November 16, 2004 1:43 AM   Subscribe

TODAY WE ARE BECOME GORDON FREEMAN. This is the best of the web if e'er there was one. Go play.
posted by Pretty_Generic (98 comments total)
Valve just rewrote the book on video game publishing. GG.
posted by velacroix at 1:49 AM on November 16, 2004

Vivendi Universal just rewrote the book on video game publishing. Badly. That's why you should buy direct from Valve online.

Valve just rewrote the book on video game developing. Having played a little, I would say there's little point comparing this to previous games, even to Doom 3. This is "Seven Samurai" to Doom 3's "Big Trouble in Little China". This is Venice, Italy to Doom 3's Atlanta, Georgia. An entirely new era of the electronic entertainment artform is here, and it is majestic.

posted by Pretty_Generic at 2:18 AM on November 16, 2004 [1 favorite]

My experiences with Steam in regard to Half-life have been entirely negative, so valve can shove it.
posted by biffa at 2:28 AM on November 16, 2004

biffa- I felt that way too in early Steam, but it is very very much improved now.

This whole unlocking process takes forever though.
posted by McBain at 2:30 AM on November 16, 2004

Well, I'm off to play! Have fun!
posted by McBain at 2:31 AM on November 16, 2004

Worked pretty hard on that post, I see. Very impressive, given what little time you had thanks to the huge surprise of its release today. [/sarcasm]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:34 AM on November 16, 2004

Doom 3, Half-Life 2.. meh. What I want to know is, where's Quake 4!? =)
posted by Onanist at 2:45 AM on November 16, 2004

Oh look, somebody shat in Stavros's cornflakes.
posted by chrid at 2:48 AM on November 16, 2004

Thanks Mcbain but being screwed once is enough for me, there's enough alternatives out at the moment.
posted by biffa at 2:55 AM on November 16, 2004

where's Quake 4!?

On its way. They're using the Doom 3 engine, so one hopes that it won't be quite so D4RK LOL!!!1!1!

Oh look, somebody shat in Stavros's cornflakes.

Bite me. I'm like a freakin' schoolkid on crack over this game, and I have nothing but love for Valve (even after Gabe Newell acted like an idiot over the September 30 2003 debacle), so if I were going to post about it to MeFi (a couple of days after it was last mentioned) I'd have done a little better goddamn job of putting together the post (a single link to Steam, for chrissakes?) for those who aren't actually gamers, is all I was saying. I invite you to take it to Metatalk if you want to argue about it with me. This is already a derail, for which I apologize.

Carry on.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:04 AM on November 16, 2004

so is this half-life 2 something you need a super duper computer to play? what's the requirements?
posted by mr.marx at 3:12 AM on November 16, 2004

Relatively super-duper, but not nearly as stonkin' as Doom 3 needed.

Minimum Requirements

1.2 GHz Processor
DirectX 7 level graphics card
Windows 2000/XP/ME/98

Recommended System

2.4 GHz Processor
DirectX 9 level graphics card
Windows 2000/XP

As usual, the reality is closer to 'recommended' than 'minimum'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:18 AM on November 16, 2004

6:20am EST. Finally tired and in dire need of sleep. All I can say now is this game was completely worth the wait. It's fsckin beautiful! The light, the water, the physics! Completely raises the bar above anything else I've ever played (and I've played alot of em)... Doom 3 was pretty (in a dark, evil way) but can't even begin to touch this technical wonder that Valve has produced. Good thing I'm taking today off! Go Valve!
posted by tsuki777 at 3:22 AM on November 16, 2004

Edge gave it ten out of ten. I think that's perhaps only their fourth ten out of ten ever. I think it might be fair to say that Pretty Generic isn't overstating this.

