Poll Question 289 – Would you play HL3 on a lower setting or wait until you had a better PC to play it properly?

15th January 2013

Single Player First Person Shooter Maps and Mods for Half-Life 1, 2 and Episodes 1, 2 and 3

Here is another HL3 Question. Seeing a pattern? Think I know something you don’t?

Anyway, assuming you have a regular PC and not some fancy, screaming fast machine, if HL3 was released next week would you play it straight away on a lower graphical setting or wait until you had a machine that could run it properly?

This question came up a long time ago for me with regard to Crysis. The machine I had just couldn’t run it properly except on its lowest setting. It kinda spoilt the experience for me and I have never gone back.

Now, I know Valve is very different from Crytek and the chances of HL3 requiring a beast of a machine is unlikely, but it certainly may require something better than you have now.

Unfortunately, I feel obligated to play it immediately, because people will hopefully release maps and mods fairly soon after its release and I would need to post those.

But what about you?

Remember, if you have a great machine, this poll isn’t really for you.

Time to vote


  1. I’ve pondered this dilemma before… I think I would just do whatever I could to scrape up the money and upgrade my PC so I could play it on high settings ASAP!

    Having said that I know I would play it through multiple times. I first played HL2 through on Medium and loved it, and actually ended up getting double the enjoyment out of it when I got to play it on High after an upgrade.

  2. I voted “play the lower setting now”, but…

    Last year I bought Serious Sam 3 BFE and played about halfway through until it struck me how ugly it looked compared to gameplay vids on YouTube. I was playing it with all the settings on low (my dual-core PC had a 9600 card). The dust and smoke effects were like solid walls and the shadows were like pools of black oil. So I quit until earlier this year when I had a new PC that could max it. I enjoyed it much more.

  3. I’m really confident that my Rig can run HL3 on the highest. If I know Valve right, they don’t focus on fancy looking graphics. I have never had any lag issues when it comes to Source So in my mind, Source Engine 2 will be even better.

    If I had to answer though, I’d wait until I got a better rig. I did that mistake with Skyrim. I spoiled the whole beginning on my crappy laptop. Its lucky I didn’t go into the real game. That’s the reason for me buying a monster-rig.

    Its going to be really interesting what they are going to do with a Development kit. I hope they don’t charge money for the SDK individually, but that’s not valve so I don’t think we should worry.

  4. Herr_Alien

    Voted “Now + Lower settings”. A game is not all about graphics, and most of the newer games even on low settings still look nice. Serious Sam 3 at least does.

  5. I voted to wait, but these days they release system requirements so far in advance that I could hopefully save up before the game is released. I wouldn’t mind waiting though, we’ve done it so far!

  6. Unq

    I’d play it sooner rather than later. Source looks pretty good to me even on reduced settings – and I’m not really one to let imperfect or even poor graphics disturb the actual experience.

  7. keywc

    I bought a new computer recently, but since HL3 isn’t going to be released anytime soon… I would buy new RAM (cheap), and if needed buy another 7870 to make a crossfire. Let’s just hope they don’t release it in 2033.

  8. Anon_635746

    I play for the gameplay, but it would be a shame if the game looked terrible on low settings. However, on low settings, I tend to get used to them fairly quickly. Then I can replay it later on high graphics.

  9. Wesp5

    Honestly guys, the Source engine is from about 2004, that’s almost 10 years ago, and with all Valve’s Steam and hardware sidetracking, I don’t think they will have the time to create a new engine for HL2:EP3 = HL3. Especially as the Source engine itself is just an upgraded Quake engine to start with. So whose computer is not able to run any Source engine game on high should upgrade :)!

    1. They have recently admitted the existence of Source 2 and I don’t think it’s a stretch of the imagination that HL3 will be used to promote the new engine.

  10. My pc is pretty amazing, and I think I’ll be able to run any thing on almost max that comes out withing the next year, but, even if I had a bad pc, I would play it on lower settings. Alot of people lot at older games like HL2 and said they don’t look good. When I look at games like the original Mafia, which came out even before HL2, it looks great.

    For me its much more about asthetic and artistic style than graphical fadelity, when it comes to visuals.

    1. Herr_Alien

      “For me its much more about asthetic and artistic style than graphical fadelity, when it comes to visuals.”

      I’ll second that. I think that the world needs to look and feel consistent, but it doesn’t have to be highly detailed.
      I guess that’s one reason I still enjoy older games …

  11. Ade

    I’m trying to build a pc atm, so I would wait, but not for the graphics.

