Black Mesa (mod)

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The subject matter of this article was conceived by third-party developers and is therefore deemed both non-canon and non-official. It cannot be used as a relevant source in articles on official subjects.

For other uses, see Black Mesa (disambiguation).

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Black Mesa Source logo.svg
Black Mesa

Black Mesa team

Release date(s)

September 14, 2012[1]


First-person shooter, action-adventure, science fiction


Single-player, multiplayer


Windows, Mac OS X


Keyboard and mouse




Joel Nielsen

"Run. Think. Shoot. Live. Source."
Black Mesa tagline, a nod to Half-Life’s original tagline[src]

Black Mesa (previously known as Black Mesa: Source) is both a third-party total conversion mod for Half-Life 2 and remake of the original Half-Life. Its first part, including the Half-Life storyline up to the chapter Lambda Core, was released on September 14, 2012.[1] The ultimate goal of the mod is to recreate the original Half-Life from the ground up, using the advanced capabilities of the Source engine to create a new and more engrossing in-game world with more varied, complex environments and more challenging, realistic gameplay.

Black Mesa requires the free Source SDK Base 2007 to work and is available at no charge.[2] The release date for the project was originally set for 2009, but was delayed,[3] gaining the mod the status of vaporware,[4] until it was eventually released in September 2012, causing the official website to crash.[5] The mod also features 25 Achievements.


[edit] Overview

Black Mesa, whose development began in November 2004, was born of the discontent fans experienced when playing Half-Life: Source; when considering the living environment Valve created with Half-Life 2 using the Source engine, the original game fell far short of what many players thought could be done with the software, basically being a straight port, except for improved water and lighting effects along with the inclusion of ragdoll physics. According to the developers, "Black Mesa: Source was built and founded on the principle that Half-Life: Source did not do the original title enough credit... [Black Mesa] set out to reconstruct the original title, giving it new environments, models, and abilities.".

Black Mesa features original textures, models, sounds, voice acting, and music (composed and produced by the mod's sound designer, Joel Nielsen; fully available here) designed specifically for the mod. However the developers intended to preserve all of the gameplay elements from the original game, without adding entirely new enemies, weapons, or levels. The game uses Half-Life 2 models with custom textures, such as the crowbar, the Colt Python, the Headcrab, the Barnacle or the crow.[6]

Most likely due to the amount of publicity given to an unofficial third-party mod, Valve Corporation privately asked the producers of the mod to remove the "Source" part from the title to avoid confusion on whether it is an official Valve product or not. Valve also states that they are "just as excited to play Black Mesa as everyone else".

At some point, a remake of Half-Life: Uplink was planned, but it was eventually made by another person.

On November 19, 2013, the fifteenth anniversary of Half-Life's release, the developers announced that the complete version of the mod would be made available for purchase on Steam. There will also be a free version with minor differences from the paid version. The mod is also going to be on a "new engine" related to Source, but no more information has been released on this subject due to the contract with Valve.

[edit] Awards and recognition

[edit] Awards

  • Mod DB Best Website Design of 2004 (3rd place)[7]
  • Mod DB - Top Unreleased Mod for 2005[8]
  • Mod DB - Top Unreleased Mod for 2006[9]
  • Vaporware 2009: Inhale the Fail (4th place)[10]
  • Vaporware 2010: The Great White Duke (4th place)[11]
  • Mod DB - Mod of the Year 2012[12]

[edit] Honorable mention

  • Mod DB - Honorable mention for Top Unreleased Mod for 2007[13]
  • Mod DB - Honorable mention for Top Unreleased Mod for 2008[14]
  • Mod DB Players Choice - Best Upcoming Mod 2009[15]
  • Mod DB Players Choice - Best Upcoming Mod 2010[16]

[edit] Gallery

While the official website is the main source for most official images, all personal websites of the respective team members also provide further, exclusive images. The screenshots section is no longer updated, however new media is often uploaded to the Black Mesa wiki.

Note that the following images predate the mod's release and thus may sometimes differ from the final product.

[edit] Screenshots

[edit] Models

[edit] Weapons

[edit] NPCs

[edit] Vehicles

[edit] Other

[edit] Concept art

[edit] References

[edit] External links

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