12 things you need to know about running Half Life 2 on your PC.
posted by nthdegx at 3:25 AM on November 16, 2004

nthdegx: 'Sorry. The administrator has banned your IP address. To contact the administrator click here'

What have I ever done to him?
posted by biffa at 3:38 AM on November 16, 2004

In twelve years they've given five 10/10 ratings: Super Mario 64, Gran Turismo, The Legend of Zelda: The Ocarina of Time, Halo: Combat Evolved, and now this. So this is the first PC game to receive the perfect score (I don't think they gave it to the conversion of Halo).

Terribly sorry stavros, but I was just playing the game and felt the need to express my love for it to as many people as possible in as short a time as possible. The link to Steam is all people should need anyway. Less reading more playing.

I'm running on a 1.8GHz Pentium 4, and it's mighty fine.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 3:39 AM on November 16, 2004

How much RAM you got, PG? Also: video card? Desktop or laptop?
posted by nthdegx at 3:54 AM on November 16, 2004

Possibly really dumb question that probably doesnt belong here: The pc where i intend to play this game has no internet access. I can however access the internet here at work (obviously!) - will i need to register, and secondly can i register at my work pc, then install and play at my home pc?
posted by kev23f at 3:58 AM on November 16, 2004

Currently playing it - just finished the Airboat sequence.

Athlon 2600, 1GB DDR, Radeon 9800XT - I'm playing at 1280x960 with 2x anti-aliasing ALL options (including water reflectivity) maxxed out and v-sync turned on.

It's still smooth as silk. Beautiful fucking game, great gameplay, great physics.

The story, on the other hand, is a touch 'meh.'

kev23f: I'm pretty sure you need 'net access - however briefly - to play Half Life 2 on a given PC.
posted by Ryvar at 4:03 AM on November 16, 2004

The funny thing about First Person Shooter games is the wholly distracting concept of trying to do twelve things at once. I've played them, played them all. Doom, Quake, Half-Life, Doom 3... and I'm on the fence about buying Half-Life 2. And the only reason is that I tend to discard such games very quickly.

A perfect example of this is Halo. I bought it when I bought my XBox. It wasn't the game that sold me on the XBox, I just bought it because it was 'the game to have'. And I played it. But I got bored quickly. It was just more shoot and run.

Now, I won't say I dislike all FPS games. Metroid Prime, now that is a game I can get into. Not wholly shoot and run, it combines the concept of puzzles, shooting, and strategy.

I used to be a big fan of the online versions of these games, playing Half-Life and Counterstrike online. But for the amount of time I was committing to them, there were tons more committing a LOT more time than I, meaning that I ended up being killed a lot, just because they had a lot more practice than I.

So it puts me on the fence for Half-Life. It looks nice, and my PC can more than handle it... but what will it give me besides good graphics, in terms of gameplay.

Me, I'm saving my money for a Nintendo DS.
posted by benjh at 4:39 AM on November 16, 2004

I'm about 3.5 hours in and it is definitely living up to the hype. The environments are beautiful.
posted by McBain at 5:18 AM on November 16, 2004

Stavros: I know it's coming but I want it now! For me, gaming is all about online play and, in particular, the gravity-defying ballet of Rocket Arena 3, which I only stopped playing this year.

Gamespot has a good hype-free review of Half-Life 2 - mentions the jumping puzzles, the partially lame storyline, dud AI and the slightly rehashed (from the 1st HL) gameplay. Hmm, sounds a bit like every other mega-hyped game sequel of the last 10 years. I'm buying it tomorrow and I don't expect the Second Coming, but I am expecting a damn good time.
posted by Onanist at 5:19 AM on November 16, 2004

I have 640MiB RAM, with a 128MiB Geforce4 Ti 4600. Desktop. It does get jerky in certain situations, but never really detracts from the pleasure.

This game is ecstacy to me. The environments don't feel like game environments. We are so much closer to being in our own movie than ever before. And I disagree with Ryvar - I think the script is fantastic, so far. Half-Life paled towards the end, but I think this game is unlikely to.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:20 AM on November 16, 2004

gamespot has a review. Not exactly a perfect game. I suspect that, in the end, FarCry will beat it out.
posted by jeblis at 5:28 AM on November 16, 2004

Oh yeah, and make sure you turn "wait for vertical sync" on! Can't stand tearing.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:31 AM on November 16, 2004

all modern FPS games are total garbage.

viva la doom
posted by angry modem at 5:47 AM on November 16, 2004

Any Demo's of this available?
posted by DBAPaul at 6:00 AM on November 16, 2004

No demos yet, but there are some huge, high-res gameplay videos here.

