Half-life 2 was an amazing single player FPS experience. Valve decided to continue with the story of Gordan Freeman and Alyx in it's expansion: Half-Life 2: Episode One. The result is sadly a quick cash in that does nothing for the series.
The story this time picks up right where Half-Life 2 left off. You are still right outside the citadel in City 17 that is about to explode and kill everyone in sight. You are told the only way you have a chance for survival is to go back into the Citadel and slow down the explosion process and then get back to the train station in town and leave the town ASAP. That's the story...awesome isn't it? Just as long as you took to read that is how long this game is going to take...
NOTHING in this game has changed at all. The graphics are the same, the weapons are the same, the only new addition to this game is the creation of the Zombine, which is a Zombie combine. They fight like the old combine except at random they will pull out a grenade and run kamikaze at you at the hopes of taking you out. While they are faster and can make you have random cursing moments as you're running to get away from them, they aren't something so original that you go "this expansion was worth the price I paid."
The only remotely challenging part in this game is towards the end(which you'll get to in 2 and a half hours tops) where you have to escort people through the train yard to safety so they can leave the town. The only challenging part of this affair is if you're wanting to keep all of them alive, as most of them are quite retarded and will run right at the enemy and not fire a single shot. If you don’t care about keeping them all alive, then it's not a big deal, other wise, it's escort mission hell and you'll have your hands full. The final boss fight at the end of this game is horrible too, as you just fight a simple Strider with an infinite supply of rockets. Then you hop on a train and leave the town. That's the end of this game.
Half-life 2: Episode One is just like the title says, and episode. And by the time you finish with it, you'll feel like you may of just sat through an episode of Lost. While it was fun to watch and kept you're attention, you'll be left with lots of questions. The difference between Lost and Episode One is that you didnt' have to pay for Lost, so you don't feel robbed. Do yourself a favor, buy the Orange Box if you want this one, because it by itself is not worth the price tag.