A recent preview of Half-Life 2: Episode 2, sheds some new light on the next chapter of the Half-Life story. It sounds like the next episode will clock in at between 8 and 9 hours, which is about twice as long as Episode 1. I'm glad they are increasing the game time, since Episode 1 felt very short. The Source engine is also being updated to include lots of new eye candy, which should be a real treat. A "Previously Seen in Episode 1" game montage will open Episode 2, which I find very disappointing. Part of the charm of a Half-Life game is being dropped into the world with no idea as to what's going on. Being force-fed a recap is going to feel a little jarring, in my estimation.
Another bit of sad news is that the Black Box edition of the game has been canceled. The only version that will be made available is the Orange Box edition, which includes a full copy of Half-Life 2 and Episode 1. Why would I want to pay for products that I already own? I find this decision most disappointing.