This is the second time playing through half-life for me. While I enjoy playing it on my television rather than my computer monitor the performance is terrible. There are some literally unplayable sections because of framerate.
The online multiplayer - Team Fortress - was unplayable due to server lag. I hope they fix this because it seems like a cool game.
I had played the original Half life and enjoyed it allot. So I was very excited to play HL2. I have been playing for a few hours and so far its too drawn out. There is a Boat riding sequence that was so long and not fun I considered returning the game. There is also allot of "what now?" I spent 15 minutes boating around and area till i found that i had to go through a fence then back track and blow up a barrel to open the next move. As for the rest of it, the action is good and the puzzles are fun when you know what to do. The characters are well fleshed out and don't just seem like NPC's there to help you along. The story so far is not so great, but it seems to be setting up for a good plot further along. So far its just been run away and get here. The graphics are not great, but it is a port of an old game. Some critic reviews have pointed out framerate problems, and its present but I wouldn't call it a problem. So far i am disappointed in HL2, im going to play it more to see if it gets any better.
Portal is by far the best of the collection. The Puzzles are a blast, and make you think in a different way than other games. The writing for GLaDOS (the Friendly/not so friendly AI) is great. The game is short with only 19 test chambers (the first few will take seconds if you know what you're doing), but it doesn't overstay its welcome. Anymore might have made it repetitive. Portal alone makes The Orange Box worth renting. The graphics are very clean and very dirty depending on what the Devs wanted, but nothing that will blow you away.
I haven't tried out Team Fortress 2 so I don't have much to say. I can say it didn't appeal to me. not enough maps or game types. Ive heard its laggy and hard to find a game too.