I unlocked the game as soon as I got up this morning... and won't play until I get home from work today. Woe is me! My laptop (Pentium-M 1.6GHz, Mobility Radeon 9600, 768MB RAM) seemed to handle the "graphic stress test" in CS: Source beautifullly so I expect it to handle the game just as well.
posted by zsazsa at 6:12 AM on November 16, 2004

Too many FPSequels coming out this month. Halo 2, Metroid 2, HL2. I'd buy them and play them with wild abandon, but like benjh, I like to Touch.

Since this is becoming the MetaGamer's thread, anyone else get to fiddle with a demo DS yet? If Metroid Hunters does the DS to wireless access net playstuff, I'm taking you all down.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:32 AM on November 16, 2004

Those of you who had a bad experience with Steam, you need to give it another chance.

It actually works surprisingly well as a distribution method now, provided you have broadband. Downloading 4gigs across dialup would up... unpleasant.

But, Steam has not had any significant stability or usability problems in at least the last year if not longer. It withstood the firestorm of users pre-ordering HL2 just to get the new Source based version of Counter-Strike. They have impressive amounts of bandwidth available.

So, give Steam a (second) chance. It is not perfect, nothing is, but it is far superior to the product you probably remember if you tried it out say with the CS 1.5 beta or similar.

Also, there is now a built-in function to backup your Steam installation either to hard drive or to cd/dvd. That gives the worry-warts a "physical copy".

Last but not least, you put much more money in the pocket of Valve if you buy via Steam. Something on the order of $30 profit per unit to the developer via online distribution vs $5 profit to the developer when going through a publisher and store shelves.

And given Vivendi's behavior with Valve and the lawsuits and threats of delay, I would rather line Gabe's pockets than the alternative.

kev23: that machine will need to at least hit the internet to unlock the game even if you buy the retail box at the store.

DBAPaul: never heard of plans for one. I don't believe there was ever a demo of HL1, was there? There are however hundreds of in-game movies from Counter-Strike to get you a "feel" for the engine, and I imagine by this weekend there will be hundreds of movies of HL2 gameplay.

(Fileplanet has all of the "officially released" in-game movies of HL2, though I know some people have an irrational hatred of FP.)
posted by Ynoxas at 6:41 AM on November 16, 2004 [1 favorite]

Meh. No FPS game can compare to the king of games.
posted by ursus_comiter at 6:45 AM on November 16, 2004

posted by chrid at 6:46 AM on November 16, 2004

There actually was a demo of HL1, but it came out about 3 months after the game was released.
posted by zsazsa at 6:49 AM on November 16, 2004

I love games. I love games so much I chose my career such that I'd get to game all day. Any game: luck, skill, video, board, card. I positively crave the mechanics, the story, the visuals, the special sort of competitive game interaction. And really, I have nothing against first person shooters.

Having said all that, there is something that makes me exceptionally sad about the incongruent fact that young men and woman are dying in Iraq in what is essentially a real life fps, and other young men and women are eagerly ponying up $50 to virtually do it. Of course there is the obvious point that virtually no one is hurt-- but I (naively) wish the composition of our collective brains were such that this kind of game was entirely unappealing. For it seems that there is inherently a connection between how much wonderful fun a fps is for so many, and how much drive there is (and how many available recruits there are) for grotesque, pointless war.
posted by limitedpie at 6:51 AM on November 16, 2004

Well, I know what I'm doing at "work" today.

posted by Foosnark at 6:56 AM on November 16, 2004

limitedpie, and America's Army takes it even one step closer.
posted by zsazsa at 7:00 AM on November 16, 2004

