Hey, remember late on in Half-life, where you got zapped to an alien planet and ended up in gladiatorial combat with a giant,Yes, that was weird, wasn't it?
Well the free mod version of total conversion remake Black Mesa won't contain such a scene, development team Crowbar Collective has revealed in. In fact, it will omit the alien Xen levels of Valve's classic entirely.
The reason for the omission is practical, rather than aesthetic, and only affects the freely available version of the game – buy Black Mesaand you'll eventually get to experience the very weirdest moments in Half-life's history.
“It's impossible,” wrote level designer Joe R, when asked whether Xen would appear in the fee mod. “In order to make Xen look the best it possibly can look, we need to upgrade the engine with new features. These new features will make it incompatible with the mod version.”
“Organic environments are not something the Source engine does particularly well,” designer Jordan F explained in more detail. “Making Xen look as good as we want it to requires lots of improvements to the way the engine handles rendering and lighting. We can't port these changes back to the mod because we don't have source code access to that engine version.”
Which is fair enough. It's a shame the mod version won't ever be a full recreation of the original game, but let's face it; those alien sections were a bit cack, weren't they? I mean, I love Half-life, but it does end with you trampolining on a giant space-baby. It's hardly, is it?
You can grab the Xen-less mod version of Black Mesa