Winter!: Prepare for holiday gaming!
Considering the excellent gameplay and cinematic in-engine cutscenes, it would be pretty hard to top Half-Life 2 (and episode 2's) production value without a massive graphics overhaul. That being said, Episode 2 is much nicer than needed holding pattern before Episode 3 and (presumably) Half-Life 3 come out, not to mention the assumed link-up with the canon of the portal games.
As Dr. Gordon Freeman, you battle your way to the White Forest facility where you are expected to prep the launch of a rocket that will close the portal left after your shenanigans in Half-Life 2. Along the way, you get to kill the gamut of HL2 enemies, with the usual weapons i.e. Gravity Gun, Shotgun, Pistols, Sniper Crossbow, I need not go on.
The ending is a wonderfully unexpected cliffhanger, and is undoubtedly going to tie in nicely to the next installment, which will hopefully come out soon, now that I've finished Episode 2 a full three and a half years after it came out. *slap*
Despite feeling like a token bridge to Half-Life 3, the HL2 episodes work well continuing the gameplay of the original game, and I can recommend them for that.
Game Traits applied to Half-Life 2: Episode Two (PC) by matrixrunner