Is this something I'd need a computer to understand?
posted by brownpau at 7:13 AM on November 16, 2004

Provided my schooling could handle the induction of a new game into my personal life (it can't), I'd be all over this Steam delivery method. For starters, I am lazy -- I don't want to go to a store to spend money and then be anxious the whole ride home. Also, as Ynoxas said, Steam allows players to directly support the game developer. Considering the work Valve puts into their games, and that Gabe Newell was willing to bankroll the project (if the original Half-Life money dried up), I'd say if anyone deserves my money it's the development team -- not a publisher that ends up with most of the money for the least amount of work.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:17 AM on November 16, 2004

Stupid Half-Life. I am going to fail all my classes so badly now. Luckily my harddrive is full of pirated music, and can't take me putting it on there yet. That may yet save me.
posted by apathy0o0 at 7:47 AM on November 16, 2004

Doom3 sucked ass. sure, pretty shadows and flickering lights - but c'mon, do we really still find monsters jumping out of equipment closets exciting and 'new?'

HL2 has a physics engine that allows you to be creative with how you approach a conflict. that alone (not even beginning to count the amazing character models and facial animations) is enough for me to get really excited about playing it.

problem is, my new PC won't be here until Nov. 30th...but when it does (P4 3.0HT, 1 GIG RAM, GeForce 6800XT) it's gonna be sweeeet.
posted by NationalKato at 8:06 AM on November 16, 2004

Okay, this isn't worth a FPP in the green.

What's the cheapest "DirectX 9 level graphics card" with decent (binary-only driver is fine as long as is works and supports 2.6 kernels) Linux support? Is there anything I can get in the $100 range? PC games' prices supposedly drop more and faster than those of console games: how long 'till HL2 is $30?
posted by Eamon at 8:09 AM on November 16, 2004

So right before work I decided to give the game a whirl, and was just awed by the beauty of the train station, with the guy talking on the video screen. Then I walked over to a lone pay telephone for shits and giggles since I enjoy trying actions on everything. So I press the "e" key expecting it to give the generic "sorry" sound, and instead I pick up the receiver.... which has been ripped from the wire!! You could see the splintered wire on either end, like it's been that way for a while..

If that isn't atmosphere I dunno what is.

Man, the mods that come out of this game based on the physics engine alone are gonna be amazing. Someone ought to make a H. H. Holmes's World's Fair Hotel level...
posted by tittergrrl at 8:19 AM on November 16, 2004

Having said all that, there is something that makes me exceptionally sad about the incongruent fact that young men and woman are dying in Iraq in what is essentially a real life fps, and other young men and women are eagerly ponying up $50 to virtually do it.

i'm with you limitedpie. the war in Iraq hasn't really changed my opinion of videogames, but i work in a gaming job as well, and i've grown fairly disheartened over the past few years. i'm tired of violence and i'm tired of sequels.

This is the best of the web if e'er there was one.

i'm with stavros. this is pepsi blue. a list of reviews would have been tolerable, but steam spam?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:28 AM on November 16, 2004

Why you gotta fuck with the ATL, Pretty_Generic?
posted by xmutex at 8:43 AM on November 16, 2004

Is it possible to watch someone else play over the Internet? I have no desire to play, just see what the designers have created. I know there are many others like me out there, surprised it has not been capitalized on.
posted by stbalbach at 8:45 AM on November 16, 2004

HL2 is much ballyhooed not only because of it's physics engine and great SP component, but because of the massive mod community. I spend most of my gaming time playing Natural-Selection, a mod for Half-Life 1. If THAT isn't replayability, I don't know what is.

I've bought BF1942, Doom3, UT2k3, UT2k4, and yet I still go back to NS. If the HL2 mod community can make a game with such great gameplay mechanics/teamwork/social interaction as NS (which i'm SURE it will), I'll pick valve's newest creation up in a heartbeat.
posted by eurasian at 9:33 AM on November 16, 2004

Most importantly: How is the storyline? Is it gripping? Is it morally/ethically challenging? Does it throw surprise twists at you?

