All of what makes half life great squidged into one short but completely satisfying hit.

User Rating: 9.7 | Half-Life 2: Episode One PC
As soon as episode one starts the familiar goosebumps that recent games haven't quite succeeded in achieving to the same degree return... with reinforcements.
The story and world of half life are now firmly established so the writers waste no time and steam straight ahead, starting from the very moment half life 2 left off.
The cinematic feel of the previous games is very much prevalent within episode one and because of the short sharp nature of the game it actually seems to work better. Even more so now it feels as if you are in a film with the continually flowing story a lot more seamless than half life 2 could manage. This is also helped along with the co-operative nature of playing through alongside Alyx whose continual chatter really adds a new dimension to the game.
Personally Half Life episode one is exactly what I was wanting from this instalment and more, I can't wait til the end of the year when episode two arrives, a trailer of which appears when you complete episode one and looks to finally tear us away from the familiarity of city 17.
Familiarity is the key with episode one, offering little new but rather keeping us in recognisable territories, letting us satisfy our need for just a little more. That need continues at the end of this installment but it seems this time Valve knew we would be craving completely fresh locations and enemies and are preparing something that will deliver just that.
Some people, as with Sin Episodes, still seem to be complaining about how short it is. Perhaps it's time they pushed aside their traditional gaming values for a bit and try something new. Though I wouldn't want this method of gaming to get out of control and start to be used unnecessarily there is certainly a place in the gaming world for the episodic format.
I can certainly think of worse ways I have spent a piddly £10.
Being the same price as a dvd, episode one further proves it is the closest you can currently get to an interactive movie, the bonus being we only have 6 months to wait until the next one!
Valve have managed to totally change the dynamics of gaming here and any critics should open their eyes a tad and embrace it.
Welcome back Gordon!