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The latest Black Mesa update makes it much smoother on Linux

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With Crowbar Collective enabling a Beta containing the full Black Mesa experience recently, it came with a major performance problem on Linux which now seems to be solved!

Previous to the latest update on the Beta branch, the game at many points would suddenly drop to single-digit frames and it wasn't good. Now though? A different world, the performance is like night and day and it remains smooth.

Here's a few more fresh shots of Xen taken today, it really does look incredible.

The team just recently put a few notes up on what's changed for the Linux version too:

- Added missing A16B16G16R16F Render Target support
- Applied RAM saving patch that is preferring compiling compressed GLSL and linking Vertex and Fragment shaders immediately on demand instead of storing intermediate compiled shaders that linked later
- Raised Audio Buffer size from 48 MiB to 128 MiB for Sound Subsystem to match one in Windows version
- Changed/Introduced shader cache key to automatically invalidate old user's cache stored in glshaders.cfg on either update or switching branches

If you've been living under a rock: Black Mesa is a fan-made and Valve approved recreation of the original Half-Life with much improved graphics and revamped game-play but it still follows the same story. To access the full content, you can opt into the "public-beta" branch on Steam, no password needed. You can find out more about the full beta release here.

You can pick up Black Mesa on Steam.

Still surprises me that Valve let other developers do games like this, it shows how open they are in a way. Personally, I'm glad Black Mesa exists so that newer generations of gamers can enjoy the story of Half-Life with an improved experience given how far computing power has moved on since the original in 1998 and Half-Life: Source from 2004. Not the first time we've seen such a thing though, there's also Half-Life 2: Update that has a lot of bug fixes and some graphical upgrades too.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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23 comments
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Arehandoro 23 December 2019 at 1:04 pm UTC
Fantastic! Now finally I can play Xen properly
95ych0 23 December 2019 at 1:15 pm UTC
I've never played any of Half Life. I hear such acclaim about it. Can I get into the series by playing Black Mesa without playing the original?
Liam Dawe 23 December 2019 at 1:15 pm UTC
95ych0I've never played any of Half Life. I hear such acclaim about it. Can I get into the series by playing Black Mesa without playing the original?
Yes, this is the original, just enhanced.
BielFPs 23 December 2019 at 2:34 pm UTC
Liam Dawe
95ych0I've never played any of Half Life. I hear such acclaim about it. Can I get into the series by playing Black Mesa without playing the original?
Yes, this is the original, just enhanced.

It's actually a fan remake, but they are very faithful to the game's lore (in some points better than the original).
TimeFreeze 23 December 2019 at 2:52 pm UTC
How dare you assume i live under a rock! I live under a Boulder not a rock
Comandante Ñoñardo 23 December 2019 at 4:32 pm UTC
Is this a VULKAN game?
Cybolic 23 December 2019 at 4:39 pm UTC
95ych0I've never played any of Half Life. I hear such acclaim about it. Can I get into the series by playing Black Mesa without playing the original?
I'd say that if you only go into it for the story, then yes. If you want to see what the fuzz is all about, then no; the original Half Life still has areas that function better in its shooter mechanics.
BielFPs 23 December 2019 at 4:46 pm UTC
Comandante ÑoñardoIs this a VULKAN game?

OpenGL unfortunately, but understandable since it's a project that was started before Vulkan.
Faalhaas 23 December 2019 at 5:20 pm UTC
95ych0I've never played any of Half Life. I hear such acclaim about it. Can I get into the series by playing Black Mesa without playing the original?
Compared to the original, Black Mesa improves on the story (including the ending) and is way more beautiful (especially the final chapters).

Since you have no nostalgic reasons, I would even suggest you start with Black Mesa. You need time to play Half-Life 2 directly after that as well (or Half-Life Alyx ).
Eike 23 December 2019 at 5:30 pm UTC
95ych0I've never played any of Half Life. I hear such acclaim about it. Can I get into the series by playing Black Mesa without playing the original?

I'm in the same boat and wonder about the same.
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