I quickly came to know this game as VTMB through the hours that I had to spend searching postings from other fans who had struggled before me – just to play the game. This game is without the question the worst that I have ever seen. As released in both the boxed and via Steam versions the game is unplayable. Fortunately there is a small but dedicated community still releasing patches for it that just about make it acceptable.
Having said that VTMB is one of the best games that I have ever played. Duh?
Built using the Valve Source Engine and released the same day as Half Life 2 clearly the comparison must be made. VTMB has far the better story, great atmosphere and is much more immersing than HL2. VTMB is personal! HL2 has better graphics and has been implemented with great professionalism. You get the feeling with VTMB that the bean counters just wanted the darn thing in a box and out of their hair even though it didn't work.
Get the patches, get the walkthroughs, be prepared to use no clip and god mode in places then turn out the lights and play. You will not regret it.