August 2, 2019 Black Mesa’s Xen beta is now live.
Black Mesa, a fan-made Half-Life mod years in the making, is finally nearing completion. Earlier this summer, the game’s developers told fans that a beta for its final chapters was “imminent.” As of early this morning, beta tests for the Xen and Gonarch’s Lair maps have gone live on Steam.
Much of Black Mesa has been available in early access on Steam for several years, but Xen – widely considered to be the least successful part of the otherwise game-changing Half-Life – had been notably absent. Now, thankfully, that’s no longer the case.
In an announcement post last night, the developers announced that they had “pushed all of Xen and Gonarch’s Lair to the public beta branch on Steam.” While the technical beta had been limited to just three maps, a total of nine have been made available as part of this complete package, with Interloper, Nihilanth, and Endgame all set to follow after the beta test.
Further down their announcement post, the team announced that there are several known issues with the beta, and encourage players to report any other problems they find via the project’s Discord server.
The devs say that “we may be a bit quiet with updates as we grind and grind in order to wrap the rest of the game up.” A post from last year suggests they’re already running a little behind schedule. Back in November, a trailer for the final section of the game was released, alongside news that the game would release on Steam “in Q2 2019.”
We’re already a little beyond that, but the team is already on track to hit their more general goal. Black Mesa first released into early access in 2015, but the team behind the mod has been working on it since 2012. They’ve repeatedly proclaimed that the game will release in 2019, so their fully-polished take on Half-Life should be in your hands in the not too-distant future.