I bought HL2, episode 1 last week. Had it preloaded so I didn't have to wait all night tonight to get the bastard downloaded.
However, it did take quite a while (like 15 minutes, maybe longer) to decrypt the bastard... then I had to get new catalyst drivers... but eventually I got to actually play it!
I wanted to know how it started. It supposedly picked up right after the end of HL2 (btw - if you haven't finished hl2, you pretty much should stop, cause this is spoiler central to that story).
Anywho, the end where the explosion happens, you get stuck in time as the G-Man takes you away... how can you go on from this unless the G-Man lets you back? What happened to Alyx??
What a FANTASTIC beginning. It starts with Alyx in the frozen state with the explosion... you are already gone. You see one vortigaunt appear doing a wierd dance... then 2... then 4... til there is like 12 of them on the screen. Two take Alyx and vanish.
Then there's the G-Man... the point of view is from Gordon. 4 Vortigaunts appear between you and him, then two come to you and zap you away and disappear. Then the G-Man says something along the lines of "We'll see about this!"
From there I was pumped. You get to know a lot more about the combine and the thing that the lead scientist talked to right before the end. You find out more about stalkers (the worker... 'things'). There are zombie combines... and you fight alongside Alyx who kinda gets a rollercoaster of emotions due to some thigns... she gets scared, worried, out of breath, etc... She even jokes sometimes. Like you hear a female zombie moaning, I flip around with the shotty out, and she's giggling saying "I got you!"
Only put in a few hours last night, but so far its been mostly puzzles then shooting your way around. Yet, its already worth my $20.