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HL2 : Episode 1
Listen up Ritual, THIS is how you do episodic...

Best 4 gaming hours I have had in a long time, take all the best bits from a 12 hour game and cram them into 4 hours of fun, this is what Valve has done and it works great.

Ok I'll be a little more objective...

1) The plot is thicker, better and a lot more interresting than in HL2.

2) The graphics are sooo much better than in HL2 (HDR, some funky new effects.. etc)

3) Single Player Co-Op with an AI, this works so well.

4) The opening 10 minute in-game sequence is probably the coolest game sequence I have ever seen.

To compare... Sin Episode 1 was like the pilot for a TV show that never took off, HL2 : episode 1 is the 3 part epic with all the cool people in it :)

Seriously, get this.

/Valve fanboi
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alyx once died on me in the garage where i didn't manage to cover all the bug holes with cars in time...

ep1 rocks!

kell, for hdri u need 6xx hardware i think 
HDR works fine here on a 9800 pro. I'm not sure exactly what Valve are doing, but I don't think it's the OMFG-FP16-buffer-supershizzle that is so expensive to use even on high end cards. 
I Think 
on older cards the HDR implementation is less advanced with equates to less visual quality, but honestly on my old 9800xt lost coast looked very similar to what it looks like now on my 7900gt, there may be some more stuff going on behind the scenes but I cant see it.

Bring on Fullscreen motion blur for episode 2 then! 
Bring on Fullscreen motion blur for episode 2 then

are you serious? o_O 
Bring On Fullscreen Motion Blur For Episode 2 Then 
just buy an LCD 
I Already Got One :) 
Valves next technology update to source is dynamic depth of field and fullscreen motion blur. You can check out a wicked video on steam titled dod:S Predlude to victory.

Dunno how they are gonna do dynamic DoF in an fps but the motion blur looks fucking awesome and gives everything a more realistic look.

Back to EP1, I just played through it again with the commentry track turned on and its cool, they discuss a lot of gameplay ideas and there are quite a few things they talk about that had not occured to me before. I just missed more "video like" commentaries like in Lost coast where they take control of the camera to show you something, although they do happen once or twice. 
motion blur makes picture worse, DoF is bullshit too. how about some effects that actually improve quality, like AA for alpha transparent textures 
i have to agree with you there. i always turn off wierd full screen effects because they obscure more on the screen than anything else.

playing hl2:lost coast with hdr bugs me as well, because it feels like someone is constantly playing with the brightness on my monitor. it's very distracting, and adds nothing. i prefer a straight light bloom effect. 
Full Screen Motion Blur 
I discussed this idea way back in IRC with guys, I think it was Black Dog at least. Blurring the frames between the shown frames, not blurring the shown frames like LCD:s do, could actually improve visual quality. Don't know, it could also make it worse.

If it works anyway, then also your fps wouldn't be tied to the monitor refresh rate and LCD:s could have decent smooth movement too.

One can see some of it (although overdone and in slomo) in the start of the quakeworld malfunctioned movie available from blueyonder. The project offset trailers might have had some of it too, dunno. 
project "Offset" 
there's some motion blur in project offset video clips. the thing is that it works and looks fine, because that's all it is-- a video. i don't want my screen going blurry every time i turn my view quickly. it's not like i get motion blur every time i move my eyes around. 
I'd imagine they'd use motion blur more for actual moving content on the screen, like an enemy running, or something falling, etc, no? Hard to say how that would feel/look without really seeing it in action though, I'm not convinced it would be good. 
Motion Blur In Modern Games 
is quite a lot more fancy than bluring the entire screen from one frame to the next. I don't know how it works, but if you look at the project offset videos, the blur seems to be computed locally depending on how an object is moving. The motion blur is created as an actual part of the scene somehow, so when they pause the action, they are able to move the camera and the motion blur is still in the correct place.

I think motion blur is a really cool effect actually, and one that could add a lot if used well. It would seem to add that extra bit of immersion to those jungle scenes in crysis, as the foliage blurs and it can make you think you saw something you didn't.

Mind you, I often mistake parts of the scenery for enemies in games as old as Quake, so maybe it won't add that much :) 
yeah thats how it looks in this day of defeat video Than, looks really nice actually & gives everything a more realistic look 
Motionblur For Quake 
there are engines that give motion blur to monsters, fiends leave long trails for example. 
Just played through it on normal, was pretty nice, it did feel a bit short though, hope they don't take too long between each episode.

I was a bit dissapointed that the settings were all the same as what you see in HL2, was hoping for some fresher scenery. Some parts were a bit annoying (like shooting falling stuff in the citadel elevator). But otherwise it was quite fun and I really enjoyed it. SPOILER: that last fight against the strider rocked. 
kinda off-topic, but my brother just picked up an XB360 and it came with project gotham racing 3. I had a quick go on it yesterday and it incorporates the same motion blur as valve are implementing in source. Ie if the camera is still and my porsche screams past at 140MPH it gets blurred, whereas if the camera is tracking the car the background gets blurred but the car stays in focus.

Anyone, it looks really nice and gives it some more realism which is nice.

Back on topic... I've played episode 1 around 4 times now and its still great, I do like the "compressed gameplay" you get with episodic, you get enough of a new gameplay style to enjoy it, learn it etc, but not enough to get bored of and in turn get bored of the game. I think this is where Sin episode 1 went kinda wrong... Its just the same all the way through, no variation at all really...

HL2 : Episode 2 is sounding really juicy also, I heard they are adding some new weapons, (obviously) some new enemies, fleshing out the vortigaunts a lot more and some focus will be on huge rebel VS combine battles that you can join in with (I geuss it might be like Endor in Star wars 6 but without the fucking Ewoks!). 
ohh, i take back what i said about hdri earlier. it was much better in hl2e1. infact, i had it on by default, and never noticed it was there until half way through the game. :P

also, the commentaries were fun again. i like this kind of stuff where they explain or point out details like that. whee ^_^

also, now that i've played both episodic games (sin and now this) i have to say this one is much better. where i am in doubt as to whether i'll get the next sin episode, i'm pretty sure i'll be getting the next hl2 one. 
Not Bothering With SiN. 
It looks like a retread of everything Valve has done better to me. 
fuck you, ewoks pwn

(no I'm not going to add anything to the discussion yet, still need to finish playing ;) 
It's quite short isn't it.

Good though. It isn't the last name in radical gameplay nor style progression from HL2, but then again the HL2 world is delivered with the impressive and luxurious panache it was before. Which is nice.

I thought the citadel bits had some very cool design. And some of the gameplay later on had interesting challenges. It certainly kept me addicted and blasting through it. 
In Addition To That... 
I agree with pretty much everything Kell said. 
Starwars Lego 2 
Anyone played it? It uses the same focus blurring techniques to add depth as mentioned earlier. It's an swesome game too! Btw it does add alot to the feeling of the game and I can't wait till Valve implement what they have in dod. 
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