    I recently played Portal 2 and I literally had >1 minute of wait at every map change and there’s over 100 maps and I think the experience would’ve been enhanced if these changes were made seamlessly. Not to mention there was a time or 2 when low fps would make even the speeches stutter, so it’s really a shame and I will definitely re-play it but not on this gear.

    1. Wesp5

      Regarding Portal 2, Valve made a real blunder there for every computer with single core processors by setting the default processors to two. Change this via the console or autoexec config and you will see that even old single core processors can handle the latest Source engine with liquid simulation easily!

  12. It’s simple for me. I cannot afford a new PC so I will see the reviews before I even look at HL3 and if it’s too needy, graphically speaking, I will not be able to play it!
    So far only G-String has given me stuttering issues in a couple of parts so I’ll hope for the best.
    As a last resort there is always YouTube to watch someone else play it on!

    So, am I now awaiting the update to kill all the mods I’m about to play?

  13. I can’t vote. I wouldn’t know what to do.

    If I had the game, I could not resist to play it, even if I knew my computer would run it like crap.

    If I had the money I’d update my computer right away.

    Funny story: I got Half Life 1 back in 1998/99 but when I went to install it, I realized it required 400mb, and I had a 500mb HD. I removed every f**king thing of my computer, included some system files to free those 400mb, still the installer didnt work because it required some temporal space. You never what you’re able to do in order to play a Half Life game.

    1. I know what you are saying but the experience can be totally spoilt with stuttering and other issues. In many cases it’s not just things not looking pretty they just don’t work properly.

    2. I remember buying Half Life back then to test the powers of my new, high-end PC, and was very pleased. My previous computer, a top of the range £1200 Gateway couldn’t play it on the lowest settings! Ah memories of gaming headaches…….. Finding the settings to play them on I mean!
      Did not have that problem with my old C64!

  14. Dias

    I’m waiting until the system specs of new console generation Xbox & Playstation are announced before I buy a new PC. My computer is so old at this point I haven’t been able to play most new PC games even at lower settings, I even experience visual glitches trying to play L4D2. So if a new Valve game does get announced, I’d probably get whatever computer I can to run it at max settings since I can afford it now.

  15. Comes to something though that seemingly every new game that comes out means you have to buy a whole new PC….stuff that, theres more to life. So it’s not just the cost of the (in this case only a dream in a few peoples heads) game, you also have to add on the cost of a machine that would run it !! That sure is expensive gaming. Can I justify that expense ? No, probably not.

    1. Ade

      Not true 😛 A 5 yr old pc can still run games that come out today with low/medium settings, just depends on which games.. and you can always upgrade, not necessarily start from scratch.

      Any hobby has its expenses.

      1. Good point!
        My Dell PC was showing its age when I first played Half Life 2 but it played well, I was just missing the water reflections! I could play it on 1280 by 1024 with good sound and only the slightest stutter on some explosions.
        A dead graphic card forced an upgrade latter to a home-built near top line PC for around £400 of parts. A real steep learning curve, which I think added quite a few new grey hairs, but better than the £2000+ for a nice new Dell PC.

        And now I have shiny, reflective water!

  16. Now with lower settings.

    There’s no way I could live, knowing that HL3 has been released and I haven’t experienced it.

  17. brett

    I keep squeezing more life out of my windows xp emachine pc through upgrades like video cards, single to dual core processor etc. and recently windows 7 dual boot (required for black ops 2), but I don’t think I can get much more out of it. Anyway I really wish the game makers would write games so that you could choose a setting to enable you to play on more modest hardware so I could play on my netbook for example. Not just lower detail but run like an older engine by omitting the unecessary code. It’s very disappointing to install a game just to have it crash when you start it and graphics aren’t everything to me.

  18. lj4linux

    Ok, everybody is talking about hardware specs, microsoft OS-es but nobody says EXACTLY what’s the configuration and what settings/mod works fine or not; I’ll try to give a definite example:
    – toshiba satellite L750 i3 at 2.10 Ghz, 3 Gb RAM, NVIDIA 525M with 1 GHz vram, dual boot W7 home premium and Linux Mint 13.
    And… btw the prices… it was about 340 GBP (610 USD, 460 EUR) with 2 years warranty…
    I was able to play HL2 on my old desktop (home-made about 8 years ago) at medium settings with AMD Athlon 3000+ , 2 GB ram, NVIDIA FX 5200 with 128 MB vram…

  19. just_a_guest

    I’ve been waiting for HL3 a lot, and episode three, and wouldn’t mind if it got launched right now, even if on the current Source engine, just for the plot’s sake.

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