Welcome back, Doctor Freeman

Thanks to a convenient birthday a mere week after the release date, I now have a copy of the highly anticipated PC game Half Life 2. Since this was a birthday gift and because the local Microcenter was having a sale on the game, I ended up with the retail boxed version of the game, versus the direct-download from Valve.

While I’m enjoying the game, I can barely imagine how frustrating the installation of the retail boxed game for the average Joe End-User. The box comes with a bunch of CD-Roms and absolutely nothing else, other than an advert for ATI video cards. No manual or even a slip of paper explaining the download and unlocking procedures that will accompany the game install.

The average person must have been dumbfounded to put the disc in and be greeted with a message saying that the install would take up to 60 minutes for the files to be unpacked, followed by another twenty-minute wait for them to be checked, thanks to the online registration and downloadable content system that is Steam.

If I was a reviewer for the game, I’d have to give three seperate scores at the end of the review. The Game Itself: 9/10. Steam: 8/10. Retail Box Set: 3/10.

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