I've heard lots of praise for Half Life 2, and when I finally played it through to the end, it didn't quite live up to the hype. I'll begin with what I liked. The combat was alright for the most part. I liked the variety of weapons, and the gravity gun is just awesome. Most of the character were alright, with few exceptions. The pace was decent, and I loved most of the level designs, especially Ravenholm. However, there are some things that just plain sucked in my opinion. The developers apparently think puzzles stop and start with variations of balancing a seesaw, the enemies (particularly Antlions) become more annoying than fun to fight as the game does on, and way too much time is spent running, boating, or driving to the next proper level. This gets to the point where the actual levels feel miniscule in comparison. That last part is compounded by the fact that the vehicle controls in the PC are a bitch to handle, and like to reverse themselves for no apparent reason. my biggest issue, though, is that the good people at Valve forgot the basic rules of story telling. They don't properly set up the plot, they just throw the player into a situation and expect them to figure out absolutely everything between long segments of driving and running for your life. I don't want to be spoon fed the plot, but having to look at vague newspaper headlines on the ground and on walls to get the most basic facts of the backstory is just plain ridiculous. Did a cut scene kill the developers' parents or something? Overall, it's an okay game, but it's also way overhyped.