The first half-dozen levels of HL1 were great: a real story being told out as you played, and I nearly shit when I stood at the top of the stairs and watched a marine blow away a scientist. Wholly unexpected, and left me in a quandry: Suspect the soldiers of being bad guys? Suspect the scientists of being bad guys? Save the scientist by shooting one of "our guys"?

The game gradually lost that sort of feel, and ended up being YAFPS. Still, it was gripping for the first few hours.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:35 AM on November 16, 2004

let's not forget if it wasn't for Valve and HL1, we wouldn't have Counterstrike - a game which has stolen more hours from my life than any other, and one which i still play today on the aging HL1 engine.

of course, now that they've upgraded the entire thing with the Source engine, i'm going to have to get back to bombing those pesky antiterrorists.
posted by NationalKato at 9:44 AM on November 16, 2004

FPS are SO yawn. I require a bit more from my games than that the blood and gore be pretty. But enjoy it, those of you who like this sort of thing.
posted by rushmc at 10:00 AM on November 16, 2004

I gotta say, I've been waiting for HL2 for something like fifteen months, and I've never even finished HL1 (although I'm working hard at that now). The extended trade show gameplay video that was floating around last summer was one of the most amazing things I've ever seen in gaming, and I can hardly wait to try this game out. I've just got to finish HL1 first! I've got to!
posted by Songdog at 10:21 AM on November 16, 2004

now i'm not so sure. personally i feel that ATI cards are crap, and wish all the best to nVidia as they've always done me right in the past - and now i see the game runs best on an ATI card? poop.

good to see my current system can handle the game though. here's hoping i can actually ride an elevator without getting stuck when it stops. stupid friggin' stuck in an elevator bug in HL1 is the only reason i don't still play it...
posted by caution live frogs at 10:40 AM on November 16, 2004

Before another person compares Half-Life to the war in Iraq, I gotta say: unless Iraq was recently overrun by giant alien bugs and zombies and I just never heard about it, I wouldn't rush to make that comparison. This is coming from somebody who won't play Counter-Strike, America's Army or any FPS set in an actual war.

The environments in HL2 are much closer to Europe than the middle east, anyway.

So: did ANYONE beat the final boss of Half-Life without cheating?
posted by kevspace at 10:42 AM on November 16, 2004

Just in case anyone else runs into it: when I tried to install HL2 only (not Counterstrike) from the CD, the installation failed, complaining about the file "hl2.ico1" missing. Installing both fixed it.

I don't know why game installations are often such a nightmare. It always reminds me of installing Microsoft Word from 12 floppies, waiting for the inevitable bad one.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:25 AM on November 16, 2004

So: did ANYONE beat the final boss of Half-Life without cheating?

Yeah. It was pretty easy once you figured out what you were supposed to do (which involved a lot of grenades and rockets as I recall.)
posted by Cyrano at 11:46 AM on November 16, 2004

So: did ANYONE beat the final boss of Half-Life without cheating?

I did, though it's now 5-6 years since i played it. I seem to recall there was some sort of trick to it, like you had to destroy the energy crystals on the walls, or something like that.

Looking forward to playing HL2, though I need to wait until I can afford to neglect everything else in my life for two weeks. At what age do kids learn to feed and clean themsleves?
posted by bondcliff at 11:49 AM on November 16, 2004

Interesting, but I'll pass.

I don't believe in anything which, once purchased and paid in full, the manufacturer can decide you aren't allowed to use anymore. I'll not be buying this. Ever. Well, I might make an exception when it's in the $9.99 bargain bin.

Sorry, I just can't support this sort of war against consumers.
posted by shepd at 12:02 PM on November 16, 2004 [1 favorite]

Most importantly: How is the storyline? Is it gripping? Is it morally/ethically challenging? Does it throw surprise twists at you?

