Half-Life 2: Episode One online

First installment of new trilogy in Valve's first-person shooter series now available; Steam online store gets updated in advance of release.

Valve Software was a pioneer in the field of digital distribution, setting up its Steam online store as a way to deliver full-scale games like Half-Life 2 to consumers directly through the Internet. Now the company is using its flagship franchise to explore another emerging field in the gaming market, episodic content.

Copies of Half-Life 2: Episode One downloaded through Steam were unlocked at 10 a.m. today as the game also went up on store shelves around the world. The stand-alone game picks up where Half-Life 2's cliffhanger ending left off, and moves the story away from the City 17 setting of the original game.

In anticipation of the Episode One release, Valve took the opportunity yesterday to update its Steam digital distribution service. The newest update to the Steam client software makes a number of changes to the service's set of features. Among the more notable tweaks: the Friends feature has emerged from its Beta testing period, the back-up utility has been made quicker and more reliable, and content has been added to the Source engine that will allow it to support unspecified newer features.

Half-Life 2: Episode One is rated M for Mature and retails for $19.95 both online and in stores. For more on the original Half-Life 2, check out GameSpot's full review. For more on Episode One, read through GameSpot's latest preview of the game, and check back soon for a full review.

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Half-Life 2: Episode One

Half-Life 2: Episode One

Discussion

69 comments
ymcop
ymcop

gee, I'll try one when I have a new card, I've lost one, hix .

Azzzel
Azzzel

love to se a review on this,

Disgaeamad
Disgaeamad

I'm planning on buying this after I expand more on the Half-Life series. It looks very good, and I believe the hype is deserved,

stanleyCG1_2
stanleyCG1_2

UPDATE!! apparently it's updating and will be ready to play in approximately 33 minutes!!! i got the game at like 10 o'clock this morning, STEAM IS OFFICIALY ****

stanleyCG1_2
stanleyCG1_2

i'm still trying to install, i've got to the part where it prepares half life deathmatch source files for install...dammit why does steam suck soooooooooo much!!!!

chrisdojo
chrisdojo

better play than HL2? (according to the review) sounds good to me. now, why couldn't they make it at least 8-10 hours long? ah well.

darkdaej
darkdaej

guardianlegend7 I hate buying online content. After you buy it, you can't really sell it on Ebay. Hmm, the EULA probably prevents you from doing so on the boxed version anyway. u can't sell most comp games on ebay because of the damned EULA

ubj007
ubj007

Good news for PC gamers.

stanleyCG1_2
stanleyCG1_2

yep, i got the retail version, trying to install it as we speak....but guess what!! steam isnt working!

stanleyCG1_2
stanleyCG1_2

yep, i got the retail version, trying to install it as we speak....but guess what!! steam isnt **** great

Cartman86
Cartman86

I would say it is a little pricey. 10 bucks would have been a little more appropriate. But really were getting down to very little money anyways.

K1LLSWITCH
K1LLSWITCH

Sounds great. I'm curious if Valve will make new online multiplayer maps for each episode.

bulldog7
bulldog7

didn't you just contradict yourself fallenonex? some like it but it's not perfect. they like aspects of it but not all of it. Seems reasonable to me. sort of like hating pork and loving bacon, some of the swine is nice, the other sucks. Where's the problem? This does seem a bit pricey for 4 hours....

FallenOneX
FallenOneX

PC gamers don't mind $20 for 4 hours (5-8 hours is total bs with all of you people talking about 4 hours, even if it was on easy). For console gamers, that better be a budget or a greatest hits title. Nothing wrong with that, just different. And just a little side note: You can't say that the $20 is money well spent, and then follow the statement with a 'but',a 'though', or a 'if only....'. If you did, then stop trying to straddle the damned fence and say the frigging thing might not be worth it. This is America, you can hate pork chops and still love bacon here.

Cartman86
Cartman86

I was suprised that I enjoyed it so much. After all its short (took me 4-5 hours), doesnt have really any new types of environments, no vehicles, the plot doesn't truely answer anything (just brings up new questions and hints at things), and it has all the same weapons and only one new enemy type that you actually can fight against. YET I loved it. It was so much more fast paced and just better paced than Half-Life 2 was. Instead of a crap load of just shooting it was broken up with tons of set pieces. It's hard to explain unless you play it, but there are a good deal of nicely done typical Half-life style cutscenes (the ones that keep you in the game). Of course like the first the voice acting and animations on the characters are amazing. And in Episode One they are even better. The interactions between Dog and Alyx at one point were just awesome. And the interactions between the characters and you are quite cool as well. Now if Episode Two did all this I might get bored, but after seeing the teaser trailer for it I suspect there are some changes coming. Especially with the environment. And some interesting plot points that i've been waiting for. After all they are getting us to like these characters why not do some real drama with em? 8.9/10.

