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Black Mesa, the seriously impressive recreation of the original Half-Life can finally be completed! Crowbar Collective have put up the big complete Beta. A great way to prepare for the Half-Life: Alyx release next year.

To get in, all you have to do is own Black Mesa on Steam and opt into the "public-beta" branch. Full release notes can be found here. So we're finally closing in on Black Mesa leaving Early Access!

If you just want to jump into the newer Xen levels, you can unlock all chapters quite easily. Go to Options, Keyboard, Advanced, Enable Developer Console. Bring up the console and type "sv_unlockedchapters 19".

A few quick shots of it on Linux:

In the Linux version, if you find it crashes on start try removing the "glshaders.cfg" file found with the game files usually in the "bms" folder. This will clear the Black Mesa cache, which can cause issues as it seems to stick between versions. That fully fixed it for me.

Still needs a lot of optimisations though, even my Intel i7 and NVIDIA 2080Ti went down into single digits a few times while it loaded some bits in and then suddenly super smooth again. This is what a Beta is for though. Xen is certainly visually impressive, Crowbar Collective have done an absolutely fantastic job on updating it.

You can pick up Black Mesa on Steam.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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25 comments
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slaapliedje 11 December 2019 at 6:49 pm UTC
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orochi_kyo"Prepare for Half-Life: Alyx"

This is what I call a dark sense of humor, knowing Alyx was made only for the 1% of the Steam player base.

Cool to live in the first world, have 500-1000$ to buy a VR headset, while the rest of the world somehow PC gamers have to choose between buying that game on sale or paid food or medical bills.

Nice joke Liam, enjoy Alyx.
Who needs food or medical care, just jack into VR and your troubles will fade away, as will your waistline! There are already people playing eSports games until they die, at least do it submerged in a different reality

Anyhow, it is what it is, if you don't have a VR setup, simply you won't be able to play the game and will be relegated to watching someone else play it on YouTube. Kind of the same thing if I find a game I want to play that only ever came out for the Xbox, I'm not going to give MS my money just for one game, I can just watch it on YouTube.
slaapliedje 11 December 2019 at 6:51 pm UTC
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subI hope you all with FPS drops reported to the devs. ;)
It's a beta after all.
Funny thing is for Black Mesa, I have 144hz monitors (well did, recently upgraded to 4k@60) and I couldn't get it to use the G-Sync on Linux, but it was a solid 60fps the entire playthrough (pre-finishing the last levels, since I did it before those dropped).
Faalhaas 15 December 2019 at 1:58 am UTC
FaalhaasFrom then on it is actually runs well natively. I still have to reach outside again to see what happens...
The frame drops seem location specific, like the train scene in the beginning or certain locations in Xen.

What worked for me is playing Black Mesa natively from beginning to end, and only switching to Proton when heavy frame drops occur at a certain location. It keeps the save games during the switch.

This means 95% of Black Mesa beta seems playable natively. ;)
Liam Dawe 23 December 2019 at 11:48 am UTC
orochi_kyo"Prepare for Half-Life: Alyx"

This is what I call a dark sense of humor, knowing Alyx was made only for the 1% of the Steam player base.

Cool to live in the first world, have 500-1000$ to buy a VR headset, while the rest of the world somehow PC gamers have to choose between buying that game on sale or paid food or medical bills.

Nice joke Liam, enjoy Alyx.
Nice overreaction, orochi_kyo.

I've been pretty clear myself, in multiple articles, that I can't even afford VR personally right now. I understand not everyone can, but plenty of people do have it and the amount that do is at least comparable to the Linux market share now. I'm not going to ignore it. We're a news site, we post news and sometimes I play with the title like I did here.

As others said, VR prices have come down and they will continue to if it becomes more popular. You don't have to have the Index to play it, a second-hand Vive would do and the prices of those have gone down dramatically.
slaapliedje 29 December 2019 at 8:50 pm UTC
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Liam Dawe
orochi_kyo"Prepare for Half-Life: Alyx"

This is what I call a dark sense of humor, knowing Alyx was made only for the 1% of the Steam player base.

Cool to live in the first world, have 500-1000$ to buy a VR headset, while the rest of the world somehow PC gamers have to choose between buying that game on sale or paid food or medical bills.

Nice joke Liam, enjoy Alyx.
Nice overreaction, orochi_kyo.

I've been pretty clear myself, in multiple articles, that I can't even afford VR personally right now. I understand not everyone can, but plenty of people do have it and the amount that do is at least comparable to the Linux market share now. I'm not going to ignore it. We're a news site, we post news and sometimes I play with the title like I did here.

As others said, VR prices have come down and they will continue to if it becomes more popular. You don't have to have the Index to play it, a second-hand Vive would do and the prices of those have gone down dramatically.
I found out on Christmas that a 980 GTX chokes terribly on the Index.
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