Basically the whole of humanity is now confined into heavily patrolled Warsaw ghettos, and you on your return are heralded as Messiah. The thing that makes it ethically challenging from me is that I agree with the ideology Dr. Breen is spouting from the omnipresent monitors - that humanity should let instinct and mystical thoughts die, embrace immortality and shun reproduction.

Because of this, the game is a constant ethical struggle for me - I don't much care for humans and I agree with the bad guys' philosophy of what is best for humanity.
posted by Ryvar at 12:15 PM on November 16, 2004

should have read 'ethically challenging FOR me.'
posted by Ryvar at 12:17 PM on November 16, 2004

I don't believe in anything which, once purchased and paid in full, the manufacturer can decide you aren't allowed to use anymore.

That's exactly what they had in mind when they created Steam. *rolls eyes*
posted by bondcliff at 12:22 PM on November 16, 2004

Those complaining about the AI: are you playing in hard mode? You can switch at any time.

And if you haven't played ball with Dog yet, the best is very much yet to come. :)
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:28 PM on November 16, 2004

caution live frogs, don't give too much credence to the ATI-is-best line. That probably comes from the big partnership Valve had with ATI last summer, when it looked like the game was coming out last September. ATI included vouchers for HL2 in the box with their high-end cards (which are now one or two generations old). I suspect that nVidia's newer cards will do just as well as ATI's except perhaps out at the $500 bleeding edge where the companies take turns as the technology leader.
posted by Songdog at 12:30 PM on November 16, 2004

posted by eatitlive at 12:39 PM on November 16, 2004

For me, gaming is all about online play and, in particular, the gravity-defying ballet of Rocket Arena 3, which I only stopped playing this year.

I've just started playing RA3 (and RA2, which I preferred, but it's hard to find servers) again after a couple of years of not, but this time at like 200fps (which, though they always say you can't tell after like 30fps or so, feels sooo much smoother) on my laptop(!). Look for me on the Aijoara servers in Korea (or the much friendlier ones in Japap) on some Friday nights, with beer, of course. Not precisely a ballet on my part, but I enjoy myself. Can't keep up with the insane reflexes of these Korean kids, though. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:46 PM on November 16, 2004

eatitlive obviously left chat on while walking forward.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:47 PM on November 16, 2004

Holy cow.

As much as this might not be a "best of the web" FPP, I'm glad it was posted so we could get our discussion on.

Wow. The game is just so, so rich. The characters are so real. The environment is amazing (I love Dr. Breen on the video monitors).

benjh, there are a lot of puzzles going on. The physics is incredible.

When you see some bad guys shooting at you from a platform, you have several options: shoot them; shoot nearby flammable objects to knock them off the tower; shoot out the legs of the tower and they'll fall to their death.

At one point (it's in the first level, so no worries about a spoiler) you come to a long plank resting on a concrete cylinder next to a platform that you can't reach. To reach the platform, you have to stack cinderblocks on the plank to tip it, creating a ramp for you to walk up.

The description doesn't do it justice. This is jaw-droppingly excellent.
posted by rafter at 12:59 PM on November 16, 2004

yeah, the only reason you keep seeing ATI paired with HL2 as far as specs are concerned is because they have an exclusive contract.

PC Gamer did a tech review and when they asked Valve what cards (low, mid, high) would work, they only replied with ATI cards. so PC Gamer added their own take with equivalent nVidia cards. PC Gamer doesn't post their reviews online, so i can't link to it - but here it is:

Low: GeForce FX 5700 128MB
Mid: GeForce FX 5900 128MB
High:GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB

hope that helps ease that 'i-bought-the-wrong-card' pain...
posted by NationalKato at 1:06 PM on November 16, 2004

In that case, bondcliff, it's working great, because they won't get my money.

