“Nothing will ever be the same”.
“The most important game you’ll ever play.”
These are just a couple of sample quotes taken from reviews of what by general consensus is the most eagerly awaited game ever. The game, for those who really haven’t been paying attention to the universe for the last year, is Half-Life 2, which is but one day away from being freed from its locked status. Even those who bought Halo 2 only last week will be putting down their Xbox controllers and heading over to the PC for this one.
While many people already have the game downloaded and ready to go via Steam, there are many reports of people that have already got hold of boxed copies. However, these individuals haven’t been able to get a head start on the rest of us as even those with a disc copies will have connect to the Internet and authenticate the game via a Steam account to be able to play the single player game. After this has been done, you don't have to go online again. This move is no doubt to help combat piracy, which after last years source code theft is very much a concern for developers Valve. Indeed, other recent big games such as Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and Halo 2 have suffered from being leaked early.
The game will be unlocked to play for everybody at exactly the same time tomorrow. This will be 12AM for Valve in the US, which equates to 8AM for the UK. Get the exact list of times here. Guess there could be a whole bunch of people off from school/work with a mysterious illness tomorrow…
Valve’s Gabe Newell, has stated that the minimum specifications for Half-Life 2 will be a 1.2GHz CPU with 256MB RAM and a DirectX 7 graphics card. This however, clearly won’t do the game justice and the recommended specs are a 2.4 GHz CPU with 512MB RAM, and a DirectX 9 graphics card.
If your PC doesn’t cut the mustard though, and you can’t afford to upgrade, you could always try the novel approach taken by one individual, who has put up a highly amusing page on E-bay bemoaning his PC's lack of graphical flair and essentially begging for donations. As ridiculous as it sounds, he’s currently reached $405, which ought to get him at new graphics card at least. Hey, don’t knock it till you’ve tried it.