I'm sure you're not trolling, it's just a matter of personal opinion obviously. However, I think what other people, myself included, saw in Half Life was a FPS with a consistent (not necessarily good) storyline which unfolded in a cinematic way through in-game scripted events. It wasn't about finding the red key for the red door - which IS the standard for just about every other shooter prior to HL. After HL if you sent the gamer off on a hunt for a particular door key hidden in an illogical or incosistent area and you weren't being ironic about it then your game got slammed. HL added months to the development cycle of games which were due for publication shortly after it appeared - no question. The support that Valve gave to MOD enthusiasts is right up there with id and that's high praise. Plus right off the block, almost, they released a free TF add-on, officially. Now everyone's doing that but it wasn't always the way. So while the HL story may not deserve all the praise it's gotten (no offense to Marc Laidlaw, who is a talented SF writer but he was working within clear constraints.)it was streets ahead of anything else available prior to it while still being an accomplished game in its own right.
Um, and as for Steam - I like the concept but have certain missgivings. Currently I buy a game, play it until I finish it and then pass it on to my nephew. Short of letting him use my Steam account, and presumably cutting myself off from it for the duration, I can't see myself being able to do that. So the price on Steam would have to be considerably cheaper that buying the box. Heck, if I wanted to buy a game at retail, play it until I'm bored with it and then sell it on ebay - monetarily I'm playing the game for the difference in cost vs sell value. Maybe 50% or less depending on how quick I finish it and how hot the game is. THAT to me is going to be Steam's problem.
Oh and on a final note, I installed the latest CS through Steam today and was reasonably impressed. I did generate an error somewhere down the line and had to restart, but once I did it ran fine.
This comment was edited on Jul 13, 06:16.