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Play this: 'Black Mesa'

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The long-awaited Black Mesa is finally available to download.

Black Mesa
Black Mesa

If, like me, you spent your formative years gunning down Vortigaunts, running from hordes of headcrab zombies, and cowering in terror from sound-sensitive tentacles the size of an apartment building while making your way through Valve's genre-defining Half-Life, you'll be delighted to know that the long-awaited Black Mesa is finally available to download. Black Mesa, of course, is a ground-up rewrite of Half-Life using Valve's Source Engine, and it's a game that seemed like it might never arrive — but the team behind it has made good on the countdown that started a few weeks ago.

The 'Duke Nukem Forever' of mods is finally available

While we haven't given the game a thorough play-through yet, it's the kind of game that is a no-brainer to try. It's a long-awaited and highly anticipated mod, a great deal of work has gone into the project over the years, and Half-Life is overdue for a fresh visual polish. For those interested, it's a free, Windows-only download that goes through the first 80 percent or so of the game — the levels on alien world Xen aren't complete yet and will be added at a later date. The Black Mesa servers are getting hammered right now, so best of luck in downloading.