So, I just played Half-Life 2 again.  In some ways this is the sweet spot of the game: I understand it now, I know all the weapons (though I only figured out secondary fire rather late), I can even keep a squad alive for some time, mostly by telling the stupid wankers to stay out of the way.  (“Dude, don’t stand in front of the strider firing at it with that popgun.  Stop blocking the stairwell.  Fuck it, just stand in that closet.”)  I could notice more environmental things, like G-Man appearances.  I even enjoyed the buggy this time (first time through, it was maddeningly jumpy).  And this time I used all of Father Grigori’s traps.

Though I kind of miss the cluelessness of a first play-through: not knowing what’s next, having to figure out the puzzles.

It tickles me for some reason when enemies turn on each other.  The Combine don’t seem to get along with anyone… it must be kind of frustrating to work for the alien overlords and still get attacked by zombies and antlions.  And once a headcrab jumped right into a barnacle tongue, which was awesome.