It’s about a year late but apparently not a buck short. Gamespot previews the return of both Gordon and “the heavy” & co.

Gamespot provided its impressions of the upcoming – and delayed – Half-Life 2: The Orange Box after hands-on gameplay of Episode Two and Team Fortress 2.

According to the gaming website, Alyx and Gordon’s return will prove more lasting than last time around, when gamers could eek out only four to six hours of gameplay. The buggy will be making a return, but with turbo upgrades; a powerful new enemy akin to a mini-strider will debut; G-man will be fleshed out; and a “main character” will die.

Reportedly, gameplay is about two-thirds combat and one-third puzzle solving, and more challenging than past offerings, particularly because of the mini-striders.

Turning to Team Fortress 2, the website said classes appeared diverse and well balanced, and included a “scout,” “pyro,” “heavy” and “engineer.” In a move designed to limit mindless fragging, only the “demoman” can lob grenades.

The game will ship with six maps, and a new game mode called “Hydro,” which will provide more randomized and segmented areas to capture.

Valve’s latest it slated to ship sometime this fall.

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