Black Mesa is Half-Life rebooted

Even though it debuted years ago, one of my all-time favorite FPS games is still Half-Life.

Over the last eight years, fans of the classic franchise have been working on an updated and expanded version of the title using a modern engine to revamp the graphics and gameplay.

The refreshed game – dubbed Black Mesa – is slated to launch as a free download on September 14.  Interestingly, the updated game was coded using programming tools offered by Valve, the same company that originally developed Half-Life.

As expected, Black Mesa boasts improved graphics, optimized physics, immersive environmental effects and a modified storyline. According to project leader Carlos Montero, the development team decided to release a shorter version of Mesa instead of making fans wait for the entire game to be refreshed.

Black Mesa is set in the Half-Life sector of Lambda Core and should take between 8-10 hours to complete. Players will assume control of Gordon Freeman, the protagonist from the original game. The final, as yet uncompleted section will be set in the alien Xen dimension.

Recent story line edits made to the game reportedly improve engaging parts of the storyline while removing slower and more tedious aspects.  If the game turns out to be really popular and a lot of fun to play, I wonder if Black Mesa could be selected by Valve to lead an official development team, perhaps like the DayZ zombie modder being hired directly by Arma for a stand-alone game.