They’re waiting for you, in the test chamber… Black Mesa is a Indie fan remake of Valve Software’s outstanding game Half-Life; bringing the classic FPS to a whole new generation of gamers! With a new update titled Black Mesa Definitive Edition recently releasing in a beta stage, featuring a ton of updates and fixes; let’s jump into this instalment of our Indie Highlight!
Black Mesa has been in consistent development by the Indie game studio Crowbar Collective since 2005; and had seen its fully complete release back in March 2020. The initial game is a complete overhaul for Half-Life including enhanced graphics, sounds, performance and a few gameplay modifications; making the fan remake a perfect way to experience Half-Life for new and old fans!
The fan remake is overall a faithful remake, but it isn’t afraid to update the 1998 classic to better fit today’s world of gaming. The story is mostly unaffected aside from a few small changes to help better connect to Half-Life 2. Some gameplay encounters are updated make for more interesting encounters, for better or worse, but ultimately it’s still a similar experience to the classic.
The final section of the game, the alien dimension of Xen, has been entirely remade from scratch; largely being an incredible improvement to the classic game’s most flawed section. With refined gameplay, much better level design and beautiful visuals; the floaty alien dimension becomes an absolute dream to play through. This is the biggest improvement that the Indie remake offers, wrapping up the package as a great way to experience the original Half-Life!
Definitive Edition Details
On October 29th, 2020, Crowbar Collective announced that the beta for Black Mesa: Definitive Edition was available to play just in time for Halloween. The update includes several large updates to some previously criticized levels, the addition of dynamic lighting & brand new art for non-Xen outdoor levels! Almost every level of the game has been improved in one way or another; whether it be lighting, design, enemy encounters and more!
For example, one of the older missions known as “Power up” has received a full rework; mostly visually, but with some level design fixes as well. With a focus of “cause and effect” gameplay, players will find themselves through a darkened facility to turn the lights on; having to face down the Gargantua and power up the tram. This mission will show off the new dynamic lighting updates more than any other!
The team has made a few other important updates, such as designated supply boxes; which will always contain health and armour or both! They have also fixed an absolute insane amount of bugs and design issues throughout the game; such improved AI, known glitches, visual issues and much more.
There are also some big UI updates that drastically improve the experience, such as a button to leave a match, crouch toggle, key binding for controller and Keyboard and many more! Additionally they updated their Steam Workshop support which now allows mods to be accessed at a push of a button; making for a better experience for those interested in using mods.
For many Black Mesa is certainly the best way to experience the original Half-Life! To learn more about the vast list of updates, upgrades and bug fixes that Black Mesa Definitive Edition brings; check out the official Black Mesa Steam Page; where the outstanding Indie remake is exclusively available for only $20!
As always, for more Indie Highlights, rankings, reviews and gaming news you can keep up to date at Informed Pixel. Have you played Black Mesa? Let us know of what you think of the fan remake over on the official Informed Pixel Facebook page and on the official Informed Pixel Twitter account!
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