Black Mesa is a fascinating case of vaporware that turned into an actual release, proving the doubters wrong in a big way. September 14th saw the release of the long-awaited Black Mesa Half-Life 2 modification after eight years of thankless development from the forty-person development team. That release was met with a lot of excitement and even saw the official website go down due to so many people trying to download the game. That is usually a very good sign for things to come.
If you aren’t hip as to what Black Mesa (formerly known as Black Mesa Source) is, it is an extremely long-awaited total conversion modification to 1998’s legendary Half-Life using the Source engine to not only update the graphics, but also reimagine some of the levels and parts of the story from the original game. This modification comes with the blessing of Valve, the series’ creators, who did re-release Half-Life as Half-Life: Source, but did not put as much effort into the re-release as many of the avid fans believed that they should have. A group of fans with technical know-how and passion decided to take the game that they know and love and give it the re-release that they felt it truly deserved.
Black Mesa uses the Source engine from the 2007 release of the Orange Box and proves that with some ingenuity, hard work and the right support, the droves of angry gamers on the internet can achieve anything that they put their collective minds to. This release only includes up until the Xen level, promising to release the Xen levels in the future. Of course, this project has also famously been accepted into the Steam Greenlight project, which means in the future it will be available on there, but for now, you can head to the Black Mesa homepage and download this, for free, for yourself.