Gah, dammit. The perils of leaving games you don’t want to play yet in your console. I saw it there, on the 360 dashboard, and couldn’t help myself and started playing it.
So far: very good. It’s different to both Half-Life 2 and Episode One, mainly because you’re not in or around the city. It’s also improved graphically a little too, especially character models. The HUD has had a few tweaks as well, and the flashlight and oxygen meters are no longer one and the same.
Most of the play so far has been in and around some mines and ant-lion tunnels, mostly accompanied by a Vortigaunt who is either overly praising of my endeavors, or is incredibly sarcastic. I fell through a hole into a pit, and he said something like “The Freeman is very thorough in his exploration”.
I then came out of the mines and found myself having to kill not one, but two ant-lion guardians. Thankfully, I had cover and help from the Vortigaunt. Now I’m in some sort of warehouse full of zombies and headcrabs, while Alyx and the alien cover me using a sniper rifle. Woo!