Black Mesa finally launched on March 6, 2020, with Valve’s full blessing to profit from the fan-made re-imagining of Half-Life: many readily consider it to frankly be the closest we’ll get to Half-Life 3 unless Hell freezes over.
Today, at the beginning of the Steam Autumn Sale, Crowbar Collective (a fitting name for a studio that began with a hearty dedication to Half-Life) announced Black Mesa: Definitive Edition as a free update.
This isn’t a tacked-on DLC, this is a full dive through the entirety of the title to update almost everything from textures to lighting, and the game looks frankly amazing for it.
There is a notable difference in the first level alone; that it coincides with the Steam Autumn Sale means that you can grab the entirety of the fully-released package for half-off until December 1st.
Crowbar Collective notes that they’ll continue to support the title by fixing major bugs and known issues, stopping short of announcing any further content. This may mean that Crowbar Collective is already eyeing their next title, whether a new IP entirely or yet another re-imagining of a classic and beloved piece.
We are happy to announce that we are releasing our final big update to Black Mesa as a free “Definitive Edition” update. Since March, we have worked to polish the game in terms of both art and design.
Read the details here: https://t.co/VzZKZuIwsS
— Black Mesa (@BlackMesaDevs) November 25, 2020
With the Definitive Edition comes a reported better optimization for lower-end computers, although that’s frankly far more difficult to test than lighting fixes and art polish. It also brings about full Steam Workshop support.
This is arguably one of the biggest points if the Steam community decides to run with it, as Counter-Strike itself came from a mod of Half-Life back when first-person shooters were still in its infancy (and weren’t the best experiences, truth be told; try aiming using arrow keys instead of a mouse).
The final plume in the hat of Black Mesa: Definitive Edition is a game-wide look at checkpoints and altering the system to stymie frustrating deaths that would have players stuck in an endless loop on specific segments.
Note that there are still some bugs that need to be ironed out (noticeable in multiplayer currently), but as it stands Black Mesa: Definitive Edition is the complete package for anyone that has been chomping at the bit for more Mr. Freeman and the iconic orange crowbar that he readily wields against the unknown powers that be.
It’s also unlikely that there would be a better time to dive into this, prior to Crowbar Collective announcing their next project; if it’s anything close to how Black Mesa turned out, we’re in for a treat.