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Half-Life is 20, so watch the impressive first trailer for Black Mesa: Xen

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Holy headcrabs, Half-Life is 20 years old. This makes me feel even closer to death than all the grey hairs I’ve been accumulating. There are lots of ways you could observe this special day—with crowbars primarily—but you also might want to watch the first Xen footage from the Half-Life remake, Black Mesa. It’s been a long time coming. 

In the original Half-Life, our trip to the alien world of Xen is brief and... well, not all it could have been, so Black Mesa developer Crowbar Collective decided to deviate from Valve’s version and expand Xen into a proper misadventure that’s almost the size of a full game just on its own. Check out the impressive trailer below.

20 years has clearly done Xen the world of good.

Crowbar Collective isn’t quite ready to release Xen into the wild, however. The team is looking to launch Xen during the second quarter of next year. It’s finished for the most part but, the developer explains, there’s still room to make it more polished and stable. 

Unlike the rest of Black Mesa, Xen is almost entirely original work, though obviously Half-Life is still the cornerstone. This re-imagining of the alien world will take players around six hours to complete, judging by playtests, and more if you plan on investigating every nook and cranny. 

While you wait, here’s the story of Black Mesa

Fraser Brown
Fraser Brown

Fraser is the UK online editor and has actually met The Internet in person. With over a decade of experience, he's been around the block a few times, serving as a freelancer, news editor and prolific reviewer. Strategy games have been a 30-year-long obsession, from tiny RTSs to sprawling political sims, and he never turns down the chance to rave about Total War or Crusader Kings. He's also been known to set up shop in the latest MMO and likes to wind down with an endlessly deep, systemic RPG. These days, when he's not editing, he can usually be found writing features that are 1,000 words too long or talking about his dog.