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Black Mesa (Source)/en

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Black Mesa Black Mesa (formerly known as Black Mesa: Source. BM or BMS for short) is the Half-Life 2 Half-Life 2 total conversion that attempts to remake the original Half-Life Half-Life game. Utilizing the Source Source engine to completely update and enhance the experience, Black Mesa throws you into the world that started the Half-Life continuum and introduced Dr. Gordon Freeman to the world as a gun-toting, bullet-dodging PhD. in theoretical physics.

Black Mesa was built and founded on the principle that Half-Life: Source Half-Life: Source did not do the original title enough credit, regardless of the true intentions laid out with the release of Half-Life: Source. Subsequently in November 2004, Black Mesa was founded and set out to reconstruct the original title, giving it the new environments, models, and abilities it deserved on the Source engine.

There are two distinct releases of this game:

Black Mesa Beta
Also commonly referred as Black Mesa Black Mesa 2012 or the mod version of Black Mesa. This version of the game originally released on September 14, 2012, and it is available for free on ModDB, GameFront and many other websites, aswell through BitTorrent protocol via its official website Download Manager. It only contains the unpolished Earthbound levels with old graphics, sounds, music and textures, and lots more bugs. This version runs off of the Source 2007 engine branch, and requires the Source SDK Base 2007 installed to run, which is only supported on Windows Windows. As of today, the official website no longer host the original Download Manager containing those mirror links, but some of the mirror links (such as ModDB), remains active to this day.
Note.pngNote:When playing this version of Black Mesa, remember to save frequently. Memory leaks can happen often when playing on the highest texture setting. This version also have a bug that can cause the FPS (framerate) to drop, especially during the end of the Lambda Core chapter, which can be triggered by saving and reloading the map.
Black Mesa: Definitive Edition
This is the current version available for purchase on Steam, released in May 2015 as Early Access and completed in 6 March 2020. It contains both the Earthbound and Xen levels, as well as Multiplayer mode, Surface Tension Uncut and Steam Workshop support. This is a standalone product that runs on its own version of the Source 2013 Multiplayer engine branch, using Team Fortress 2 as a base, dubbed 'Xengine Xengine'. Officially supported on Windows Windows and Linux Linux + SteamOS SteamOS.
Icon-Bug.pngBug:The HUD glow effect seen in the screenshots lower on this page does not render for some users with AMD cards. This can be fixed by running the game in DXVK mode (currently unavailable due to antivirus false positives

The Black Mesa Team

Black Mesa has brought together some very talented, professional, and dedicated developers. The skillset is very noticeable, from level design to modeling to conceptual art to programming. With more than 30 members, the team behind Black Mesa is representative of a new age in third-party development. For a full-date team roster, personal portfolios, and job assignments, stop by the official Black Mesa website.


The game features a branch of Source known as Xengine. It is a custom hybrid of several current branches of Source and includes many features from each. The BM branch authoring tools have been released and are available directly from the game's bin folder.

  • Redesign and overhaul all chapters of the original Half-Life, including the Xen portion.
  • Models now take advantage of increased polycount limits and normal mapping technology making deadly opponents and friendly coworkers appear more real.
  • An all-new face creation system that allows each character to have a unique, artist-created face.
  • A completely original soundtrack and music library bringing Half-Life's themes and feelings to life in the new sounds engine built into the Source Engine.
  • AI that will hunt you by sight and sound.
  • Normal, bump, and specular maps built into textures giving flat surfaces a new, more dynamic look.
  • A multiplayer mode allowing for deathmatch and team deathmatch experience with the complete Half-Life 1/Black Mesa arsenal at your disposal.
  • Steam Workshop implementation and full support for modders.
  • Powerful Dynamic Lighting System.


Like the original Half-Life Half-Life, Black Mesa contains the same exact chapters, the difference is that most levels are completely rebuilt, such as majority of On a Rail chapters were cut and all Xen chapters looking different, plays out differently and much longer than the original. Originally, Black Mesa was released in 2012, as a mod without the Xen chapter included, the same still applies to the Steam version released in 2015, lasted until 2019 when a beta version on Steam containing these chapters are now available, and fully released alongside the 1.0 Update in 2020, leaving Early Access. Some part of Surface Tension was also cut until 2016, these part was added back under the name "Surface Tension Uncut".

Releases and updates

September 14, 2012: Black Mesa was released as a Source 2007 Source 2007 mod, and requires Source SDK Base 2007 installed in order to play. It can be downloaded from the (formerly) many mirrors available on the official website for free. This version has received no further updates. The original version can be download here: Part 1 Part 2 More mirrors
May 5th 2015: The mod was released as a standalone game on Steam as an early access game, upgraded to a modified Source 2013 Multiplayer Source 2013 Multiplayer with Team Fortress 2 Team Fortress 2, Left 4 Dead Left 4 Dead and Portal 2 Portal 2 code and additions. It does not require installation of any versions of Source SDK Base in order to play the game.
May 15, 2016Surface Tension Uncut was released, which expanded the Surface Tension chapters that were previously cut in the original release. One new music track (Surface Tension Uncut) was also added specifically for that chapter.
June 26, 2019Most Xen chapters are available in the Beta branch of the game, with some chapters slowly rolling out with an update. Around this time the MSAA anti-aliasing was removed in favor of FXAA, due to a minor issue[1] caused by the new deferred lighting, but it can be re-enabled using the mat_antialias command[confirm].
March 6, 2020: The Steam version left early access with the 1.0 Update, which comes with all Xen chapters. The game menu and UI now defaults to Qt-based interface, instead of VGUI.
VGUI remains available as of today, which can be reactivated by launching the game with -oldgameui, in-case if the Qt interface isn't working properly or having performance issues/bugs, but please note that some new features are missing with the old VGUI interface.
November 28, 2020: Version 1.5 was released, making Black Mesa the Definitive Edition.
April 16, 2024: A new update named Necro Patch was released, which adds Vulkan renderer using DXVK, alongside improved controller support, bug fixes and more. This release also drops support for older versions of Windows (7, 8, 8.1).


External links


1. Xen Technical Beta and Screenshot by [TC]Ciaиєz ITA:

Known Issues - Haloing Around Props/Object
MSAA is causing outlines around certain objects. MSSA is a performance killer and we hope to have a better solution for anti-aliasing with the Xen release. To remove the haloing/outline, simply turn off MSAA. Retrieved May 10, 2024.