As Half-Life turns 20, Black Mesa unveils a reimagined Xen

Gee, man! 

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 pièce de résistance of Half-Life remake Black Mesa. But Black Mesa's Xen is much more than a simple remake of Half-Life's Xen.

Black Mesa's Xen consists of almost entirely new and original content, and lasts six hours rather than about half-an-hour, as in Half-Life 1. It's gorgeous too - looking every bit a 2018 game rather than retro remake.

The new!

And the old.

And the old, part two. Gonarch, the boss headcrab alien thing, you can see in the Black Mesa trailer above.

But it's not quite done. "Our goal is to release Xen on Steam in Q2 2019," wrote developer Crowbar Collective in a Steam update post. "This will allow us to finish Xen to a place where the entire product is stable, smooth, and most importantly... fun!"

You don't have to wait for Xen in order to play Black Mesa - it's on Steam Early Access now, and has been for a few years. It's a project which has been around for yonks, and it occupies a fascinating position as a total remake of a Valve game which Valve said OK, you can sell it as a standalone game (even though it's our game you're effectively reselling).

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our policy.

Jump to comments (42)

Games in this article

About the author

Robert Purchese

Robert Purchese

Senior Staff Writer  |  Clert

Bertie is senior staff writer and Eurogamer's Poland-and-dragons correspondent. He's part of the furniture here, a friendly chair, and reports on all kinds of things, the stranger the better.


You may also enjoy...

Far Cry 6 narrative director issues statement after politics backlash

"Our story is political. A story about a modern revolution must be."

Destiny 2 Vault of Glass guide, changes and everything else you need to know about the returning raid

Our complete walkthrough for Destiny's Vault of Glass raid, complete with boss strategies and combat tips.

Comments (42)

Comments for this article are now closed. Thanks for taking part!

Hide low-scoring comments

Buy things with globes on them

And other lovely Eurogamer merch in our official store!

Eurogamer Merch