Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Steam and Free Classic Half-Life Titles

I haven't used Steam since last January when I was trying out the Half-Life 2 PC demo, and I hated it. It would constantly force you to download updates you didn't want, force you to connect online even if you checked Offline Mode, it was unstable and would often crash, etc.

Recently, I found out that if you install Steam and register your existing Half-Life: Game of the Year Edition CD Key to it, you can download all the classic Half-Life content for free. This includes both expansions, Counter Strike, and various death match mods.

I decided to give it a try, and yes, the above paragraph is true. What's more, Steam seems to have stabalized a good bit since last year, as well as gotten a slight aesthetic make-over. The only issue I've presently experienced is that whenever I exit Steam, whether I've been playing a game or simply connect and then disconnect, either in Online or Offline Mode, I'll get an "Invalid Page Fault" error. Not a huge deal, but somewhat annoying.

After registering my Half-Life: Game of the Year Edition CD Key to Steam, it recognized it as the Half-Life: Platinum Pack. I was then able to download Half-Life, Half-Life: Opposing Force, and Half-Life: Blue Shift at no additional cost other than what I paid for Half-Life: Game of the Year Edition back in August 1999.

The High Def. Pack that came with retail Half-Life: Blue Shift was not initially available, but I was able to find it for download via Steam's Support Page.

The great thing about this is that I never owned Half-Life: Blue Shift, so this means that, for free, I now have access to that game and its High Def. Pack which improves the character and weapon models for all classic Half-Life titles. Since I also have access to Half-Life: Opposing Force for free, I can technically sell or trade in my retail copy of it, as its no longer needed.

Anyway, for the cost, I'm not complaining on what Steam's been able to do for me in the last day.

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