So one of the most anticipated games ever has landed on my hard drive this morning. Actually it has been there for a while through the magic of Steam, but at midnight last night Half-Life 2 was finally unlocked and playable by the world. It is a beautiful game, but it has had a few glitches on my system, including one almighty crash that filled the class room I was playing in with the screams of Alyx, a gorgeous side character. My main problem though is with the distribution model. Once you unlock the game online once, that should be it. But you are made to do it each time you boot the game, which sucks. Seems I'm lucky that I got it working this morning, (I did the final unlocking at 8am before class, then left Steam open and hibernated the laptop,) so I could play it during the day. But I don't really want to have to go through that every morning. It wouldn't be so bad but Full Sail have blocked the ports that Steam connects through, so that is where one of my major problems comes from, (but it is just the same as being away from an Internet connection.)
Despite buying the game, I would consider using a crack to circumvent Steam, and that's just crap. I would rather have bought it on DVD and have something tangible rather than the download, but its only on 5 or 6 CD's in the USA unless you go for the $90 collectors edition. Stuff that. (But even if I did, you still need to install Steam and validate each time...) At least they have put in a "Backup files" option into the Steam client now.
Anyway, so far the game rocks. Just remember this simple formula:
HL2 Single player > Halo 2 Single player.
Halo 2 Multiplayer > Counter Strike: Source (which is a cop-out anyway...)