Intel iMac Notes: Half-Life 2

    7 September 2006, early morning

As soon as Bootcamp was announced, many Mac users went out and installed Half-Life 2 in their newly created Windows XP partitions. (Cabel Sasser, Todd Dominey, and Michael Heilemann all made a go of it.) Yesterday I installed Half-Life 2 on my Intel iMac. The process is very straight forward. I was waiting for the game’s price to drop, but apparently it’s just too popular. I bought Half-Life 2, the game of the year edition, for $50 at Electronics Boutique. It’s the version that comes with the original Half-Life, plus Counter Strike Source.

Since the last time I used Bootcamp, Apple put out a new version of the software. Upgrading is straightforward: you need to install the new Bootcamp assistant, burn a new CD of the drivers, and install them in Windows. Once this was out of the way, I started installing Half-Life. That took a while. Why they don’t release these games on DVDs I don’t know. 5 CDs later, I was ready to play—well, almost. Half-Life uses this software called Steam for copy-protection (and a few other things). I started up Steam, registered my game, and waited while Steam patched my copies of Half-Life 2, Counter Strike Source and the original Half-Life. I have a quick connection to the net, so thankfully this wasn’t a long process.

The game plays great. Running around is smooth, and I can play at the iMacs native resolution of 1680 by 1050. I didn’t play too much of the game, because my computer is still at my old flat. Once I can actually play for a bit I’ll write more about how it runs. The real question I am faced with is this: should I play Half-Life before playing Half-Life 2? I’m thinking yes, but once you see how nice Half-Life 2 looks, it is hard to bring yourself to play the original Half-Life

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