Hopefully other consumers will clue into how hard this sucks if (no, when) Valve goes bust, or when HL3 comes out.
posted by shepd at 1:41 PM on November 16, 2004

Of course, bondcliff, if you're saying it's to stop piracy, that's a laugh and a half (2?). Seriously, it can't possibly be to prevent piracy. If it were, it wouldn't take just a mere hour or two to be released by pirate groups.
posted by shepd at 1:43 PM on November 16, 2004

This is the website for Half-Life 2's art director.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 1:44 PM on November 16, 2004

I was being sarcastic, Shepd, if it wasn't obvious. I just felt your post was bordering on black-helicopter paranoia. I don't see how they could possibly shut off your access to the game if you paid for it. I suppose they technically could, but they're not going to. Couldn't Microsoft technically stop people from using Windows with their next update? (on purpose, I mean...) Sure, they could, but they're not going to.

By the time Valve goes bust (or sells off their IP), HL2 will be ancient history.
posted by bondcliff at 2:17 PM on November 16, 2004

well screw the talk about piracy ...i'm not online anymore and i just dragged my pc a mile up the road to somewhere with cable access and STEAM IS FUCKING DOWN !
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:29 PM on November 16, 2004

bondcliff, think again.
The game REQUIRES internet access for single player.
People are buying the game on cd/dvd because they dont have internet, or just hate steam, and are now being forced to use both.
Also some people are now having problems because steam is overloaded and it cant verify their cdkey.

So, if valve just disapeared you would not be able to play the game you just bought.
posted by Iax at 2:34 PM on November 16, 2004

yah I activated my game this morning, I come in this evening and steam is down and I can open my game. Sux. The game is awesome though.
posted by daHIFI at 3:42 PM on November 16, 2004

So, if valve just disapeared you would not be able to play the game you just bought.

Wrong, basically. If you read the link to the .nfo file shepd provided above, you'll see that within 8 hours of release, an offline Steam emulator had already been released by piratical types. I do not encourage stealing this game -- I think Valve is very very much deserving of our hard-earned bucks -- but it's clear that, as usual, for single-player content, the game was easily warezed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:45 PM on November 16, 2004

yeah, stupid question probably.

if i find/download this emulator can i buy a boxed copy of hl2 and use it with the boxed copy to play without the online shit, or do I have to find and download the warez copy of the game itself?
posted by bargle at 4:39 PM on November 16, 2004

Well right now the authentication servers are being hammered so people who bought the game are having lots of problems logging on to steam. I can see valve's point in not upgrading their servers too much, since this is a once in 4 year spike in usage. Once I got through the painful account creation/buying process the game content is downloading nicely. About 20 MB/min.
posted by jeblis at 5:08 PM on November 16, 2004

i'm not online anymore and i just dragged my pc a mile up the road to somewhere with cable access and STEAM IS FUCKING DOWN !

serenity now

As much as this might not be a "best of the web" FPP, I'm glad it was posted so we could get our discussion on.

agreed. i guess it's comparable to a CNN election results link. not a horrible thing, but kinda dirty. i'm here anyway.
posted by mrgrimm at 5:24 PM on November 16, 2004

Regarding comparisons to Iraq etc: It is in the human nature to fight and to defend oneself. That doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. Since we have developed social intelligence and pacifism, anything which allows us to feed our insticts without harm to others should be embraced, and computer games are an obvious example. There's nothing wrong with simulated wrongdoing if it makes you feel good: in fact, it's very healthy.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:32 PM on November 16, 2004

And play it on Hard, for fuck's sake. No excuses. Unless you're nine.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:46 PM on November 16, 2004

Is it ridiculously easy otherwise?
posted by Evstar at 5:54 PM on November 16, 2004

I really want a lock-on mechanism like Metroid Prime uses. Click a button, and it locks into a target. I hate aiming.
posted by benjh at 6:06 PM on November 16, 2004

Is it ridiculously easy otherwise?

I've been playing on medium, and no, it is not ridiculously easy.

The fact that you get unlimited saves and loads, though, I mean. If you get shot, you just hit F9 and try again.

Maybe I'll have to bump it up to "hard" so P_G doesn't think less of me.
posted by rafter at 6:09 PM on November 16, 2004

...and maybe I'm just loopy, but what do I get for $89 from Valve I don't get for $79 from Vivendi, other than a complete lack of a disc from Valve.

