Although half life 2 is an AMAZING game, completely stunning, its hard to describe it in words. Its almost like playing in a movie. There were a few setbacks, first off, the game requires you to have an internet connection. You can install the game, and "attempt" to open it, but your cd-key needs to be verified by them, and it makes you download patches to unlock the game. Without an internet connection you wasted your money. because theres no way to play it without one. Sure many people have internet, but many also cant afford it, or use it from work. There was quite a bit of problems on the first day, My cd key had to get authenticated but failed. So for about 8 hours I could play, but only if i was online. Eventually the problems were fixed. secondly it does require a heafty computer to run, if you are at 1.8ghz (amd1800+) or over and at least a an ATI 9600 (nvidia FX5700+) you should be okay. Aside from the chaos of cd-key activiation the game is brilliant. I highly recommend it for everyone who is a fan of action/adventure. The graphics are most impressive, but the sound by far stands out. my 2 cents.
HL2 raises the bar for all video games. You can see from the screen shots how beautiful the graphics are, but what really sets it apart is it's use of physics. Everything in the game reacts as it would in the real world. You can pick up, throw, push, roll, etc. It's amazing. The detail of the environments is unmatched. The whole autorization thing was a pain because it didn't work properly at first. Hopefully they will improve it. Requiring a internet connection is a terrible idea.
Steam authorisation and dowenloading of extra files take about 3 hours on 56k! be warned! its an insult to pay for a game and have to wait to play it...because of the problem alot of people bought the game and could not even play it till the day after! some are still trying! if you can get the game registered and all the downloading done..you DONT need an internet connection to play from there...you can run Steam in an offline mode which will allow you to play the game without an internet connection
Most amazing game (in every aspect) I've ever played, and I've played hundreds..I should get a life, maybe... asp1vip, you asked if you still need an internet connection once it's all installed and registered. You don't. (Tried it last night with my internet unplugged, worked fine).
Amazing yeah... when it works. The first 2 times I played, I ended up with a frozen PC that I had to restart. The 3rd attempt was better, even though I had some sound glitches. The 4th attempt ended up with a messed up menu and a broken level with 'floating' buildings above a nice blue void. I have a good PC, recent video card and drivers, plenty of memory. I can run Doom III and Farcry with no problem... but this.... this is a disappointment so far.
very strange that a game topic appears here any ways, the most or at least one of the most anticipated game of 2004 (or should it be 2003 when it should be originally released), worth a buy there should be a patch available for he who doesn't have internet, but I didn't care to verify because I have internet, don't know if it's legitimate but owning a game legally and not be able to play it because you don't have internet ... sucks
PART I: Thank goodness you can play offline -after- you've got your Steam account set up, and your files unlocked, and your key registered, and Steam platform updated, and, and, my gosh that was the longest install process I have ever gone through!! * A word to the wise, it would be worth your effort to go through and make sure your drivers - especially video driver - are all up to date with the latest. Steam let me know that my video driver wasn't. And definitely make sure you have at least Directx9. ** Gateway computer owners!! -- Might want to check Gateways update site to download new video drivers!! I only know for sure about my NVidia GeForce2 MX200 that I have, but it was a Very Rude awakening to discover that the "latest" video driver from NVidia's site WAS NOT the driver that would work on my Gateway computer -- Thank Goodness I'd set a restore point!! After 3 and a half hours of downloading at 56k (including one dropped connection compliments of my daughters new puppy), I finally reached the point where Steam said it was ready to play. The opening menu was impressive in its quality, but I had some odd jumpiness where it kept showing my desktop then popping back to the game menu. I'd seen this before with two previous games. It was solved by switching my desktop resolution to the same resolution the game was trying to run at (1024xwhatever). After that, the opening "Wake up" speech was jumpy and the voice didn't synch with his mouth. As soon as I was to the point in the game where my Freeman character could move, I took one step forward and boom, it froze. I've never seen my WinXP lock up that hard. (insert odyssey to update my video driver here and refer back to my "word to the wise").
