Developer Crowbar Collective is still hard at work on the final chapters of Black Mesa and the full release of the game. Today, via a blog post on Steam, we got an update on what was completed over the past month on Xen.
The remaking of Xen from Valve’s Half-Life is all that remains in Crowbar Collective’s effort to fully re-imagine the late-90s classic– and to launch out of early access.
Xen is the alien world that many of your enemies throughout the game originate from. While this portion of the game was only a short epilogue in the original release, Crowbar Collective seeks to transform it into a five-chapter experience.
Over the course of January, the development team completed the structure of the Gonarch chapter (one of the mini-bosses). Further changes to this chapter are now in the hands of the animators, “who will take the artists hard work and destroy it!” In addition, Black Mesa’s developers have shared a few more tantalizing details about the game’s final boss battle with the Nihilanth:
“Our lead programmer Chetan Jaggi and lead animator Nate Ayres have worked together to build out an entire feature set of attacks, defenses, AI, as well as effects for the Nihilanth. Now we’re balancing all these features and building the planned finale. I’d normally say “more to come” but we probably won’t have any more updates on this last fight as we want to keep it a surprise for everyone.”
We also know from December’s progress update that players can expect this final battle to be “more interactive and dynamic” than it was originally in Half-Life.
Some of the best news implied in today’s update is that the final release date of Black Mesa (complete with Xen) remains the same. Originally announced on Nov. 19 (Half-Life’s 20th birthday), the Xen chapters of Black Mesa are still set to release in “Q2 2019” for PC.
Head to the full blog post to view before-and-after images highlighting massive lighting upgrades, and below you can check out the official trailer for the Xen chapters of Black Mesa.