Black Mesa is now a complete game.
Black Mesa Xen

It's a Christmas miracle. After literally years of delays, an incomplete mod release, over four years in Early Access, multiple delays for Xen itself, and countless changes made over years, Black Mesa is now a mostly complete game on Steam. That's right, the team finally released Xen for Black Mesa.

The Black Mesa development team released the missing Xen content that has been absent from the Black Mesa release for years now. The game is still apparently listed as "Early Access" on Steam, for whatever that's worth these days. You can pick it up on sale right now 20% off during the Steam Winter Sale.

The team does make a note about why this game is still in Early Access. They still apparently need to add in achievements for the Xen levels. Though planned for the 0.91 release, these may be included in the 1.0 release. Speaking of which, the 1.0 release will include final passes for multiplayer, AI, Workshop, and include additional bug fixes and "refinements."

Today's release of Xen is counted as the 0.90 release for Black Mesa. It includes the following changes and additions.

0.9 Change Log
We took in A LOT of feedback from the last beta, and worked hard to get some major improvements to performance in Interloper and other chapters. Here is a comprehensive list of what we have changed and improved in this update.

Thanks as always! The betas have been more valuable they we ever thought possible!

Build Changes
  • Fix for static / screeching sounds - rebuilt the soundcache. Please let us know if this does not resolve issues with static / screeching sounds for you. We think this fix should resolve the issues for everyone but we need reports to know for sure.
  • Fixed Interloper / Nihilanth / Endgame not unlocking correctly.
  • Fixed missing song in On a Rail. This was a bug and not an intentional choice!
  • Fix for the Rare Specimen achievement not triggering in Lambda Core.
  • Fixed some Vort sounds. They were not being properly positioned by the engine, so now will play correct positional sound.
  • Optimized sound code for Controller energy ball attack. Helps with performance, especially when lots of Controllers are attacking you.
  • Fixed "Always Run" (again!)
  • The player will no longer drop items if they are holding them and walk onto a bouncepad. This helps with the purple hat!
  • Fixed incorrectly written / formatted names in Credits. Tidied up some elements of the credits in general.
  • Fixed Sound Effect and Music volume sliders. You can now turn down or up sound effects and music independently. Also added a Master Volume slider that controls overall volume.
  • Last, I am the last...

Gonarch’s Lair
  • Fixed map B mortar related crash. Also fixed crash related to shooting the gonarch mortar in mid air.
  • Reduced Gonarch’s health in the final battle. Health reduced from 3300 → 3000, meaning it now requires 3 less rockets to kill him.
  • Fixed basalt columns in the final fight. There was a bug where the basalt columns in the Gonarch final fight would either deal far too much damage or even one-shot the player.
  • Updated Gonarch death sequence for higher impact.
  • Re-balanced Gonarch final fight on hard difficulty.
  • Fixed incorrect web texture in map C chase. There was a breakable web texture on an unbreakable web which was causing a lot of players to die during the map C chase, because they thought they could go down a route which they actually couldn’t.
  • Various visual and lighting improvements throughout the chapter.
  • Soundscape improvements throughout the chapter for better blending.
  • Fixed RPG colliding with acid mortar fire in Gonarch’s Lair final fight.