PART II: With an up-to-date video driver I was now able to get the game to at least play, but wow was it jumpy and voices didn't match up to character actions. Now, my system is not the beefy machine some full-time gamers may have, so after some initial FRUSTRATING testing and re-testing of settings, I discovered the HalfLife2 menu Options -> Video -> Advanced settings that worked best for my computer. Basically, with a 1.4ghz machine, 512k of RAM, and a NVidia GeForce2 card I had to have all the game's video settings no higher than "medium". And still I couldn't get the voices to match the characters movements (it was like one of those old japanese movies dubbed into english where the lips are moving, moving, moving, words are heard, lips move some more. Finally, I found that the "wait for video sync"(?) option set to enabled. Or was it "vertical sync wait" ? -- whatever, it's in the bottom right corner of the Video -> Advanced settings and setting it to "wait" did the trick. Now there are slight jumps from time to time as the action stops for just a moment to let the voice catch up with the person talking. All in all, this was the most arduous and lengthy install I have ever done for any computer program ever. I called it a night and went to bed. This was probably a good thing as it let me cool down before actually getting into the game to -play- the game. Honestly, if one more thing the night before had gone wrong, or taken longer, or caused me more frustration, I think I would have shipped the game back and asked for my money back.
PART III: This morning I started up the game in offline mode. Within five minutes after stepping off the train in City17 I'm hooked. Even with all my reduced settings and the occasional jumpy-pauses (mostly when people talk or the action gets Really Fast - as in the teleporter) I am surprised at the incredible rendering, awesome textures, and shear depth of the scenery. I mean the sky actually looks like it goes on far away into the distance. The skyline itself with all the buildings is awesome. There are birds flying around, and plausibly realisticly flying at that! It was incredible to see dirt spray coming up where bullets had missed their target, or chips of mortar flying off the walls. I have found the AI to be fairly intelligent. My only criticism is that eventually even opponents who duck back wounded will come back into a firing position, rather than hole up somewhere and stay under cover like a smart person would. Also, opponents will duck under cover to reload, and they will wait for buddies to show up before coming back at you. At medium to close ranges opponents will actually move out of your line of fire if you aim at them and they can see you, so don't take to long to pull the trigger or they will duck out of the way! What I've played so far has been a wild and fast-paced ride, with incredibly detailed graphics and effects. The character modelling and animation is as good as the rumor-mill said it was going to be. What an introduction to City17 of the future!
PART IV: My Summary- HalfLife2 does make up for the arduous and lengthy install. Just plan on spending a lot of time installing it. If you don't have a really beefy system, plan on spending some time tweaking the game settings as well. Thank goodness there is an offline mode. I think if I'd known these things up front, I wouldn't have been as upset as I was the evening I installed it. I was on the fence about returning it, and one more problem or delay would've had me pack it away and ship it back. Now that I'm finally playing it, you'd have to pry it out of my cold, dead, encounter-suited hands!
Let me put some fears to rest (and maybe create one or two) regarding the internet requirement. It IS a requirement to unlock the game. And no I'm not happy about that. Even Microsoft figured out how to register a cd via telephone and automated calling. Anyway, Once the game is "updated" - which I think means Steam has verified your cd - you can play the game without an internet connection. The instruction card that comes with the game attempts to explain how - but it leaves the issue lacking. After you log onto Steam and create an account, EXIT Steam. Don't log off and exit from the website, just right click on the Steam icon in your system tray and select exit. To play offline: First disconnect from the internet! You need to do this or the game will connect to Steam, by default. Only if disconnected, you will be presented with an option to play offline. Select it and you can play. Now some observations: (1)You can't play from the Half Life 2 menu (the one that boots from the cd) - at least I can't. You need to start Steam and select to play the game from the games menu. The game will then load. (2) It takes quite a while to load the game. If you see everything go black for some time - don't worry (right away) it's loading. Then the game will display an out of focus picture (you may get a "loading message" at this time - you may not). Don't fret - it's still loading. Go downstairs, grab a beer, some nuts, feed the dog and when you come back you will be ready to play. (3) Loading the game and loading levels within the game take a LOT longer than the original game so be prepared. Even on a suped-up Alienware P4 3.2GHz, 2G RAM and RAID hard drives it still takes some time. (4) I have experienced some crashes during play so save often until a patch comes. (5) Update your video drivers. Valve knows their stuff when it comes to engineering games - they need to stay out of the game verification field though... I hope this helps.
Agree with everyone regarding gameplay and graphics - knocks Doom 3 for six! Also agree regarding appalling installation/verification procedure. Bad enough if you have broadband but must be truly dreadful if you are on dialup. The MS system is more or less painless and AFAIK no-one has cracked that, so why the tedious rigmarole when all you want to do is load and play?