Well, I'll say that I'm not completely blown away either. I think it's a very good game. Maybe even a great game, but not the second coming that so many people feel that it is.
Things I haven't liked. I haven't finished the game yet though so keep that in mind. Also I have the regular boxed retail version.
-Steam! I hate it. It took me a combined 7 hours between 2 seperate installs to get things working right. I just shouldn't have to jump through these kinds of hoops to get my game to work.
-The airboat level. I really really didn't enjoy this section at all.
-The story while nice is nothing special. I honestly don't have much idea what my objectives are. Nothing is explained. I'm basically told go from point A to point B and then to point C, ect.
-Loading screens suck! They take the tension right out of a given sequence.
-The game is very linear. They do a nice job of masking that but ultimately you are being led around by the nose.
-LAck of traditional deathmatch. I've never been a CS fan and that hasen't changed.
Things I've liked so far.
-Performance so far, aside from the sound stuttering, has been wonderful and the game looks fantastic.
-Gravity gun! Best weapon introduced to a FPS since the original SS in Doom II.
-Best implimentation of physics ever. Absolutely fantastic. It truly adds serious depth to the gameplay.
-Difficulty level is perfect. I'm playing on hard and it's a perfect challenge. The last few FPS's I've played have either felt to hard or to easy, but HL2 nails it. FIrst time in ages I've enjoyed myself managing ammo.
-The puzzles are a blast. Very well done.
As for what I've liked better, Far Cry is my answer. Believe me when I say I'm totally suprised. In a year when we get FPS's such as Doom III, HL2, Halo 2, to have Far Cry be my pick for best FPS blows me away. Its not even a game I was looking forward to. I didn't know anything about it intil the demo came out. It had some serious problems. Performance was sorry, no quick saves, difficulty was off, adn I ran into a fair amount of bugs, but more than any other FPS this year, Far Cry ended up being the one to give me those memorable, holy shit! moments.
What can I say? I think Half-Life 2 is a wonderful game. But it's just not knocking me off my feet. In a year with competition this stiff, I guess that may not be all that suprising.