VOGONS


First post, by dulu

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Usually i try to collect games that does not require steam. I personally think that HL2 is important title for shooters fan but... i cannot find any information about that. Ebay and similar sites are just flooded by worthless steam-version boxes, but there is some early editions, which publisher was a "vivendi". These edition has any information about steam or required internet connection (pic rel). Has someone confirm that no-steam retail version 0f Half Life 2 even exist?

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Reply 2 of 13, by leileilol

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Never has been. *astronaut points gun*

I got it at launch, it's a Steam installer with encrypted cache (to prevent Gamer STORES from breaking street dates and 0day piracy) and DirectX9. That's exactly what you get on those paper sleeved discs, and this is that mythical "early edition Vivendi" release and it doesn't get any earlier than this November 2004 retail release. (unless you've got a super fast internet connection pre-ordering through Steam and downloading/unlocking it faster than a optical drive assuming you're in before the launch hammering)

That blurred orange card in the photo informs you of the Steam requirements, and the requirements on the box bottom also state "Internet Connection Required" as a minimum for that. Consider that WON closed for Half-Life in April 2004 and HL2 ships CSS with it, of course they're not going to make use of dead online services for their new game and use their own new Steam one they've had Condition Zero released on already. (the steam requirements of which led to the first mass of "FACK STEAM!! STEMING PILE'S OOF SHIT !" gifs)

(where's these recent, crazy "early retail hl2 not steam" claims coming from anyway?)

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Reply 3 of 13, by GrampaGotTheKeys

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dulu wrote on 2020-10-08, 21:03:

Has someone confirm that no-steam retail version 0f Half Life 2 even exist?

In short no, but;
If you google up "Halflife 2 build 2153" or "2187" you'll find versions were people have switched the SecuROM hl2.exe with the .exe from the modern DRM free steam release.
It's older versions like these that speedrunners use as they contain the old exploits for speeeed!
(plus they work on Win98SE for me without the need for anything like KernelEx.)

Reply 4 of 13, by maximus

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I'll join in with the chorus of no's. Half-Life 2 has been tied to Steam from day one. BUT, boxed copies are not useless. I made a guide to installing and running Half-Life 2: Game of the Year Edition from CD without Steam. Has been working great for me so far 👍

PCGames9505

Reply 5 of 13, by gerry

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I never played HL2 because I didn't want to use steam. Not for reasons of being vehemently against it, just that there were other games to play and I preferred not to have internet dependency or encounter problems if i wanted to play again years later. I sort of filed it away thinking at some point there will be a steamless version, but there wasn't

what i realise is that no game is so good that you simply have to sign up to whatever, if you don't want to just skip it. Sure I've missed the experience of playing HL2, but it isn't really important

it's like any entertainment - if somehow a movie was only watchable if you had to go to a specific place and you didn't want to go, i'd just not watch it - there are other things to do with the same time

Reply 6 of 13, by debs3759

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I received a copy a couple of days ago. Glad this thread came up, as I had no idea it required Steam. I'm not generally a gamer, and have no desire to sign up to play online. Most of my FPS games are purely to see if they have a demo mode for benchmarking 😀

Reply 7 of 13, by maximus

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I kid you not, when I first got Half-Life 2 in 2005 and saw that it wanted to install some other (then unknown) internet-connected software, it was such a turn-off that I canceled the installation, put the game on a shelf, and didn't touch it again for a year. Glad I did eventually play it, though. It has become an all-time favorite. I did briefly put up with Steam but now have three Steam-free ways to enjoy it: Steam-free install on PC, the Xbox version, and the Xbox 360 version packaged with The Orange Box. Both console versions are A+ ports.

So yeah, I'm in the "Never Steam" camp 😆 It just grosses me out and I can't bring myself to use it. It and services like it are bringing about the "death of game ownership", which along with nostalgia is one of the big reasons I got into this hobby. Fun fact: Steam dropped Windows XP support, so the game can no longer be installed or played on the systems for which it was designed. Not through official channels, anyway. That stinks.

PCGames9505

Reply 9 of 13, by debs3759

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Huh! I just tried logging in to my long dormant steam account, but forgot my password. Took ages to set up a new one, as it kept saying all the randomly generated passwords I tried were not valid! Not sure if that is because I used the mouse to copy and paste, or if they don't like highly secure passwords, as I can't find anywhere that says what they accept for passwords.

EDIT

Seems if I use the keyboard to paste I can enter a super=random password without it being rejected.

Reply 10 of 13, by Kerr Avon

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maximus wrote on 2020-10-28, 15:20:

I kid you not, when I first got Half-Life 2 in 2005 and saw that it wanted to install some other (then unknown) internet-connected software, it was such a turn-off that I canceled the installation, put the game on a shelf, and didn't touch it again for a year. Glad I did eventually play it, though. It has become an all-time favorite. I did briefly put up with Steam but now have three Steam-free ways to enjoy it: Steam-free install on PC, the Xbox version, and the Xbox 360 version packaged with The Orange Box. Both console versions are A+ ports.

So yeah, I'm in the "Never Steam" camp 😆 It just grosses me out and I can't bring myself to use it. It and services like it are bringing about the "death of game ownership", which along with nostalgia is one of the big reasons I got into this hobby. Fun fact: Steam dropped Windows XP support, so the game can no longer be installed or played on the systems for which it was designed. Not through official channels, anyway. That stinks.

