No one saw Portal
coming. Well, lets
rephrase that. We
coming, but no one saw the amazing following and success that
thereafter. No one
saw the ending
sequence, the incredibly dry humor, or the wonderful feeling of an
from solving a puzzle youve been stuck on for half an hour coming. style=""> What was once thought of
as an extra pack-in
to the Orange Box became a reason to purchase the Orange Box, and style="">Portal fever was in full session.
Now, everyone saw Portal
style="font-style: italic;">But no one could see these two
goons coming. Humanity is weak and fragile, so it's best to
use these robots that can't feel pain.
It promised the world with tons of
new gadgets, gizmos, and
a million more deaths in your future.
delivered a cooperative campaign totally separate from the single
player. Of course,
your mileage with multiplayer is
partially related to who you play it with.
Lets just assume that youve got a good buddy and a few
hours to both
aid each other, and of course, kill each other.
Because thats what friends are for
in video games!
Portal 2 is rated E for Everyone. Robot explosions and dry humor insults are the worst things you'll experience first hand, but no one can prepare you for your wounded pride when you have to look up the solution to a room.
Gameplay - 97 / 100
The gameplay of Portal
2 is still as simple as point, left click, right click, and move on. style=""> Rarely do you have to jump
or crouch, and Portal 2 remains a
great game for
everyone coming from all walks of life, both the hardcore and those who
touched a video game in ten years.
Little tools exist to make your life easier when
cooperating with random
people and those of you without microphones.
You can play pings, do countdowns, request portals to be
placed and do
plenty of crazy gestures to get people to dance to your tune without
You now have four portals in
hardest part about the game is getting
out of the mindset that you have to do all of the work yourself. style=""> Mind you, a lot of the
puzzles can be cheesed
or cheated through, but for the most part youre going to need all of
portals of the rainbow in order to conquer the complex.
Of course, this means youre going to need
the cooperation of a comrade, so communication via voice, chat, or the
gestures and pings is essential to progress.
style="font-style: italic;">What looks like a typical laser
is none other than the Thermal Discouragement Beam. Unlike
the original, you'll survive a little contact with these.
What you really have to worry about is your comrade purposely
aiming it at your face for kicks.
New toys are available to play with.
style=""> Youll be aiming lasers to
youll be swimming through space with Funnels, and youll be using
to change the area to a more suitable surface, be it through speeding
slowing down, or even creating a portal-capable surface on a wall that
normally not support it. Once
is in play, so many options exist in order to get through the stages
might rack your mind trying to find one of them that truly works,
leaving you stranded on a platform yards from the exit but just out of
For those of you that loved the sheer
insanity of flying a
million miles an hour through the portals and over the stages, a lot of
are out. Most
puzzles are solved with
your brain instead of quick fingers, which will please the casual and
disappoint the few of us that took great pleasure in doing puzzles the
way. Its just a
change of pace, and
there are still plenty of times you can use unintentional cover to
turrets and do long jumps to bypass traps or death pits.
Its style="font-style: italic;">Portal, only better!
Graphics - 90 / 100
While not disappointing, the graphics of Portal 2 really didnt change from the original. The Light Bridges look nice, and the distortion of looking through them as well as looking through portals is still top notch. The game still scales to a multitude of systems, and looks sharp at the highest settings. You and your robot companion will run and jump around like goofballs with quality animation, even when you do unintentionally awesome high fives.
Sound - 77 / 100
Music is nonexistent, which is wonderful for concentration and communicating with your partner, but really makes you feel like the co-op campaign was just the afterthought of a map maker. However, the ever present voice of GLaDOS is always around to make you feel better about yourself, insult your partner, or just revel in your repeated demise. Otherwise, the sounds of portals, various gizmos, and turret bullets piercing your torso repeatedly are quite good, if a bit repetitive. Of course, its only as repetitive as long as you keep dying on the same puzzle. If youre tired of hearing gunfire, stop getting shot to pieces and move on!
Multiplayer - 95 / 100
Its one thing to think with portals.
style=""> Its another world
entirely to think with
portals with a friend. That
no idea what youre thinking unless youre on voice chat, which is
necessary. You have
the ability to
indicate particular wall spots to the other player, and you can always
but a mic is essential to quick communication.
That said, your multiplayer exploits can be enhanced with
a variety of
purchasable cosmetic enhancements, but these will cost you dollars from
wallet instead of any in-game currency.
style="font-style: italic;">Funnels are a joy and
frustration, essentially creating a slipstream to send yourself,
objects, and whatever else you can move around in one or more
directions depending on the Funnel. Just like any bridge-type
in Portal 2 though, your comrade might close his portal and send you
into the abyss for a laugh. Count on it.
Value - 87 / 100
For the low price of 29.99 to 59.99 depending on where you shop at this point, you get access to over 100 rooms that will drive you mad, with or without a partner. The cooperative campaign in particular has the potential for infinite fun. Valve is charging for cosmetic upgrades and silly hats, but they have promised that the first DLC pack of actual content will be free of charge. Even without the DLC of the future taken into consideration, youll put at least a solid 10 hours of carnage filled portal action.
Lasting Appeal - 60 / 100
There may be lots of rooms, but not necessarily lots of ways to do most of them. When it comes down to it, your memory will be against you as your friends pick it up and ask to play co-op with you. The magic of multiplayer is nowhere near as wonderful when someone already knows everything about the game and the solutions.
Pros and Cons
- Some extremely well thought out rooms (3-8 in particular)
- As well as some lovely unintended ways to get through them
- Lots of new toys to test your wits, and your favorite narrator will test your will with taunts.
- Paid cosmetic items, while almost the norm, are still offensive especially in a AAA title like this.
- Not as much room for creative momentum slinging or doing it wrong to get by.
- Youll want to wipe your memory Men In Black style afterwards, because it will never be the same the second time.
Portal 2 was a safe bet that decided to go the extra mile in a few areas. The map makers did exceptionally well in creating rooms that provoke thought, while not being frustratingly difficult. Youre still doing the exact same thing you were doing before, but theres more of it now and its co-op. To be honest, can you really complain? I didnt think so.