After years of waiting, Black Mesa Source has finally been released. Black Mesa is a mod for the Source Engine, which aims to recreate the entirety of the original Half-Life. The game is available for download on the official website, and will eventually be available on Steam as it was one of the ten games to be greenlit through Steam Greenlight.
Those familiar with the original Half-Life will notice that the Xen epilogue levels aren’t included in the first release. This is because the first release is only up till the Lambda Core and gives a complete 8 to 10 hour experience with a solid ending. The team is still working on its own interpretation of the Xen levels and Black Mesa Deathmatch, which would give the players access to the weapons from the original Half-Life in a deathmatch game mode made in the Source engine. The main reason the team is redoing the Xen levels is because the levels in the original game were panned by almost everyone for being nothing more than repetitive platforming levels, and the team behind Black Mesa Source is going to remake the entire Xen segments and give them a larger part in the story of the game.
That marine is going to blow up any second now
Valve’s Source engine is one of the most versatile game and physics engines in the world. Many modders and developers alike have successfully developed great games using the engine, along with Valve itself using the mod for games like the Left 4 Dead series, the Portal series and Half-Life 2 and its episodes, among others.
Earlier this week, the game got some more screenshots that show off some of the most famous levels of the game, including Surface Tension and Blast Furnace. The screenshots show off the graphical power that can be achieved from the Source Engine.
Back in July, Valve had announced that it will be working on porting the Source Engine, along with its popular digital distribution platform Steam, to Linux. The company was also all set to port Left 4 Dead 2 to Ubuntu. Valve had started a developer blog dedicated to the project. “Avoid the rumours and speculations that multiply on the Web. Instead, come to the source – a blog where people who are interested in Linux and open source game development can get the latest information on Valve’s efforts in this arena,” said the first post on the blog. The blog reports that originally, the initial port of Left 4 Dead 2 was only running at 6 FPS. It then had to optimise the code to work better with the Linux kernel and OpenGL; even the graphics driver had to be optimised. After these modifications, the blog reports that Left 4 Dead 2 is running at 303.4 frames per second (FPS) on its high end testing machine. The tests were done on a machine running on Intel Core i7 3930k with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 GPU and 32GB of RAM. On the software side, it used Windows 7 Service Pack 1 64-bit and Ubuntu 12.04 32-bit.
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