Hash Town

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Half-Life 2: First impressions

So I pick up half-life 2 at my local gamespot yesterday for a nice tidy sum of $58 after tax. Well, whatever, this is the game I have been waiting 5 years to play, right? thats only $11.60/year.

OK, time to open up the package! Wait, where is my manual? where is the JEWEL case to hold the cd's? Oh wait no, all I get are:

1) 5 CD's, in paper sleeves.
2) Quick Reference Card
3) An ad for whatever new ATI video card is available now.

Fine, ok. I guess this is the "age of the internet", so maybe there is documentation online. Not that I really need to read it, its just always been something nice to have, a little pamphlet to sike you for the game while its installing.

So installing goes pretty quickly (other than swapping out the 5 disks...are we not at the point yet where everyone has DVD-ROMs?). But now I have to register with Steam, Valve's new content distribution venue. I dont feel like I should have to register to play something I just shelled out $58 for (apparently you can skip this process and still play the single player game; but what if I dont have internet access and want to plan on my lan?).

But I'm still siked for the experience, so I register, recieve my email confirmation, and im good to go right? Wrong. Now I have to wait for Steam to 'decrypt' my game files THAT I BOUGHT IN THE RETAIL STORE, HELLO FOLKS I AM NOT A THIEF JUST A FAN OF YOUR GAME. This for some reason takes almost an hour to do. By the time I get to actually play the game, I only get to do it for 30 seconds because it was now time to go out to meet my friends at Anam Cara (an excellent pub in Brookline, MA).

I know the game will be awesome, and I am still excited to play it, but this is about as bad a first impression with a software product I have ever had.

-MAK

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