To celebrate Half-Life‘s twentieth birthday today [more on that later today -continuity ed.], the Black Mesa gang have made a new trailer showing progress on their commercial Half-Life fan remake’s final chapters, the alien world of Xen. They also say that they’re now planning to add the Xen chapter in 2019, some time from March to the end of June, so that’s three-ish years after the early access debut of its terrestrial chapters. I am pleased with how alive parts look.
On this day, 20 years ago, Half-Life was released. Makes you feel old, doesn't it? It's because you are old, you wrinkler. November 19th, 1998 - what were you doing then?
Anyway forget that, there's a new Half-Life game in development. No not Half-Life 3, although if Half-Life were 30 years old I could have written "Half-Life 30 today", which for a moment reads as "Half-Life 3", which is really exciting, isn't it?
The new game - or part of a game, really - is Xen, the final piece and pi ce de r sistance of Half-Life remake Black Mesa. But Black Mesa's Xen is much more than a simple remake of Half-Life's Xen.
Holy headcrabs, Half-Life is 20 years old. This makes me feel even closer to death than all the grey hairs I’ve been accumulating. There are lots of ways you could observe this special day—with crowbars primarily—but you also might want to watch the first Xen footage from the Half-Life remake, Black Mesa. It’s been a long time coming.
In the original Half-Life, our trip to the alien world of Xen is brief and... well, not all it could have been, so Black Mesa developer Crowbar Collective decided to deviate from Valve’s version and expand Xen into a proper misadventure that’s almost the size of a full game just on its own. Check out the impressive trailer below.
20 years has clearly done Xen the world of good.
Crowbar Collective isn’t quite ready to release Xen into the wild, however. The team is looking to launch Xen during the second quarter of next year. It’s finished for the most part but, the developer explains, there’s still room to make it more polished and stable.
Unlike the rest of Black Mesa, Xen is almost entirely original work, though obviously Half-Life is still the cornerstone. This re-imagining of the alien world will take players around six hours to complete, judging by playtests, and more if you plan on investigating every nook and cranny.
While you wait, here’s the story of Black Mesa.