As for their games, I recently broke my own promise and bought HL2 and the Episode pack because they were only ten bucks. HL2 was a huge dissapointment. It's not even a story, it's an introduction to a story. You play through the whole game without knowing what's actually going on. [...]
Yes, that was a mediocre game. I didn't bother with the episodes after playing it. Maybe I should try them some time if they are substantially better.
I personally didn't like how the original Half-Life had no main characters (save G-man). It made it seem like there was no story at all beyond the basic plot. I never played the expansions though, so they might have actually done something with the story there....
I found Half-Life 2 to be annoying as all Hell for the most part. Especially on the
the vehicular chase scenes where you're in a boat of some sort
er... ... .... Okay, all of the levels save the graveyard (which was immediately followed by a steaming crock). It took at least an hour to get from Point A to Point B, and that's if you didn't get stuck
(kind of rare, but it does happen).
Episode 1 was much better, but the game lasted all of 20 minutes (no joke).
Episode 2 was pretty sweet, it seems to have struck a nice balance between plot progression and gameplay. Though it could do without the annoying physics puzzles.
All in all, if i were you, I would wait until they finish the series (hah) or until Episode 3 is released, as there is a monster cliff-hanger.