Half-Life 2 on the original XBox was fantastic! As far as I can recall, the one single thing that the single player game lacked on the XBox compared to the PC version was, when you looked through a telescope at one point during the buggy-riding section, on the XBox you just saw the horizon, whereas on the PC version you saw something (a boat? The G-man? I can't remember, but I know it wasn't important). That was it. Everything else was there, and the game ran great, on that 64MB (the 64MB total included the system RAM and the shared video RAM) console. A fantastic conversion. Yes. the XBox's resolution was lower, and the textures might well have been lower too (I can't remember), and there was no multiplayer on the XBox version, but most people, myself included, weren't bothered about the multiplayer on the PC version so to us it was no loss. A really good example of how talented, dedicated programmers can make the best of a limited piece of hardware.

Reply 11 of 13, by dulu

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Everything else was there, and the game ran great, on that 64MB (the 64MB total included the system RAM and the shared video RAM) console. A fantastic conversion.

Yeah, pentium coppermine 733MHz runs hl2 and doom3 in stable 30 fps while pc version of these games on 1,4GHz Tualatin are unplayable. That was my biggest disappointment about dealing with tualatin setup.

Reply 12 of 13, by maximus

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The Xbox port of Doom 3 is also pretty impressive. Too bad some levels had to be cut down to fit in 64 MB of RAM, but the game still looks good and runs smooth. The engine has a render path tailored for the NV20 architecture; probably helps a lot.

But yeah, Half-Life 2 on the Xbox is superb. The whole game is there, and it actually looks better than on a GeForce3. Xbox renders water reflections, GeForce3 doesn't. At least that's what I've seen.

PCGames9505

Reply 13 of 13, by Kerr Avon

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maximus wrote on 2020-10-30, 02:00:

The Xbox port of Doom 3 is also pretty impressive. Too bad some levels had to be cut down to fit in 64 MB of RAM, but the game still looks good and runs smooth. The engine has a render path tailored for the NV20 architecture; probably helps a lot.

But yeah, Half-Life 2 on the Xbox is superb. The whole game is there, and it actually looks better than on a GeForce3. Xbox renders water reflections, GeForce3 doesn't. At least that's what I've seen.

Doom 3 on the XBox also came with a co-op mode, which the PC lacked. Though modders (who are brilliant!) did produce a co-op mod for the PC version. The BFG edition of Doom 3 doesn't have a co-op mode, so if you play Doom 3 on the XBox 360 or PS3, then you can't play cop-op, even though you can on the earlier XBox.

Come to think of it, there are three XBox first person shooters that I prefer to their PC versions:

SeriousSam_image2.jpg

The XBox game Serious Sam is a meld of the PC's Serious Sam: First Encounter, and Serious Sam: Second Encounter, and I actually prefer it to the PC originals, as (a) you can use the chainsaw through the full XBox game (whereas on the PC, the chainsaw is only available on the Second Encounter), and (b) the XBox game uses a score and lives system (with you awarded extra lives as your score increases), which sounds like a terrible idea for a first person shooter, but it actually works really well. Note that Serious Sam: Second Encounter is NOT Serious Sam 2, that's a whole different game, which was released on both the PC and the original XBox.

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And Serious Sam (on the PC, of course) does have a modding scene, so likely someone has made a mod to add the above two features to the PC version. And yet again, the XBox 360 doesn't have the advantages of the version for the original XBox, as the 360 version (which is part of the Serious Sam Collection) instead contains the PC games Serious Sam: First Encounter, and Serious Sam: Second Encounter.

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The XBox (and Gamecube, and PS2) version of James Bond: Nightfire, is also better than the PC version, since for some reason the PC version misses out all of the vehicle based levels, and also has more irritating stealth mechanics than the (already irritating) stealth mechanics of the console versions of the game. Though if you never play any version of the game then you're not missing much. It's an OK game, but not great.

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And the XBox port/remix/whatever of Far Cry, called Far Cry: Instincts is also better than the PC version, if you ask me, though I'd imagine many people would disagree with me there. Far Cry: Instincts largely does away with the open world(ish) nature of the PC game, no doubt mainly to compensate for the XBox's smaller memory pool, so that instead the game is much more linear, though it does pretty well at hiding that and seeming like you could, if you choose, go off in a random direction. Far Cry: Instincts starts off like the PC game, but half-way through deviates enough to introduce new player mechanics, and doesn't have the bullet sponge attack creatures (or the tedium) of the PC game.

I can't find any screenshots to illustrate the new features of the XBox version, but the game does look great by XBox standards:

_-Far-Cry-Instincts-Xbox-_.jpg

On the other hand, Thief 3: Deadly Shadows has a serious bug that was never fixed on the XBox, though the PC version was fixed in a patch (though I can't remember if the patch was official or fan-made; the Thief games have a very lively and intelligent community on the PC, and their mods and fixes are often high quality). The bug forces you to play most of the game in the normal difficulty mode, as anytime you load, either when you load a save-game, or when you pass an in-game loading point, then the game resets the skill level to normal (if you'd set it to any other level when you started the game). As a result, even if you choose a different difficulty level, you still have to play the XBox game in normal difficulty after the game loads something. As a result, you always have to play against enemies who have tunnel version, the attention span of a puppy, who are hard of hearing, etc, instead of those enemies being sharp and alert. The XBox had XBox Live!, which allowed for downloadable patches, plus the official XBox magazine could put patches on their cover-disc, so a patch for the game was possible and practical (and patches did exist for XBox games, Unreal Championship had a post-release patch with a shopping list of bug-fixes). But no, the XBox version will forever have this flaw, unfortunately.

I can't find a screenshot to illustrate the Thief 3 bug, but here's a screen of some of the game's barrels. They're almost as intelligent as the NPCs you'll be up against in the XBox version of the game...

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