And if Steam ever gets shut down, will you get to play Half-Life 2 never again on a new machine?

The whole system seems kind of wishy washy.
posted by benjh at 6:15 PM on November 16, 2004

I've had the same concerns, benjh. And the Steam delivery is less than impressive. I'm on a 4 mbit DSL line, and I have an estimated 10 hour download wait.
posted by Evstar at 6:31 PM on November 16, 2004

Looking for ethical dilemma? If you wait in the breadline during the opening sequence, various people tell you that they're considering joining the hated police force just so they can get a decent meal. You'll normally kill about a thousand police during the course of the game.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 6:40 PM on November 16, 2004

Evstar: You could have preloaded it over the past month.
posted by benh57 at 6:55 PM on November 16, 2004

Well, its 5am, I've had the gravity gun for a while now, and been shit scared by headcrabs. Time for bed.
posted by Orange Goblin at 8:52 PM on November 16, 2004

I'm on a 4 mbit DSL line, and I have an estimated 10 hour download wait.

I started the preload a couple of days ago, went and ate dinner, and the whole four gig plus was done, 25 minutes later. I was very impressed. That's Korea for ya.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:56 PM on November 16, 2004

stavrosthewonderchicken: about nfo for crack, from your comment you live in Korea, but people in the USA (not me) would have to watch out for the DMCA, using a crack on something they bought could send them to jail.
posted by Iax at 10:12 PM on November 16, 2004

Read my comment again. I don't suggest doing it, I was merely elaborating on a previous comment. Pretending that piracy doesn't exist doesn't make it go away.

(Also, tangentially, I'd like you to show me a single person, ever, who's been put in jail in America for downloading a pirated game. Distributing, burning and reselling, perhaps.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:55 PM on November 16, 2004

i love that we argue about new video games being released... i seriously do, metafilter is the perfect place for me, i love each and every one of you.
posted by Satapher at 11:29 PM on November 16, 2004

Awwww, we wuvs you too....

....SHIT! Behind you! BLAM BLAM

Seriously, the physics in HL2 aren't just a lot of fun - they add a level of immersion that's almost real. I mean, I used the gravity gun to fire a sawblade and cut a zombie in half in midair. I can't describe how cool that felt.

The things that people are going to do with this engine. I'm stoked!
posted by ruddhist at 1:32 AM on November 17, 2004

I bought the game at 3:00 AM EST on the morning of the release and it downloaded in 85 minutes on a cable modem. No preloading for me. Impressive.
posted by ericrolph at 5:14 PM on November 17, 2004

I don't have the time to devote to serious videogame playing anymore.

That being said, with Halo 2 and Half-Life 2 coming out within a week of each other, I've totally regressed to 16 year old geek-ville.

But Half-Life 2 is really in its own class. Absolutely stunning. It got a little Doom 3-like in the Ravenholm section, but now I'm back out in daylight, and all is good and right with the world.
posted by LondonYank at 5:40 AM on November 18, 2004

This thread totally pepsiblued me into buying this. And I like it.
posted by muckster at 11:17 PM on November 19, 2004

I'm still debating with myself about this. I've got a 3 year-old computer that may or may not be able to handle the game. I can probably afford the game, but I don't want to deal with a new graphics card. And then there's that fact that it will suck hours out of my life....

posted by craven_morhead at 8:53 PM on November 20, 2004

craven_morhead, what are your specs? My 30 month-old PC is just over the minimum reqs. 1.5Ghz AMD, 512Mb RAM, GeForce 5200 (64Mb), and the game runs a treat. I'm sure I'm missing some of the whizz-bangery, but it's more than acceptable.
posted by punilux at 6:43 AM on November 21, 2004

I'll have to take a look at what the old girl is running. I may be able to swing it. Though the whizz-bangery would be nice...
posted by craven_morhead at 10:24 AM on November 22, 2004

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