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Black Mesa developers reveal new details on Xen chapter

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picture showing a cave in black mesa: xen
Black Mesa: Xen

Crowbar Collective have shared more details on their unofficial Half-Life remake - Black Mesa. Over the past month, the devs completed the structure of the Gonarch chapter while big improvements have been made to the last boss Nihilanth.

Fan-made Half-Life recreation dubbed Black Mesa is nearing completion with the last chapter Xen currently in the work by the developers at Crowbar Collective. In their latest post shared via Steam, the developers offer a look at the progress made in January 2019.

The biggest effort went into adding textures and artwork to the Gonarch mini-boss chapter which is now up for some animation work. The update also includes a short GIF which offers a hint at Gonarch cinematic physics.

Additionally, final boss Nihilanth is getting ready for the final release. According to the update, the developers "have made huge strides with the end boss of Xen".

Lead programmer Chetan Jaggi and lead animator Nate Ayres have joined forces to build an entire set of features for Nihilanth, including multiple attacks, defences and effects while AI has also been improved.

Crowbar Collective said that all these features are now being balanced and polished for the final build. They mentioned that this will be the last update on the final boss, as they don't want to spoil anything and would rather let players discover the surprises.

There are also some "before and after" screenshots included which compare the old Xen shots from October 2018 to the latest ones. It's fair to say that the developers did a great job with art and lighting.

Crowbar Collectivepicture showing screenshots from xenXen comparison

Black Mesa's Xen release date was planned for December 2017 but the developers had to delay the game multiple times. At the moment they seem confident that their creation will finally drop sometime in Q2 2019.

The remake was originally announced way back in 2004 when the plan was to release the game on Counter Strike's Source engine. Since then, the developers switched to the more recent Orange Box version in 2007 before settling for 2013's Source engine.

You can check the update on Black Mesa Steam News page.