Note: Reviews for Portal 2 (PC) and Portal 2 (Xbox 360) have been written by different authors from different countries, so their views may differ. Please note that this is an individual review, not a supplement to the Xbox 360 versions’ review.
Well I honestly did not think it could be done. Make a sequel to a game that is so innovative that it stands alone in its own genre. But Valve has done it they have created a masterpiece that is a true sequel to the first that is well deserving of the title of Portal 2. The first game was actually originally released as a rough edition of freeware called Narbacular Drop, in 2005 as an independent game released by students of the DigiPen Institute of Technology. Valve’s president Gabe Newell immediately saw potential in the game as well as the independent team that developed it. They all work for Valve now and the new Valve team set out to re-create the game which is known as Portal. The game was such a simple idea but one of the most complex of puzzle games and became a hit making it almost a cult classic video game. Now, four years later Valve has released Portal 2 and lives up to its expectations and more.
In the original game you are trapped in the the Aperture Science Center testing facility with a crazed AI robotic that is eminent on testing your abilities and then convinced of your demise. [PORTAL 1 SPOILER BEGIN] You eventually come to break free from the Science Center destroying the AI named GLaDOS as well the Science Center itself. [PORTAL 1 SPOILER 1 END] In Portal 2 the AI GLaDOS is alive and has rebuilt the Aperture Science Center as best she could which you once again find yourself in. The game is a first person title but it is not a shooter as you are equipped with a portal gun in which you can create two portals at any given time so long as the surface is permits you to create a portal on it. Once a portal is created a second one can be made to simply walk through the other side. Only it does not stay that simple as you will be jumping, falling, levitating, flinging and defying gravity through the other side among other things.
The puzzles get harder and harder as the difficulty rises new elements come into play like turret guns that are laser pointer motion activated, light bridge barriers and of course your faithful companion cube. Nothing screams love like a medium sized cube with hearts on it. But in all honestly this cube can be you best friend most of the time, blocking turrets holding down switches and much more. Once you realize you are right back where you started you are awakened by a robot name Wheatley, one of evil GLaDOS’s cores. Only Wheatley is different and has a mind of his own as he winds up breaking apart from GLaDOS to try to help you along. Portal might just be one of the funniest game I have every played during a good portion of it, between Wheatley hilarious remarks in his English accent voiced by Stephen Merchant and GLaDOS’s dry sense of dark humor once again voiced by Ellen McLain from the first game. The humor was there in the first game but it is ten fold in Portal 2 as at points I could not stop laughing.
The graphics in the game are quite impressive, they are not super amazing but after playing portal one it is a pleasure to the eyes ti see the world of Portal with such detail. The Aperture Science Lab is rusted and overgrowing with plants, but GLaDOS and done a done a good job a making do with what is at her disposable to clean up and provide a teasing facility for you. Portal 2 is much longer than the first game and has a much deeper story that just GLaDOS trying to terminate you like in the first one. The game itself has so many new additions to the game to help you solve puzzles. Puzzles can be harder, but they are truly just a lot more creative that the one in the first game. You will start off the game completing puzzling that feel familiar from the first but then tons of new features come in to play like Ariel Flip Switches that fling you or an object through the air and even color changing companion cubes. The list goes on making Portal 2 everything you could want in a sequel like this one keeping it’s unique style while expanding on creativity.
Now we move on to what I feel is the best part of the which is the co-op. This is a new addition to the world of Portal and you can play co-op online, split screen or system link. I had some of the most fun ever in a video game while playing Portal 2’s co-op mode. The humor does not end here either as you progress through the co-op campaign which is entirely separate from the single player, you gain the ability to use emotion like a wave, high five your partner, dance or even hug them and more. Of course if you choose to do an emotion in front of a camera GLaDOS usually has a smart remark to say that can’t help make you laugh as you see you self on camera while you are doing it. The best part about it is that you get to play the game using two head instead of one, not to mention you must rely on each other to complete each level. Don’t think it is a walk in the park though because now you have four portal you must take advantage of making it harder in the classic Valve style. You can even place markers on where you think your partner should put one of their portals.
In closing what I think makes Portal 2 such a great game is that is has a little bit of every kind of emotion crammed in to the game, whether it’s humor (which there is quite a bit of), anger, frustration, relief, joy and much more. You also have all these puzzles that get harder and harder but in the end you almost always find out how to solve them. This makes Portal 2 challenging and rewarding at the same time which considering the style of this unique puzzle game a great title. You can’t really beat that and to top it off it is rated ‘E’ for Everyone making this a game that everyone can enjoy. If you have never experienced the world of Portal, you are with out a doubt missing out.
This game was reviewed on the Xbox 360.
Co-op is like nothing you have every experienced before. The game is extremely humorous any way around it.
Only two modes, single player and co-op. Might not want to replay the game once you have already beaten it.
A top notch puzzle game that reigns above any other with such a simple idea and such complex gameplay, Portal 2 should be a mist play.