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Apparently it's been released today. How the fuck did that sneak up on us?? I guess I got so b0red of HL2 news I stopped reading any of it.

But I've ordered it.

So what's the verdict from the homies?? Discuss tha shit here.
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Be realistic. PS2 is just too old and has weak hardware for that kind of a game. Doom 3 ain't coming to PS2 either and neither did Thief 3. 
It seems that either I have to buy a X-Box, either to wait about E3 2005 and the PS3 release... grrrr... another good idea should be to "boost up" my PC adding more RAM.... well.... well.... well...... let's go for a PC upgrade, that the less expensive solution... 
just go and buy proper new pc dammit 
My PC is only 1 year old, and only need more RAM to be able to run both Doom3 and HL2... it's not a big deal to upgrade it so ... 
forget about consoles ffs 
Had absolutely no problems with Steam - I preordered HL2 through it shortly after it and preloaded all the files as it suited me, and the game uncorked itself happily yesterday morning, with none of the problems connecting to the authentication server that lots of people reported.

Personally I far prefer online content delivery and product authentication to the kind of pointless, fucked up CD/DVD copy protection that has blighted 90% of the PC games I've bought on physical media in the last year or so.

Oh yeah, the game was pretty impressive by the way. Engine is more functional than spectacular, story sagged in places (a lot of spending ages getting from A to B without really knowing why you want to be at B), nice facial animation. Oh, and check your graphics settings before you start playing: Wierdly, the game defaulted to medium texture quality on my 256MB graphics card, but has no noticable slowdown when notched up. WTF? 
HL2 System Requirements 
For thos of you who have played it already: how well does it run compared to Doom 3? Is it around the same or is it noticably faster? 
Serious Problems 
I have serious issues with HL2. The game stutters every 5 seconds or so, sometimes the game will hang for 2-3 seconds before returning control. It seems to be audio releated, but nobody knows (lots of others reporting the same problems at steampowered forums).

I also reject to this whole "let's force Steam on every paying customer" idea. It's repulsive, to say the least.

Besides, so far, the game doesn't even reach Doom 3 to it's ankles. 
To Clarify 
Not that I'll have HL2 anytime soon but I prefer to buy my games on physical media. If I bought the game on CD or DVD, is Steam required or is the on-line authentication something else (like XP)?

How are level sizes and load times, BTW? Also, are the environments interesting and compelling? 
RE: To Clarify 
STEAM account and activation are required even if you only want to play singleplayer. Yes, you heard that right. 
Tef Johs: Check you aren't preloading HL:S or (even worse) CS:s in the background, gameplay seems to be much smoother for me now that both of those stoppped going.

Scragbait: Steam is basically built into HL2 completely, it's how it browses for multiplayer games, how it authenticates you, how you get patches/localisation. It even has a backup facility so you can burn a copy of the game to CD or DVD, which is kinda sly of valve seeing how everyone's reason for buying the hard copy is so you have said disks : - ). So yeah, you authenticate it through steam, and you need to have a steam account. But it's not as bad as it seems, steam isn't anywhere like as buggy as it was, and you only need to authenticate once, then you can go offline. 
Try putting snd_mixahead 0.4 (or something) instead of 0.1 in your config file. (Or write it on the console.) This has apparently helped some people with the sound issues. 
Just Completed It 
Great fun, really gets crazy towards the end, wont post any spoilers though.

On steam, I do prefer it to physical media, it aint perfect but it beats getting on a bus & train to get near a game store to buy a game, only to find that the cd protection software doesn't like my pc. I had no issues with preloading and unlocking with steam, smooth as silk, the only little niggle I had was that it took about 10 minutes to unlock the files, with me sitting there shouting "come on bitch I've waited long enough for this thing!" :D

