Admittedly, the graphics are brilliant (on my 6800 at least), however the install process is NOT worth the agony. I sure as shit will not buy another game that uses so-called “Steam”.

If any of your buddies are looking to buy the game, warn them.

The install process is AGONY, especially if you only have a modem. I’m not sure that my 64k ISDN would have been much better, if it had been working.

So you have your nice DVD-sized box (If you didn’t buy the collector’s edition). I took the one with the face of that scary looking dude on it. Open the box… Just a crappy little cardboard tray with 5 CDs in paper sleeves, and 1 crappy “reference card”. Hmm. Another useless box, like the Doom 3 box, that can’t be stored with my other regular DVD-case games.

Install off 5x CDs takes awhile… bout half an hour(+?) or so. First it installs the “Steam” client, and then it installs the game proper.

Ready to play the game? Nope!

Steam updates itself. This took about half an hour (analogue connection at “48k”).

Ready to play? Nope!

Steam “decrypts” Half-life 2. This took a long time. But then it also said something about downloading content for “Codename: Gordon” – which really made me happy, considering I was connected at 48k(!), and had already been connected for around 2 hours (Note to self: Don’t mess around with other stuff in Steam while bored). Set Codename:Gordon to Never update. It didn’t stop the download. Killed Steam (had to kill the task as well), and restarted it. Half-life 2 properties shows that it has 99% updated.

Check Steam monitor. No updates in progress. Right, how the hell do I force an update? Can’t find any info. Screw it. Launch game.

Please wait… Half-life 2 will be ready in…. 86 minutes.


More waiting. Eventually the wait time dropped… until it showed ready. I cancelled the launch. Stuff that. I wanted to see if so-called “Offline” mode worked. I disconnected the modem, and then quit Steam.

Relaunch Steam, and after awhile, it bitched about not being able to connect. Do you want to go offline? Yes, damnit.

Finally. Launch Half-life 2. It runs. About fucking time.

One thing I can say, is that I’ve definitely been put off Steam. Reading various form posts reaffirms my conviction. I will NOT buy another Steam game. (I probably will, but right at this point, I will not! I won’t! So there!)

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