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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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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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