This isn’t the article I was supposed to be writing today. I was supposed to be writing a review of Black Mesa, which was supposed to come out of Early Access today. To say I have been looking forward to today would be an understatement. So why am I not writing said review?
Firstly, there was a delay in the update being rolled out, or at least it appeared that way to players living in time zones that are ahead of America. Therefore, what I was supposed to have started yesterday had to be postponed until this morning. (I’m not staying up ‘till 4M local time to download a game, I need my beauty sleep 😉)
But the main reason is that the nearly 2GB update that was supposed to bring Black Mesa out of Early Access ended up breaking it instead.
So, what has gone wrong with it? A lot. Judging by the Steam forums, lots of players are having various problems, some minor, some major – such as CTDs in various places.
Black Mesa 1.0 release trailer
However, the biggest problem, and the one which has stopped my review dead in its tracks, is that Black Mesa has decided it doesn’t like specific keys on a keyboard.
Being old, semi-ambidextrous, and cross dominant, I still use the somewhat archaic arrow key controls. Right, Ctrl is my duck button, Right Shift is for jumping, Return for interaction, Delete for reloading, and the numbers on the keypad for changing weapons – I call it my hand-span setup.
Unfortunately, most of these are the keys Black Mesa has stopped recognizing. As I write this, I can look around, move, shoot, and reload. That’s it. I don’t think I will be tackling Xen with that.
Judging by the Steam forums, this is affecting many people, although those using WASD may not have noticed.
To be fair, Crowbar Collective has released several updates since the big one this morning, so they are probably working on it. Fingers crossed they can sort it out soon.
We will be in touch again just as soon as we know more.
I am a 40+ father of three, author and gamer from England. I started my gaming journey on the Atari 2600 36 years ago. Since then I have logged screen time with almost every system created, including arcade cabinets, handhelds, consoles, micro-computers and PCs.
Work-wise I’m a full-time freelance writer and have been writing about videogames (amongst other less interesting things) for over three years with multiple on-line publications.
As for gaming, I enjoy retro games, obscure cult classics, mods and fan remakes. However, I avoid all sports games like the plague and I’m allergic to on-line multi-player.
Fun fact – since I am English, my body is about 60% tea!