Skip to main content

Black Mesa: Xen is finally out, but it's still in Early Access

(Image credit: Crowbar Collective)

Crowbar Collective has put out a Black Mesa: Xen update today, as well as releasing the Half-Life remake's expansion on Steam, where it was previously only available on the public beta branch. Now you can access it normally and play through every level. Though still technically in Early Access, the full game is available. 

"If you have been holding out for Xen," says the developer, "this is what you have been waiting for." So it seems like it's treating this like a soft launch. And if you've not picked it up, it's also on sale for 20 percent off

Black Mesa: Xen is a greatly expanded reimagining of the terrible Xen section of the original Half-Life. After remaking Gordon Freeman's first adventure, Crowbar Collective set itself the ambitious task of making, essentially, entirely new Half-Life levels from scratch. The result seems to be a vast improvement over its predecessor. 

The next update will take Xen out of Early Access, so Crowbar Collective will be keeping an eye on things to see what needs polishing and fixing, as well adding achievements. It also plans to return to Earth, to Black Mesa, improving it using what the team has learned through Xen's development. 

Check out the patch notes for the latest update here.

Normally this is where I'd make some snarky remark about this being the closest thing we'll get to a new Half-Life, but that's no longer true now that Half-Life: Alyx is coming in March. If you're not into VR, though, then you'll need to stick with Xen for the time being.

Fraser is the sole inhabitant of PC Gamer's mythical Scottish office, conveniently located in his flat. He spends most of his time wrangling the news, but sometimes he sneaks off to write lots of words about strategy games.