The dreams for Half-Life 3 becoming a reality are pretty dead (and considering how some original instrumental developers such as lead writer Marc Laidlaw are no longer with the company, that is probably for the better). However, developer Crowbar Collective has nearly finished their remake to the first Half-Life, called Black Mesa, bringing the game’s graphics up to par with Half-Life 2 and its subsequent episodes (which is honestly all I need). Black Mesa has been in early access, and as of now the first 3/4 of the game are 100% complete. After a 7 month wait from the last trailer, we are finally able to go on hands on with the beginning chapters of the game’s final act, located in the alien dimension, Xen.
As you can see in the gameplay below, the improvement in graphical fidelity speaks for itself. If y0u have been wanting to get into the Half-Life games and don’t care to wait, then I would recommend opting for the original experience first. This upcoming update will provide the first three maps of the ‘Xen’ chapter (with a total of six chapters at completion). The entire Xen campaign will have a total of 19 maps meaning that it will still be quite some time until a full remake is here. It is also worth noting that previously released sections of the Black Mesa campaign have included new areas and encounters, which very well may mean that the Xen chapters will be longer than the original game’s as well.
While it may be worth waiting for the unfamiliar, for pre-existing fans, I can easily recommend giving Black Mesa a go. The game is currently purchasable in early access now and is on sale until July 9th for $7.99. If you currently have the game, you can read on how to opt-in and play the Xen beta right now in the Steam blog post here.