I attended a press demo of Half-Life 2 today, and all I can say is this: anticipation is not the best part. Delays or no delays, this game will be well worth the wait, so pipe down.

A brief cinematic featuring G-Man fades into gameplay of Gordon Freeman stepping off of yet another train and into a processing station in a disturbing, dystopian world. After being led into a sinister interrogation room with a blood-soaked restraint chair, the scene changes to a dune buggy-like vehicle racing along a cliffside road, trying to avoid some sort of spherical attack bots. This is followed by a firefight with the stormtrooper-looking enemy soldiers, an arachnid tank and yet more vehicular combat in a gully.

No surprise: this game is gorgeous. The weapons are varied and allow for a tremendous amount of flexibility in combat. During the firefight, the player lured an enemy to the opposite side of a vehicle and then proceeded to use a repulsing-like weapon to roll to vehicle over the enemy.

The multiplayer was demonstrated with Counterstrike: Aztec on the Half-Life 2 engine. Though short, it was a visual feast and offered some titillating promise where multiplayer is concerned.

The buzz around E3 is that people are frustrated with the lack of solid ‘under the hood’ information available in regards to Half-Life 2, but after seeing the demo, I have faith that this game will be a must-have title. Delays are the rule in this business. Deal with it. After you’re finally immersed in a firefight with some freaky Fast Zombies in a benighted ravine, you’ll forget all about the long wait for Half-Life 2.

- Erin Ellis


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