light godrays, the game is slightly blurred

Player occasionally gets stuck in Inbound tram when turning corner; issue fixes itself

Cameras in game are off angle

Gman gibs are wrong in multiplayer

Crossbow will force you to descope after firing a shot in multiplayer

-The Black Mesa Team

499 comments Read more

November 24, 2017

Bad News, Good News

Straight to the bad news: we are pushing back the release of Xen. We are truly sorry for getting everyone's hopes up and then delaying... again. We worked very hard to make December, but we are not yet ready. As a team, we take FULL responsibility for that. We have an internal deadline we are confident in, and we will be getting everyone more details as we get closer to that date.

Thank you again to our community and Early Access supporters. The funding from Early Access has allowed us to hire many new talented developers, and has allowed older developers to put more time in the project. Simply put, Xen has proven to be an enormous undertaking, and while we are managing it to the best of our ability, it is proving to take longer than we estimated.

The good news is that we will be releasing a large update in December to test all of the new features that have been developed for Xen. We have changed a number of things within the Source Engine, and we want to make sure they all work on the myriad of PCs out there. By enabling the new tech on the Earthbound section of the game, we can get the engine/code fully stabilized on Steam before we drop the final chapters.

In December we will also have an update on where our Xen chapters stand, show some additional media, and deploy the engine update.

Here are some features that will be in the update:

Lens Flare
We've created a custom lens flare entity, and have added lens flares to important light sources in the game. Don’t worry, we will spare your eyes and not go overboard with our new lens flare tech. We think it adds a nice layer of polish to the Earthbound lighting and we hope to use it to really sell the alien feel of Xen... and add endless frustration to the debate about whether or not Gordon wears a helmet.

Dynamic Lights
We’ve shown some dynamic lights in the last update. Here are a few other sections that got the dynamic light treatment. Lights can simply cast light, cast shadows, and even cast volumetric godrays.

Security Joop with Dynamic Lights and Lens Flares

OAR Rocket Launch with Dynamic Shadows, Light Rays, and a Lens Flare

4 Way Texture Blends
We incorporated a 4 way texture blending system like the one seen in Counter Strike: Global Offensive, and improved upon it. Our level designers have 4 texture layers to blend, each with its own bump map and environment map (SSBM OR Normal Bump). Like other versions of the shader, level designers and artists can blend between the 4 layers procedurally using light and dark values of the diffuse textures.

Image Based Ambient Lighting
Lighting can now be generated from the image of the skybox texture. This gives level designers a very quick and accurate base lighting for outdoor maps. The example below has just a light_env in the scene, with no colors. All colored lighting is created automatically from the skybox image.

CSM and Godray Performance
We’ve improved the performance on Cascade Shadow Maps and Godrays and made them both more straightforward to implement on the Hammer side. Godrays are now placed with our newLight_Dir entity and automatically get ray angles from the light_env. Rays not only run better, but look smoother as well.

Environment Light Godrays

Rays From New Dynamic Lights

Xen Concept Art
Concepts as seen in PCGamer. In addition to the Xen screenshots we have released, these Interloper concepts highlight the difference in environment types we have.

Black Mesa 60% Off
We are also on sale until November 28th for the Steam Thanksgiving sale!

Stay Tuned
We will have a bunch more information next month!

(Old SFM Test By James McVinnie)
1232 comments Read more
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“This is Half-Life updated just enough to make it palatable for contemporary tastes, but not so much as to deviate from the original vision.”
YES – Kotaku

“Black Mesa Source winds up being exactly what it always promised to be – a modernised, faithful recreation of a deservedly landmark first-person shooter.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“It's a brilliant tribute to one of the greatest videogames ever made, and it's also a good game in its own right.”
8/10 – Destructoid

About This Game

Relive Half-Life in this highly acclaimed, fan-made recreation.

Main Info
Black Mesa is the award winning fan-made re-imagining of Gordon Freeman's landmark journey through the Black Mesa Research Facility. Relive Half-Life, Valve Software's revolutionary debut, and experience the game that raised the bar for the entire game industry all over again!

Key Features
Nostalgia has never felt so fresh - Expect tremendously detailed environments, old-school tough-as-nails combat, and a gripping story with memorable characters. The all-new soundtrack, voice acting, choreography and dialogue create a more expansive and immersive experience than ever before!

Heavily updated single player experience - The over 10 hour single player experience has greatly improved from the mod release; new visuals, new voice over, updated gameplay encounters, stability changes and more. Xen is not part of the Early Access release, but will be included as a free update when it is ready.

Black Mesa Multiplayer - Fight with or against your friends, in two game modes across 10 iconic maps from the Half-Life universe including Bounce, Gasworks, Stalkyard, Undertow and Crossfire!

Custom Modding Tools & Workshop - Use the same tools as the developers! Create your own mods, modes and maps for Black Mesa and Black Mesa Multiplayer and then share your work, and subscribe to others, on the Steam Workshop!

Complete Steam Integration - Collect the full set of trading cards, backgrounds, emoticons, and achievements! Steam Cloud, Steam Workshop and partial controller support!

Run. Think. Shoot. Source..

System Requirements

SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows® 7 (32/64-bit)/Vista or Greater
    • Processor: 2.4 Dual Core Processor or Greater
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB Dedicated Video Card or Greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • OS: Windows® 7 (32/64-bit) or Greater
    • Processor: 3.0 Quad Core Processor or Greater
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2.5 GB Dedicated Video Card or Greater
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.0 or Greater
    • Processor: 2.4 Dual Core Processor or Greater
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 1 GB Dedicated Video Card or Greater
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 14.0 or Greater
    • Processor: 3.0 Quad Core Processor or Greater
    • Memory: 6 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 2.5 GB Dedicated Video Card or Greater
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 15 GB available space
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