It would be fair to say that Black Mesa is the Duke Nukem Forever of the Half-Life universe. Initially teased way back in 2005, the total Half-Life remake saw the first section released for free in September last year.
Now the Black Mesa development team are nearing completion of the entire remake, and has now been given the opportunity to allow it to become a full retail product on Steam…
For those of you who’ve been itching to get into the shoes of everyone’s favourite scientist, Black Mesa is a large-scale total remake of the original Half-Life that now allows you to make use of the Source engine’s physics to alter the traditional gameplay.
Speaking in a blog post to announce the Steam release, Carlos Montero, project leader of the Black Mesa team, said; “Black Mesa has been given the opportunity to be sold as a retail product on Steam! This is an incredible honor - one we never expected - but also one we found hard to accept.” Montero continued; “Our decision to sell Black Mesa rests on two key points. One is we believe we can make the game even better by having full access to the Source engine. This lets us tackle and fix limitations instead of working around them. The second is because frankly, our team could really use the financial help.”
The Black Mesa mod should be available soon on Steam for a ‘relatively low price’, but that’s not to say that the team is dropping support for the free mod entirely. The final part of the game set on the alien borderworld of Xen will still be released as a free addition to the initial mod, with Montero saying that the Steam edition is “more about supporting the team and [its] efforts than anything else.”
It’s still some time until the Xen portion of the game is completed, with the Black Mesa dev team admitting that the bizarre alien parallel universe is still some distance from completion, although the switch to a retail release should speed up development somewhat. As well as this the team are planning some interesting new additions, though they are keeping their lips firmly sealed as to what exactly this may entail.
It seems like a fairly unusual step for Valve to essentially grant the team a free license to sell their version of Half-Life, the likes of which we don’t really see in the gaming industry.
Are you still looking forward to the Black Mesa mod’s final release?
What do you think the new additions might be?
Let us know below!