I hope more developers start using internet delivery systems, I would have no problem with that. Perhaps Valve have been a little over-zealous making EVERYONE require steam and to download files in order get it working, but simply buying and then downloading a game from the developers website is a very good idea imo. 
Not only are you forced to use steam and activate your product even if you only want to play single player, but if you buy the CD version of the game, you are FORCED to install Counter Strike-Source, there is an option not to install CS-S, but if you choose that option, the install will abort with .cab errors/Fatal errors, causing you to uninstall. then reinstall with CS-S selected. I had this problem last night, and that apparently is the solution, I am about to find out. Sometimes I think I should of stuck to my promise not to buy HL2, but I guess you got to try it. 
Oddly enough, I am digging this. I agree with czg on the graphics, and on the vibe of the game (which I am really liking), and a ditto with everyone who have been amazed by the character animations and the rather good gameplay. I'm just impressed with how you have to think so much =D Whoda figured... 
I understand 3 different packages for hl2 are available. Is the 'silver' one available retail? I have only seen the basic hl2+cs:s and the uber-collector edition that comes with a fucking t-shirt for 90$ in stores. Please to be buying your game, valve. I would rather not download 34623462346 gigs of data over steam unless absolutely positively necessary. 
Just get the Bronze. HL:S isn't worth it, by most accounts--it's a graphics upgrade, sure, and ragdolling, but HL is still 6 years old. :)

HL2 is amazing, though, I have to say. Easily the best FPS of the year, IMHO, unless it falls apart at the end like Far Cry did. (I'm up to Sand Traps now.) The graphics aren't as flashy as Doom 3's, but somehow they're more attractive, to me. Go figure. The foliage is downright horrible, though. Far Cry spoiled me for that.

(I wonder if the sawblade area was inspired by Painkiller?) 
you only need to authenticate once, then you can go offline.

That true? I've heard (several times, posts on Blues) that you have to be online and logged into Steam even to play the SP??

it beats getting on a bus & train to get near a game store to buy a game

Like you never go shopping normally?? Besides there's always Amazon...

You steam whore.

but if you buy the CD version of the game, you are FORCED to install Counter Strike-Source

That true for the DVD version too??

Glad to hear the game is good. Less glad to hear of all the bullshit that goes with it. 
Having Fun 
on the coastline right now, oh BABY is it fun fun fun. 
it seems that people are complaining about having to log on without actually knowing that it is not necessary to do so. AFAIK, you need to complete the authentication process the first time around and then can play sP without having to logon. 
You only have to authenticate once per install, then you can play offline with no problems, as long as you have selected or not selected certain checkboxes. (no big problem) People complaining about having to be online to play singleplayer, just must not have read the little card in the box. (And talking about Singlplayer, thats all there is, there is no HL2 multiplayer)

That true for the DVD version too??

Don't think so, but they seem to be having there share of troubles. Among other things, apparently Some are being asked to insert discs that don't even exist, which would tend to bring things to a screaming hault I would imagine :) 
Installing CS-S 
You could always uninstall Counter Strike - Source after the installation process is complete, If the stench of it is so repugnant to you. I chose to just leave it there, and play with a peg on my nose
But I guess at least HL2 was able to install in the end I guess 
Since some people have mentioned it... I bought the Silver package and Half-Life: Source is OK but not worth worrying about if you feel you're missing out. It's really just the old levels recompiled with 95% less sparkly cracks (those always pissed me off, they were so common in HL), old textures, old models, tarted up with a arbitrary set of detail shaders and specular effects, and a smattering of new sound effects replacing a few of the slightly cacky ones. It breaks a few things - notably, where a music track starts before a load it doesn't continue playing in the next section, there were some set-piece marine vs alien fights I came across where they seemed to be kicking off when the level loaded instead of waiting to be triggered, and aliens sometimes appear before their teleport/spawn effect. The only really cool change I've noticed so far - if you remember the terrifying vertigo-inducing bit in Surface Tension where you pop out of a sewer pipe half way up a cliff, and have to work your way down, around, and up it on tiny little platforms, well, the skybox that used to be below that cliff has been replaced with a more or less identical brushwork version. I didn't try it but I imagine you can fall all the way down...

Silver also includes Day of Defeat: Source, no idea how much of an update that is because it isn't available yet. Hopefully it will be more along the lines of CS:S with extensively rebuilt levels, new models etc. because some of the levels that were in the original DoD had abysmal visuals, even allowing for the fact that they were running on the old HL engine. 
Shambler, Good Man 
You might want to check today's news on PlanetHalfLife on the subject of Warez.

This from Gabe Newell:

We're running a bit of an experiment. We're keeping track of the accounts that do this and will be shutting them off.

Gone are the days you could fire up the old hexidecimal editor, remove a few lines and have a fully operational game :( 
Cheers for the heads up, Headthump, but I don't warez stuff and have no intention of warezing HL2 - I've ordered it a couple of days ago.

If the Steam stuff was completely intolerable and I couldn't get around it, I wouldn't play it. But that's not going to happen.

On the other hand, I wouldn't object to a no-steam crack... 
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