  • General optimisations throughout all Interloper maps. This should improve general performance for everyone.
  • Optimized dynamic light settings throughout all Interloper maps. This should improve performance, particularly on lower end systems. In some places this has improved performance quite a lot.
  • Fixed the “no free edicts” crash in map D.
  • Split maps C and D for significant performance gains (10 - 20 fps) on CPU bottlenecked systems. No extra content has been added. Map names used to be Interloper C, C1 and Interloper D. Maps are now Interloper C, C1, C2 and Interloper D, D1.
  • Fixed map A crash.
  • Lighting, player guidance, and pathing improvements across all Interloper maps.
  • Significantly re-balanced elevator fight throughout map D. The fight now starts much slower/easier and ramps up throughout. Controller spawns are much more spaced out, and the dynamic cover system on the elevator has been significantly tweaked to provide much more cover for the player, and variance in where the player is covered from. You now only face a full-on 360 assault of controllers during the final “pull-down” sequence. Otherwise you’ll always have cover.
  • Fixed Controller telekinesis explosive barrels sometimes one-shotting or dealing massive damage to players, and significantly reduced their damage. Changed these barrels from 120 explosive damage + uncapped impact damage (physics) to 45 explosive damage with no impact damage.
  • Many visual and lighting improvements throughout map D.
  • Reduced panel health in elevator fight in map D. All panels should be a bit easier to break now, reducing the amount of time you spend at the “final” stop.
  • Removed cover barriers in the middle of elevator in map D. This makes it easier to path freely around the elevator without getting stuck now.
  • Fixed many spots in map D elevator fight where you could get crushed against walls, killing you for no reason. A lot of players died to this, as there were multiple causes. We have resolved most of these now.
  • Fixed a bug in map D elevator fight where some Controllers could use electrocluster attack. They were not meant to, and this made the fight harder than it was supposed to be, as the electrocluster attack significantly limits your movement.
  • Reduced panel playertouch damage in map D elevator fight. Previously, if one of the spinning panels touched the player, it would break and deal 20 damage. This has now been reduced to 10 damage. This makes the spinny panels more forgiving if you fall into them.
  • Added sirens to closed ceiling doors in map D elevator fight. This should help make players more aware that getting crushed against the ceiling is potentially imminent.
  • Fixed elevator visibly clipping through surrounding geometry.
  • Fixed player clipping in/out of massive healing pool in map D1. It was very hard to climb in/out of the pool, it is now buttery smooth. And there is also now a mega HEV crystal in the middle. This replaces an old (and redundant) healing shower slightly earlier in the level.
  • Fixed some floating props in map D1.
  • Made the parkour pistons alternate in map D1. This makes it a bit easier to climb up if you missed one “upward” timing.
  • Adjusted island positioning on tower top sequence in map D1. This makes it take a little bit longer to get to the tower top from the starting island (giving the sequence a bit more length and pacing), and is also easier to jump around than before.
  • Many visual improvements and tweaks to the tower top sequence in map D1.
  • Split map C1 (conveyor sprint) song. The song is now in 3 parts, so players cannot end up doing the 2nd half of the conveyor sprint with no music playing.
  • Made the map C forcefield hearts glow. We had a bug where these did not glow, so were not attracting player attention as much as they should. This will make them easier to see and understand now.
  • Made map C ledge drop down before machine 3 more clear. We noticed a lot of people got confused here so we removed the top platform.
  • Reduced length of Vort Village intro sequence. Removed an unnecessary wave animation that one of the Vorts does in the introductory sequence, to reduce the amount of time the player has to stand around watching them.
  • Fixed many map skips across the entire chapter. It’s a bit harder now to break maps by totally skipping certain sections or doing some clever jumping.
  • Removed a few illogical healing showers in certain parts of the maps.
  • Fixed broken hologram screens on map B.
  • Fixed lots of pod pile ups across map C. This can also help performance by preventing pods from building up (they are performance hungry).
  • In map B, Vorts will now fear you and run away if you attack them unprovoked.
  • Potentially fixed gibs floating above water in map B2.
  • Fixed B1 first control room controllers that did not attack the player.

  • Fixed Nihilanth voice lines. There was a bug where in Phase 1 he would only use his lines where he tells the player to die.
  • Fixed Nihilanth shield panels (phase 2) not breaking in 1 RPG hit.
  • Fixed Nihilanth song. Increased its volume and stopped it from pausing mid-song.
  • Fixed collision of healing crystals not recessing into ground when crystals do.
  • Nihilanth now has 50% damage resistance in phase 3 scripted intro, so that players cannot cut his health down too far and shorten Phase 3.
  • Disabled the radioactive trigger_hurt when the player gets pulled into Nihilanth at the end of the fight. This fixes a rare bug where players can die after killing Nihilanth.
  • Sped up the final teleport out at the end of the Nihilanth fight. Should make it less likely that players will clip into Nihilanth.
  • Increased effectiveness of Gluon against spinning panels for shield pylon. The Gluon was too ineffective against the shield pylon panels, which didn’t play well considering we taught the player to use the Gluon against these in Interloper. The Gluon now does 1.5x damage against the panels.
  • Buffed Nihilanth mortar attack. Damage is the same, but falloff is reduced significantly, so the player will feel the effect of higher damage if they are stood on the edge of the attack.
  • Buffed Nihilanth energy balls attack. From 8 damage at all phases to 12 damage in phase 1 / phase 2, and 20 damage in phase 3.
  • Buffed Nihilanth telekinesis attack. Doubled speed at which he throws his projectiles at you.
  • Re-balanced Nihilanth fight on hard difficulty. The fight should provide much more of a challenge now on hard difficulty.
  • Fixed glitched clavicle on Nihilanth death animation.

  • Fixed being able to fall out of the tram.
  • Fixed a bug where the player could move around inside the invisible room and cause issues during the good ending.
  • Added teeth shader to gbuffer. This fixes the issue where G-Man’s teeth were rendering in black.

Known Issues
  • Minor exploits and collision bugs. The community has done a great job finding exploits and collision issues. We will be fixing these with the next major update.
  • Glowing pink and green props. Some PCs have a small number glowing props. We hope to have this corrected with a hotfix (requires map recompiles).
  • Saving holding items is broken. If you save while holding a physics object, when you load that save the object will float in air. We also hope to address this in a hotfix soon.
  • Multi colored NPC teeth. The fix above for the teeth being completely black, may cause them to be rainbow colored on some machines. We will investigate.