Saturday, February 11, 2006

DoD:S available in retail stores

I purchased DoD two days ago while on a business trip to Charleston, SC. It is a stand-alone version of DoD Source.



On a clean machine (no Valve products installed) it installs to "/Program Files/Steam/..." rather than "/Program Files/Valve/..." There is no "user manual" in the box but a solid one on-line (this is how many game companies are going these days...the printed manual will soon go the way of the dodo bird) but you do get a two-sided small glossy w/default configuration on one side and some notes on installation on the other. I picked up the DVD version (I'm not sure if there's a CD version).

Box art on the front is the standard splash screen and on the back there's a nice pic of a guy w/30cal and two of the pre-release screens from last year (running on Donner and axis sniper). Rated "M", states it's "The latest version of the WWII online action game from the...". For $19.99 it's probably appropriate you don't get a ton of printed material on either the inside or the outside of the box. The install routine looks and ran perfectly fine (where you have links to customer support, etc).

The online manual is professional and on one page you get all the info you need to start and play the game. But...if you don't go to the online manual BEFORE you install the game it might be confusing because the boxed version does not implictly state you'll be connected into Steam first and have to update your files.

For a long-time user of Valve products the overall impression is actually very clean and professional...you get the nice box, you get the minimalist approach, installation is a snap. First-time players will probably find the installation will go smooth but the connection and the update will be confusing because the game updates on it's own when you try and play it so there will be some "what is it doing?" moments at start unless they read the online manual. That said...i installed it on a clean non-steam PC and the install ran perfectly and I was up and playing after a 10 min update over a wireless hotel connection (on my business trip).

And...the online manual is an excellent wrap-up for a inexperienced player. Highly recommended for new guys. BTW...this is a Valve-published game...there's no EA or Activision or anything else but "Valve" on the box. Good for them!