In development since 2004, the fan-made ‘Total-Conversion’ of Half-Life 2 is about to make its long awaited release on the 14th of September according to a post by the Project Leader cman2k on the Black Mesa official forums.
Black Mesa was started as response to the less than stellar official Source mod “Half-Life: Source” and was set to be released in 2009, but when that date came and went fans started to wonder whether the much discussed mod would ever see the light of day. An article recently published on The Verge outlines the trials and frustrations the all volunteer mod team has been through over the past 8 years, with stories of content being cut as well corners in an attempt to meet an increasingly unrealistic date as well as the paradigm shift that happened afterwards.
After waiting 8 years, gamers will get to experience Half-Life in the Source Engine right up to the Lambda Core, which was right before you were transported to the Alien home world of Xen. The project leader also states that work on Xen is underway and will be expanded and feel more like a complete game in itself.
I might have to give in and buy Half-Life 2 on Steam just for this.