Well I purchased HL2 Episode 1 last night and finished it at 3 (that’s am). Starting from around 11 pm. So yes: the game is quite short…
But — and that’s a ‘but’ with a capital ‘B’ — the game was really enjoyable… And I’m still enjoying it now that I’m redoing it with the commentaries (I really love audio commentaries in movies and I’m really appreciating them in this game too).
The graphics are really nice… especially a few… what, years (?) after Half Life 2… I’m capable of running it at 1600x1200 with every detail on maximum: absolutely lovable with HDR too!
There are downsides too… I don’t really like (watch out you spoilers) dark or citadel environments so… I did like it later on in City 17. And the end cinematic was way cool: can’t wait for Episode 2.
Another positive point: better AI (especially Alyx is cool since you don’t have to babysit her). There are also a few humorous parts in the game which you’ll all like.
So yeah: a mixed feeling here, why did this game cost $20 instead of 15 bucks? We would all have been much happier. So put a little more story and length in Episode 2, or reduce the price just a little bit… but I still like you Valve :).
Should you pick this up? If you loved HL2 and have a few bucks to spare: certainly.