Half-Life Remake Project ‘Black Mesa’ Announces New ‘Xen Engine’ Patch

Half-Life Remake Project Black Mesa Announces New 'Xen Engine' Patch

The fan-made Half-Life remake project ‘Black Mesa’ is nothing if not a labor of love, and a tribute to one of the most defining PC games, ever. In development for over eight years now, the remake project appears to be finally approaching its completion date with the announcement of a new ‘Xen Engine’ patch. The patch – now available – fixes multiple bugs throughout the game, and servers as yet another preliminary update for the much-anticipated implementation of the Xen location, the final level of Half-Life.

According to the developers, they plan on doing at least one more ‘Engine’ release before the Xen level makes its debut, “in order to make sure that everything is running smoothly on everyone’s machines.” That said, we’ve been down this road before, as the Xen levels have been getting postponed and pushed back for over a year now. Here are the full patch notes for the Xen Engine release:

April Patch List

  • Fixed screen freezes / crashes on Radeon RX 3XX 4XX 5xx cards!
  • Fixed most dynamic shadows flickering and improved the overall quality and performance
  • Fixed most dynamic lights flickering on lower quality levels Nvidia GPUs (and some AMD GPUs)
  • CSM quality and perf improvements
  • Fixed CSM not working on some AMD cards
  • Fixed decals flickering in some maps
  • Fixed full screen blur when using dynamic light godrays
  • Fixed zombie headshots with the crossbow. Now when you headshot a zombie using the crossbow, they will no longer spawn a live headcrab.
  • Fixed assault points for Houndeyes
  • Added texture scrolling for dynamic light cookie textures
  • Fixed tilemap animation bug in light cookie textures.
  • Fixed rim lighting not working with old light entities
  • Fixed Phong/skin shader specular not working on static props
  • Flashlight intensity and range increased
  • Settings optimization for new deferred lighting and shadows

Known Issues

Flashlight Doesn’t Have Shadows
We have a more advanced plan for the flashlight in the works. This will be deployed at a later date.

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.

Dynamic Shadows Flickering On Moving Dynamic Lights
These should be completely fixed, but if you DO get them try:
Try running the game in windowed borderless mode.
Try turning off Vsync, lowering your overall settings, or turning off dynamic shadows entirely.

Stencil Shadows
We have removed the old Source stencil shadows. This helps performance and fixes the double shadows that happen in outside environments where CSM is used. We plan on using new dynamic lights to get more realistic shadows in key interior sections.

Always Run
Always run has an issue where after every map load you have to press “shift” for it to work. We will be fixing this for Xen.

Outlines Around Weapons
If you move the screen fast in areas using dynamic lights, you may see small outlines around your weapon. This is very minimal and is something we will look into fixing.

Black Mesa is now available on Steam.

So, thoughts on the latest Black Mesa patch? Looking forward to when the Xen level finally gets implemented? Thoughts on whether or not Half-Life 3 will ever be a thing? Let us know in the comments section below, and as always, stay tuned to Don’t Feed the Gamers for all the latest gaming and entertainment news! Don’t forget to follow DFTG on Twitter for our 24/7 news feed!

Ryan "Cinna" Carrier2803 Posts

Ryan is the Lead Editor for Don't Feed the Gamers. When he isn't writing, Ryan is likely considering yet another playthrough of Final Fantasy IX. He's also the DFTG cinnamon bun.

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