Like some fans, I’ve come to accept that unfortunately, we just won’t be getting closure in the form Half-Life 3 (or even Episode 3 for that matter). Still, that hasn’t stopped some fans from keeping the Half-Life series relevant. Take Crowbar Collective’s Black Mesa mod, which looks to recreate the game using the Source Engine. The team has been at work since 2012, and was scheduled to release the highly-anticipated Xen levels in December of this year. Unfortunately, in a new post by project lead Adam Engels, that release is being delayed.
In the post, Engels gets to the bad news right away, stating that the team worked “very hard” to make the December release, but that the levels aren’t to the point of release. “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.”
However, all is not lost, as Engels also talks about what other things will be in the December update, including the new features that are being 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.”
Among the new features (which you can check out in Engels’ post) include a custom lens flare entity, dynamic lights, a 4-way texture blending system (similar to the one seen in Counter Strike: Global Offensive), and Image-Based Ambient Lighting. Also, the mod itself is currently 60% off until November 28th. So, if you’re interested in revisiting the original Half-Life (which is creeping up on its 20th birthday), this is probably the way to do it (for now).