Portal was an original concept and had perfect delivery. When it first released as part of Valves Orange Box collection, Portal introduced a unique first person puzzle game and memorable characters. It was short, fun and well executed. Portal 2 has more to offer than an expansion of levels, it adds character development, new puzzle elements and one of the best co-op experiences on the market.
Single player in Portal 2 is a fun and exciting experience. From start to finished I rarely experienced a dull moment, and when I did, it was trying to solve one of the many test chamber puzzles. The facility is larger, the puzzles are harder and the characters are unforgettable. GLaDOS is back along with her witty sarcasm that keeps the game devilishly humorous. This is some of the best voice acting I have heard form any game. When making your way though the Aperture facility be prepared to laugh most of the way through.
We’re a lot alike, you and I. You tested me. I tested you. You killed me. I—oh, no, wait. I guess I haven’t killed you yet. Well. Food for thought.
Portal 2 takes place after the events of the original game. You play as Chell, Apertures most ambitious and expendable test subject. After waking up in a small apartment we are introduced to Wheatley, a small robot voiced by Stephen Merchant who wants to help you to escape from the facility. With GLaDOS out of the picture, Aperture is dilapidated and overgrown by vegetation. Once she is mistakenly activated, she scrambles to get everything in working order. Moving between test chambers, walls and plates will move and she will blame you for the mess. As you progress through the game, environments change, new puzzle elements are added and you explore the sometimes boring bowels of Aperture Science.
Gameplay is like the original Portal. For the most part you will be running through test chambers and solving puzzles using your portal gun. As you progress, the rooms get more challenging and new tools such as speed gel, bouncy gel, lasers, light bridges and tractor beams are added to tease your brain. Even with the core gameplay centered around solving puzzles, they wont leave you frustrated or feel unfair. You will however find moments where you cant seem to find the solution that has been in your face the whole time. Either way you feel a since of accomplishment for getting to the next stage.
The best gameplay you will experience is in Co-op mode. The start of co-op picks up where single player leaves off. It’s no secret GLaDOS is obsessed with continuous testing, so she builds two robots to keep her occupied. Though co-op doesn’t offer an enriched story, you are still continuing through the facility as her test subjects.
Communication is key to playing co-op. If you play with anyone that is not going to pull their own weight, then you can expect a world of headaches. With two characters this means four portals. Valve does a great job fully utilizing the four portals through each test chamber. Also included are commands that each player can give to each other such as pointing to a wall where a portal needs to go, or telling your partner they need to push a button. Your best experience with co-op is if you play it with a friend. This gave hours of shouting and good times followed by a great sense of teamwork.
Valve is one of the best game developers out there. They take their time making memorable and enjoyable games. Portal 2 is one of their best achievements. It’s surprising that this game is still running off of the same Source engine used on Half-Life 2. There are few things that I can say are a negative to Portal 2. Other than the second part of story mode that slows down and goes into the history of Aperture Science and its origins, Portal 2 is a fantastic experience through and through. If your sick of your standard first person shooter and want a little verity, Portal 2 is the game for you.
Portal 2 will also be receiving DLC coming this summer. It will be at the low low price of FREE!!
A great experience from start to finish. Some of the best characters in any game.
Valve still gets some mileage out of its Source engine.
This is some of the best voice acting I have heard in any game. Also music and sounds progress as you move through puzzles.
This is one of the most unique styles a first person perspective can offer. Co-op will blow your mind.
Lasting Appeal: 7
Once you beat single player and co-op, there isn’t much else to do.
Violent Score: 9 (out of 10)
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