My hot take: HL2 vehicle sections are better than EP2's section. While EP2 is more impressive in scale, it lacks that semi open world feel HL2 had. EP2's optional places to explore are limited to two levels that is when we get our radar. When he have to stop, its required to proceed further. But in Half-Life 2 there are some optional houses to explore, that are not required to go to move forward. I don't have any issues with linear games, I just enjoy semi open worlds more.