See Valve's Half-Life with new eyes in Black Mesa

Half-Life is one of the seminal games that catapulted Valve into fame, aside from the Steam platform of course. Thanks to the game's engine and its moddability, Half-Life has taken on different forms, some of which try to bring the game forward into the current century. Black Mesa, released in 2012 after 8 years in the woodwork, was one of those mods but now it has taken a life of its own. Presenting Black Mesa, a Steam Early Access game that promises to re-imagine Half-Life as if it were a game created today.

Modding definitely is one way to make money these days. No, we're not referring to the aborted attempt by Valve to cash in on mods. We're talking about mods that live and grow to become commercial games of their own. We're talking about mods like this fan-made Half-Life 2. Or this Lambda Wars that turned Half-Life into an RTS. Or Black Mesa, which, until today, was a mod of Half-Life. Now, it's a "reimagining of Half-Life".

Staying true to the content of the original game, or at least most of it, Black Mesa slaps on new visuals and voiceovers to one of the most iconic PC games in recent history. Of course, it also addresses some bugs that Valve was not able to fix. Most of the single player campaign is marked as complete. Except for the Xen stage, which will be released later on as a free update. When it's ready. Half-Life won't be Half-Life without multiplayer action, however, and Black Mesa serves to please in that regard as well.

Quite happily, the game also stays true to its modding roots and Black Mesa, both single and multiplayer versions, will come with all the tools you need to make your own Half-Life dreams come true. But this time with more pixels to use. It even integrates with Steam Workshop to make it easier to spread your custom maps around. And maybe earn some money on the side should Valve decide to switch on that highly contentious feature again.

Black Mesa does cost quite a bit even though it's still in Early Access, asking you to put in a good $20 as a show of support. That, claims developer Crowbar Collective, already includes over 10 hours of single player gameplay and even more with multiplayer. They do plan on taking the price even higher once the game actually launches as a finished product.