Half-Life 2 sucks

Half-Life 2 sucks. I realise I'm getting to the table pretty late on this one.

Well, I don't know if it sucks or not, to be honest (in fact, word is rather the opposite), because I am unable to get past the awful, awful, horrible registration/checkpoint/papers please/sign here/cough scheme. My friend bought HL2 many months ago and played it all the way through on the woefully underpowered family computer, sitting through interminable load times and enduring as few as zero frames per second at some points. He raved about the game. Best ever. That's saying a lot. More recently I bought a new, all singing, all dancing gaming rig which I've only today finally got around to actually installing a few games on it. HL2 was obviously in the lineup. I'm sure you can all whistle the following tune:

  1. The game requires Steam to be installed to run. Steam is... well, I can't figure out what it is. Speaking from the point of view of somebody who plays single-player games, and those rarely, all Steam does is let you select what game you want to play. Menus were invented a good two decades ago and are still not obsolete, so why do I need Steam to take up memory, CPU power, taskbar real estate and unholy amounts of hard disk space all of a sudden? Are gamers incapable of selecting things from menus now? I suspect NOT!
  2. The game needs you to register for Steam and sign in for it to run. I am a man of the internet and I loathe being forced to sign up and sign in for things, especially for things I should able to access freely.
  3. You need to have an internet connection. You need to have an internet connection to be allowed to play this single-player, offline game. The magnitude of idiocy that must have been behind that decision cannot be overstated.
  4. Steam sucks. The interface is appalling. It's also crammed with ads. When you pay money for something, is it too much to expect it not to have ads in? I mean, you pay, or you get ads, but not both. That should be the deal, yesno? With EVERYTHING. Steam is also horrifyingly non-intuitive. My friend uses (is forced to use) it extensively and hence knows his way around. Me? A tech-savvy child of the '00s? Left clueless.
  5. The CD key I entered was valid, but got rejected, because my friend had already installed HL2 on the other computer. Without sharing accounts, I will actually have to go out and buy another copy of HL2 for myself if I want to play it. Or I can simply mail Valve USD10 and they can cancel my friend's registration of HL2 and then I can grab it for myself.

I see where Valve are coming from when they take such drastic measures to prevent videogame piracy, but doing so at the expense of honest, legitimate players? Baaaaaaaaaaaad.