The new issue of Computer Games magazine just dropped at the EB where I work and there's a 4 page Half-Life 2 spread in it. Here's a couple of tidbits.
1. The released is quoted as being before September 30th of THIS year.
2. If you haven't figured it out already and still believe the rumors then I'm here to tell you that the game will NOT be XBox only. It's coming for the PC baby!
3. The new engine is designed to be competetive, not ground breaking which means a) loud-mouth technophiles will proclaim the game dead before launch and b) the other 99% of us won't likely have to shell out major money for a new system (Doom 3...ahem). The game will apparently be able to squeak by on a 700mhz processor with a DX6 compatible Video Card, while the optimal spec is quoted at 2ghz and a GeForce 4 or equivalent card.
4. The screenshots look great. If I had to compare it, I would put it just above Unreal 2 and just below Deus Ex 2.
5. The game is going to progress completely in first-person just like the original so don't worry about poorly directed and hastily thought out 3rd person cut-scenes here. It sounds like there are more defined characters than in the first, but still keeping it slim and based around a survival/action-adventure theme.
6. The story assumes Gordon Freeman (yes, you play Gordon) decided to go with the G-Man at the end of Half-Life as opposed to allowing himself to be annihilated by a horde of marauding aliens as was the other choice. Apparently it takes place in a fictional location in Europe known as City 17 and one of the important characters appears to be the daughter of one of the scientists whose name is Alyx...the girl seen in the promo art so far released.
"Laugh while you can Monkey Boy!" - John Lithgow in Buckaroo Bonzai