Let's get this out of the way first, the Orange Box set will be out on October 9th. That's right, yet another awesome game that will be out this holiday season. Minor gripe aside after playing a short segment of Half-Life 2:Episode 2
I think I'll be able to make time. The level starts with you getting in the new wheeled vehicle from the game. The new car looks like a stripped down classic Camaro (think Bumblebee before he gets the modern treatment). The car is a nice upgrade from the dune buggy in Half-Life 2. Your goal in the mission is to re-connect power to a transmitter at the top of a small mountain.
Once you get to the transmitter station it takes a few minutes to get the power up and running by solving a small gravity gun puzzle. Of course getting out of the station is harder than it looks thanks to the sudden appearance of a squad of Hunter showing up. The Hunters are the the smaller, more agile version of the Striders from previous games. The main weapon of the Hunter is a gun that shoots several darts at you. If the darts don't hit you they explode after time so you've got to manage those as well. The Hunters are a lot of fun to fight and have a very satisfying death cry when you kill them with whatever you have in your arsenal, be it machine gun fire or a barrel tossed with the gravity gun. Alyx Vance makes an appearnce and helps out but wasn't much of a factor in the battle. The short demo provided a good taste of what we can expect when the game is released later this year and I can hardly wait to get my hands on the full game.