I have to say that Half-Life 2 is a great game. Unless you have an illegal copy of course…
The graphics engine is amazing, the story has me interested, the puzzles are fun, and there is plenty of action to satisfy anyone who enjoys first person shooters.
That said, you have to consider the brief annoyance of installing another software program (Steam) in order to play the game. For me and most of the people who purchased a legitimate copy, that is fine. Steam does not “download tons of spyware to your computer” and it is actually a pretty cool device for downloading additional content such as the Source SDK. It is also a clever way for Valve to circumvent Vivendi in getting the game to their customers. I bought a boxed copy of the game for nostalgia’s sake. I like to have the physical product in my hands, plus it might be one of the few games left to have the Sierra brand on it. If it weren’t for that I would have downloaded it from Steam.
Half-Life 2 is a great game in the same vein as the original Half-Life. I don’t understand the “disappointment” that is being discussed here. The only thing I was disgusted with was the incredibly drawn out release that this game had. Let me also say that I enjoy computer games and video games. I am not devoted to a particular genre. I’m sure many people equate the rise of shooting games with the death of adventure games. This has created a bias and resentment that is sometimes evident on these forums. Since I can not agree with hating a type of game for its perceived effect on other types of games, and since I have a legitimate copy of this great game I will continue to play through Half-Life 2 and enjoy every minute of it (and download more mods from Steam).