ProsserBoy
ProsserBoy

[QUOTE="Dakkon597"]Can you only download it if you buy deathmatch or something? I just checked out Steam, and you can't buy the game alone... Weird...[/QUOTE] Half-Life Deathmatch: Source. I don't think they'd sell very many alone. :lol: Anyway, I haven't finished the game, but I've enjoyed every second I've played. (johnnseven, a 6/10? Please tell me what games get 8's or 9's on your scale, they must be fantastic.) It was crashing a lot, but it's been resolved (I'm not actually sure if I resolved it or if Valve did).

johnnseven
johnnseven

I finished ep1 in 6 hours, Pretty much the same old thing. I had been watching this release in great anticipation for months now. There are a few things I noticed in this release, (1) it is a runoff of the first one completely, visually there was no new material. (2) The combine soldiers ran like an arcade, in a few of the scenes, unless you completed it, the supply of soldiers was endless. (3) The ending was the only real changing part of the whole game... I all around enjoyed the game for what is was, a rehash on a money making game. I sincerely hope ep 2 has a better plot and story line. In the end the game is a 6 out of 10.

FuguNabe
FuguNabe

Gawd I can't wait till my import copy gets delivered to me.... mwahahaha...

kaziechameleon
kaziechameleon

well i'll probably pick it up i simply loved the immersive single player experience that was HL2 and i hope that this episodic expansion will keep me happy till HL3

alberto2045
alberto2045

hold on whats this topic about ooo yeah well i cant say anything since i dont have a fast computer to handle that game man

Fattony6666
Fattony6666

I haven't bought it and therefore I'm not playing it. That being said, I holla!!!

Edward1211
Edward1211

i am playing it and its awsome!! i bought 2 hours ago!

nemes1s3000
nemes1s3000

When you buy this game, you'll be given an option on whether or not to install Deathmatch as well. You know, just to make things easier for you. I myself prefer the box'ed version, faster installation.

tr00pa_26
tr00pa_26

ahhh half life..it all started there

Deslin77
Deslin77

o_O been living under a rock? sorry had to say it =P Its a game.

SerOlmy
SerOlmy

Just finished it about an hour ago definatly worth the money, though I wish it was a bit longer. I think the gameplay and puzzles were even more inventive than some of the ones in HL2, which made it even more fun. Its also really nice to have someone with you the whole time to liven things up and help out with the shooting. If you haven't bought it already do it, it is definatly as good as I had hoped it would be.

insanekoz
insanekoz

I just beat it. It is in fact awesome. I'd gladly pay another 20 bucks for Episode 2. Alyx is becoming even more releastic, but more importantly, more human. Amazing. The trailer for Episode 2 is a huge cliffhanger for the Half-Life series.

Tuor7
Tuor7

Just finished. It took me just over 4 hours to complete. Without giving away any of the plot, I felt it was a bit too scripted for my tastes, and it also did a lot of something I hate: unlimited enemies. As in, they keep coming until you do some particular thing or go to some particular place. I still had a lot of fun, and I'm really starting to get an urge to do with Alyx what Dr. Kliner suggested. Finally, I'm not a fan of episodic releases, but I suppose this is how things are going to be. It'd be cool if instead of each episode being seperate, they could be merged into the same game with maybe an intermission between them.

QualityJeverage
QualityJeverage

Sorry for you guys having problems, mine ran fine. In fact, I just beat it! Mako, you must be insane. It's an EXPANSION PACK. And since when does 20 bucks mean 8-12 hours? Besides, those 4 hours of play were so great, that it really makes up for it. Imagine the chaos in the streets near the end of Half-Life 2, Episode 1 is almost completely that kind of thing!

AA7
AA7

I have to buy this one, I NEED to know whats up with that crazy G-man!@

G13RainbowSix
G13RainbowSix

it says its still unrealeased for me wHYYYY i dl it yesterday...

Mako
Mako

OMG this game is short. I love the game.. really... but $20 for roughly 4 hours is WAY to short. It should have been 8-12 hours of gameplay for that price.

diepoxide
diepoxide

I was able to play about a half hour of it....before work.So far,so good.

magahl
magahl

So, are some of you having problems with the downloaded version? I pre-downloaded it today and started playing around 11AM So far it has crashed on me four times, I have around 30 minutes worth of gameplay finished so far. The game just stops, the sound loops and the computer reboots. I have a ATI X1900xtx card and a AMD Athlon 64 bit computer. Anyone else with these kind of problems? any one has any ideas as of how to solve it?

Gigas_Yuu
Gigas_Yuu

I'm gonna wait until all the episodes are released and they'll be combined and probably be 29.99. I will win.

Pushno
Pushno

The game is great!!! Valve will not work with consoles anymore, I heard. So there will be no Xbox360/PS3 versions. Only PC.

gt4freak1985
gt4freak1985

i want this exspansnion so bad, but i lost my job, so no money! DAMN! I I spent all my money on my video card 7800gt oc! lol!

SCEEChe
SCEEChe

Just finished it aswell, took me about 4 hours. It just left me wanting more! GRRR come on Valve release Episode 2!!

blackIceJoe
blackIceJoe

I can't wait until this comes out on the 360 and PS3.