I fired up Half-Life 2 last night and got stuck in for about three hours. First impression weren't brilliant - it took a while to load up, but I suspect that may have been it detecting my sound and video cards and adjusting settings. The opening screen, with the view across the square, made up for the wait. I was playing at 1024x768 (will have a go at 1280x1024 tonight to see how that fares) and the views are awesome!
Lots of familiar faces show up during the game - the G-Man, Barney, Dr Vance and his daughter Alyx - as well as a lot of the aliens from the original Half-Life, although some have changed a bit in the interim (talking Alien Slave!)
It's a long wait before you get to put on the HEV suit, and you have to run for it at one point, but once you get there it,s like a family reunion (complete with 'pet' headcrab to muck things up!)
The scripted stuff with the citizens and the Combine soldiers is pretty good, and really makes you want to press on and find out what the heck is going on in City 17.
I've managed to get to the point where you get to take the skimmer for a ride down the river - this is quite a departure from the original Half-Life, and takes a lot of getting used to, particularly where steering and braking are concerned.
Only downsides so far have been the long delays between levels, and occasional stuttering sound in some parts of the game. But overall, I'm really enjoying this game.
You'll probably not be surprised to learn that my ID on Steam is 'MonTemplar'... :)