Crowbar Collective has finally released the public beta build for Black Mesa Xen/Gonarch. PC gamers can go ahead and download it via the public beta branch right now, and get a taste of the new Xen environments.
Thanks to this new beta, Black Mesa is finally complete. Okay okay, the game still has some bugs. After all, this is a beta release and not the final one. Still, PC gamers can finally play the entire game from start to finish.
The Black Mesa team has also revealed some issues that currently plague the public beta release of Black Mesa. For example, there will be large black voids in the levels if you look back the way you came.
Some props have the wrong material properties and long jump sound effect sometimes plays on map load. Furthermore, there are occasional crashes to desktop in Gonarch Chapter and bebcrabs sometimes walk on 2 legs instead of 4.
Now the good news is that the team was able to optimize and increased performance across all Xen maps. The previous public beta could stress an NVIDIA GeForce RTX2080Ti in 4K/Max settings, so it’s great hearing that this new build runs better. Still, the team noted that there is still a noticeable frame drop in the Xen swamps as you leave the door into the lower swamp.
In order to gain access to the public beta build, you’ll have to right click “Black Mesa” in your library and go to Properties. From there, you must click the “BETAS” tab and select “public-beta” from the drop down menu. Once you’ve selected it, Steam will download the new build and you will have access to the Xen levels.