Fan project Half-Life remake Black Mesa is mostly done at this point, but still on Steam Early Access. That's because it's missing the game's final chapter, the one that never went over well in the first place: Xen.
In an update on the Black Mesa Steam page, developer Crowbar Collective has announced that it's aiming to add Xen in summer of 2017. With this, it seems as if the Half-Life remake will be complete, approximately 13 years after it began.
Xen has always been a contentious setting, and Crowbar Collective is trying to reverse that mindset with a re-imagining. "We want to do Xen the justice it deserves, and have it be the definitive climax to the Half-Life 1 story. To do this we have completely redesigned and expanded the Xen levels to what we think Valve would have done without the limitations of the time," Crowbar said. It also noted that the levels will be "substantially bigger" and that there will be more of them.
It takes moxie to vastly expand Xen, especially when you know that the alien world is what most everyone never liked about the game in the first place. Either we'll get a much more bearable Xen, or much more of the same Xen (which would probably be a bummer). Still, Crowbar's going for it, and that's admirable.
As for the rest of the game -- the stuff that's generally beloved -- there's a decent opportunity to check it out. Steam has discounted the price of Black Mesa from $20 to $8 for a Halloween event. The biggest abomination, The Nihilanth, isn't in it quite yet, but there are still plenty of monsters for Freeman to shoot. And they look better now.
Xen Timeline [Steam]