So I've been doing some Beta-ing lately. First, I finally broke down and pre-ordered The Orange Box for the PC as well as the 360, so that I could play the TF2 beta. It is everything I hoped it would be and more.
The classes are unique in function and execution, with each excelling at a different task, for different reasons. Every class has strengths and weaknesses. Any class you play, you feel like a valid addition to your team. I've yet to play a class that can't contribute somehow.
And the graphics, oh man, the graphics. I couldn't have asked for more perfection here. They're simple, colorful, highly stylized, and downright hilarious. I'd take this over a Halo any day. And the class silhouettes are incredibly diverse. You can identify any class at a distance within seconds just from the general shape of the character. This really helps, strategy-wise, because there are some classes you just don't want to confront head-on with other classes.
I hope the controls work out on the 360, but if they don't I'll happily play TF2 on the PC. Portal will probably definitely be a 360 play though, and Half Life Ep2 could just not even be in the box as far as I'm concerned.
I've also given the Crysis MP beta a whirl. My first impressions were "Wow, these graphics really do live up to the hype. This is incredible."
My second impression was "Holy shit, my framerate sucks." My system isn't exactly a slouch, but clearly you're going to need a computer from the future to run this smoothly on Very High settings. So, the graphics are some of the best I've seen, but I'm not sure how many people will really be able to enjoy them. At least at a decent framerate. I'm still interested in seeing single-player as well.
Finally, there's a Pirates of the Burning Sea stress test starting tomorrow, so I'll be on there seeing if it measures up. Would be nice to have a decent pirate MMO.