PC Gamer scores early review of “Half-Life 2.”

Subscribers to PC Gamer should be getting their December issue sometime this week and they can look forward to a nine page write-up of Half-Life 2 plus an additional four pages on running it on your PC. The guys over at HalfLife2.net interviewed Senior Editor Chuck Osborn on what it was like learning his magazine would be allowed to review the game first and if HL2 lived up to his expectations:

Icarus: What was your reaction when you found out you would be the first to review Half-Life 2?
Chuck Osborn:It was a mixture of excitement and trepidation, because of the responsibility of being the first one to review it.

Icarus: Was Half-Life 2 what you expected?
Chuck Osborn: More

Icarus: Was it worth the wait?
Chuck Osborn: Absolutely

Damn Chuck, try not to be so long-winded!  Meanwhile the folks at Half-Life Fallout have word from Valve’s Gabe Newell on the different packages that will be offered depending on if you buy the game retail or through Steam:

The Half-Life 2 offers have been finalized. Details are pasted below. The Steam offers will be available for purchase next week. Those who purchase via Steam, will receive the final version of Counter-Strike: Source immediately. Half-Life 2 and other games in the Steam offerings will be made available to purchasers upon their release.

Retail Boxes

  • Standard Edition—includes HL2 and CS:Source. Ships on six CDs, in one of three box-art packages (Gordon, Alyx or the G-Man).
  • Collector’s Edition—includes Half-Life 2, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source, a Half-Life 2 T-shirt and a Prima book sampler. Ships on a single DVD.

Steam Packages

  • Bronze—HL2* and CS:Source.
  • Silver—HL2*, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source*, Day of Defeat: Source*, Valve’s back catalog currently available on Steam.
  • Gold—HL2*, Counter-Strike: Source, Half-Life 1: Source*, Day of Defeat: Source*, Valve’s back catalog currently available on Steam, Complete Strategy Guide from Prima Games, 3 different Half-Life 2 posters, Half-Life 2 hat, Half-Life 2 postcard, Half-Life 2 stickers, Half-Life 2 Soundtrack CD, Chance to win a trip to Valve! (1 trip offered for every 5000 Gold packages purchased).

*To be made available upon product’s release.

No mention on what the pricing for the various packages will be at this time, but the fact that Counter-Strike: Source will be available next week to folks who pre-purchase through Steam is very exciting news. This is one of the few times I regret having a pre-order of the game with Amazon. Sure I don’t have to worry about paying for the game, but I won’t be able to buy it through Steam and get to play CS: Source ahead of time either and I’m a long-time fan of Counter-Strike. Add onto this the fact that a lawsuit between Valve and Vivendi Universal could result in HL2 being delayed for another 6 months and you can understand why I have chewed my fingernails to the quick. Aiiiiieeeeeee!

Update: It just occurred to me that the standard release will ship on 6 friggin’ CDs!?! No wonder they’ve been doing preloads via Steam. At the very least this is a good argument for buying the DVD version.

7 thoughts on “PC Gamer scores early review of “Half-Life 2.”

  1. Sorry to be all contrary, but I thought Half Life was a poor System Shock ripoff. I’ll just slink out before the stones start getting hurled…

  2. I find that an interesting position to take. While I’ve never played the original System Shock I do own the sequel which I enjoyed very much even if I never did get around to finishing it. Come to think of it, I should re-install it and finish it sometime soon.

    Anyway, I feel that SS2 is a very different game from HL in most respects as SS2 has more of an RPG feel to it. Not that I wouldn’t love to see a System Shock 3 done using the Source engine.  ohh

  3. Did it say how much the retail collector’s edition is?  Steam is out of the question (dial-up).  downer

  4. Whaaaat? Half-Life 2 possibly delayed again?

    Oh man! I was feely pretty good about all my self-restraint in deciding not to play this one before november, aftermy big project at the U. Now it seems that I can’t even give in to temptation then because there’s nothing to give in. Curses!

    Anyway, I’m pretty excited about the old games as ports too. Normaly, I never play something as linear as HL again, but maybe…


    On a final note – how do they fit a t-shirt onto a DVD wink

  5. I’ll admit, I enjoyed Half Life. I got into it with little expectation, so I’m not taking the old “overhyped” position. I just remember finishing it and thinking “Is that it”? HL and SS2 were very similiar plot-wise, but I thought that the latter had a much greater effect on me. I’ve very rarely been literally scared by a game, as in “I want to turn the computer off and run away”. HL is more action-oriented, while SS2 was more athmospheric and emotionally-investing (you’re right, it’s more of an RPG). As for the first Shock, well I could babble on about that for hours. I can’t believe it’s 10 years old.

    And “ripoff” is a bit harsh. I guess every FPS is just a ripoff of Wolfenstein if you go back far enough.

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