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FortKnox's Journal: Halflife 2: First look (Spoiler Free) [UPDATED] 16

Journal by FortKnox
Here's my experience with HL2 so far:
First of all, I installed the game. 5 CDs. Long install. Next I tried to sign up with steam. After about 30-45 minutes I finally got a steam account. Now I had to input my CD key. This took another 30-45 minutes (steam servers were pounded all night long). Afterwards, I tried firing up my game. *BUZT* My video card drivers are out of date (Radeon 9600XT, FYI). Fine, go to ati, download the newest drivers. Install. *BUZT* Needs SP2... been avoiding upgrading to SP2 until I had to... I had to. So, 45 minutes later SP2 is installed, newest video card drivers installed, CD Key in (not registered yet, but it allowed me to play the game, anyway, while the registration kept going through). Finally hit the game and it started to load. Total install time ~2.5-3 hours.

Anyhow, the meat and potatoes. I got in a good 1-2 hours worth of playing time. The graphics are on par with Doom 3 (doom 3 was all about demons and stuff, this is all about humans and stuff)... really gorgeous stuff. The lips move with the words and everything...
The plot, of course, kicks the pants off of Doom 3. The beginning is much like the original HL. No weapons, no suit, nothing... you gotta just keep going and do what the masked men tell you (the game starts off in a very 'big brother' type world). Its kinda spooky... has some matrix-like chase scenes... caused emotions... got adrenaline pumping... very well written and done. And I can't tell you how great it was to get a crowbar and give the hurt to those frickin guard/masked men. The game is kinda gory... blood does spew. Its the first game I've played that has GOOD ragdoll physics (Deus Ex: Invisible War has ragdoll physics, but its poorly done... so poorly its almost funny... like shooting a guy in the head and his legs come flying in the air and land in an upsidedown split).... anywho, I dare say so far (1 hour into it) its better than Doom 3, and is making a run for being better than its predecessor.

But, take this with a grain of salt. I enjoyed the beginning of Doom 3 until the game became "grab an item, false walls raise and demons come out" crap.

There is no multiplayer, yet (there is a co-op version coming out, called "sven's co-op"), but if everyone wants to share their steam id's, mine is "FortKnox."

Update: I failed to mention the only 'bad' part of the game I didn't like. The game is a bit too linear to play so far. Granted, the beginning of games SHOULD be linear to get the newbies aquainted with the game... I'm just finding it a touch too linear for my tastes. I'll tell you if things change or not.
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Halflife 2: First look (Spoiler Free) [UPDATED]

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  • Sven's coop is a hl1 mod that's being ported to hl2, so you can play it now in hl1 if you really wanted too :P

    It is rather fun
  • by MacBrave (247640)
    Does HL2 require SP2? Or was it your new video drivers that needed SP2 (this seems unlikely, but just want to make sure)?

  • by aWalrus (239802)
    I have an ATI AIW 9700 PRO, and the latest Catalyst didn't demand SP2 (which I don't have). Weird.

    I bought the game off of Steam and had it fully preloaded. Took me about 20 minutes to complete registration (which Steam did automatically after starting it).

    I'm enjoying the game a lot. I've come to appreciate the lulls, since most of it is relentless in the violence thrown at you (and, at least up to the hovercraft levels, *everyone* has more firepower than you do).
    • The newest Catalyst wouldn't install on my machine. The install crashed. I looked into support, and they heavily suggest that you install SP2. I installed SP2 and the catalyst install worked fine.
      • by lab16 (416283)
        The newest Catalyst wouldn't install on my machine. The install crashed. I looked into support, and they heavily suggest that you install SP2. I installed SP2 and the catalyst install worked fine.

        I guess I'm lucky that the latest ati drivers work on my machine without sp2. Sp2 is incompatible with my motherboard, and the os wouldn't load with it installed. I had to do a complete reinstall to get xp working again after I got my new system.
  • I love Halflife, so I'll probably love Halflife 2. What is the kind of rig you need in order to play this fluidly? /me fears the worst.
    • I have a 2.4GHz (HT) P4, 1GB memory (800MHz), ATi Radeon 9600XT video card, and it runs pretty well on my machine. It also requires an obnoxious 4.6GB or harddisc space to run.
      • Hmmmm.... The memory might be a problem. I have 1GB, but only at 233MHz. As for the graphics card, it's and older GeForce4 (Creative 3D Blaster 4 Titanium 4400 or so, I always forget. a review here, dated 15 May 2002...OUCH! That's old. [techspot.com]). The processor should follow, all the rest is already too old (AMD Athlon 2400+)

        Oh, well, I'll just wait for the PlayStation 3 release ;-) (Assuming they'll port it to that *grin*)

        • I have an AMD 2000+, GeForce 4 TI 4200 and 1GB of memory. HL2 runs smoothly at 800*600, no anti-alias.

          HL2 does not have monstrous hardware requirements.
          • Okay, well, I guess I just have to put the game on my christmas wishlist. (I lied about the CPU: I have two of them. That doesn't affect games much, I heard)
      • by ryanr (30917) *
        I've got an Athlon 2700+, 512MB of RAM, A couple of 7200RPM drives, and an ATI AIW 9700 Pro. Plays a lot smoother than Doom 3. In HL2 I only get sound stuttering when I've just saved occasionally, or when it just loaded a level. The load times between areas are obnoxious.

        I got mine off Steam, worked just fine, took a few hours. I think I was only partially precached.

        For those who didn't buy from Steam, does it required CDs in the drive? It's actually kinda nice to not have to do that, which I don't.
  • Penny-Arcade sez:
    Apparently people who bought it at retail had some trouble getting their copies running right, it was fixed shortly thereafter. I'm given to understand that people who ride horses to work or in other ways live their lives discordant with science and reason also suffer because of their strict adherence to anachronism. Get with the fucking program. Stop mixing those specious folk remedies and download your games directly from the Intertron.


  • I blame the newbies.

    I'm only at about 20% items, just about to clear the first temple, but thus far it seems somehow less impressive than the original Prime*. I can't find a way to scam my way into getting stuff before I'm supposed to... I bet someone will find a way though.

    * - Like when you first land on the planet. That was a wow. The rain effects, lots of subtle things clicking together... it doesn't seem as present in this(It's actually just as present, I was just expecting more). It's more like a

"Irrationality is the square root of all evil" -- Douglas Hofstadter

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