The Orange Box is out, and I grabbed it primarily for Portal, to end my year-plus wait since the first videos surfaced for it. It's just as frickin awesome as it looks, and I played the main "campaign" straight though, start to finish. That's not saying much since I beat it in about 4 hours, but it was easily the most satisfying and rewarding puzzle-solving, game-playing experience I've had in recent memory. I even enlisted Laura's help solving some of those brain teasers of navigating the environment with a portable portal-throwing device. Replayability? You bet.
I'll dig into the rest of the Orange Box package shortly, having missed out on Half-Life 2 and its other episodes when they originally debuted, and my own curiosity towards Team Fortress 2's unique art style. It was a bit indimidating at 15GB of hard drive space, meaning it'll never all go on my laptop unless I come up with a bright idea.
The only real concern I have with the package is that it logs me into Steam every time I go to play it, meaning that without constant internet access, I probably can't play any of it, which is only a smidge less irritating to me than the limited activations on BioShock. Grrrr. Portal is really, really good, almost good enough to make me not think about how copy protection is yet again fucking over the paying customer. >:|
Unreal Tournament 3 comes out soon, in about a month, so I'm brushing up with UT 2004. There are a lot of parts of that game I never dug fully into, mainly the single player campaign with its team management options and gambling on 1-on-1 deathmatches. It's an interesting twist, and I'm interested to see what they do with it in the next iteration.
Gears of War is coming to the PC soon, too. And Oblivion GOTYE, Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, and Call of Duty 2 are also sitting on my desk, not to mention a handful of demos I haven't even scratched yet. Yay for the holiday nuttiness in the games business!