Well You wanted it, here it is the Fairly incompletely rather badly illustrated Portal 2 review. Since I am a fan of putting my bias on display I have to tell you upfront I Love the original game, the ambiance, the dialog the… well everything.
If you haven’t played the original portal you have done you gaming self a major disservice. It breaks genres to create its own. Quite simply this game is what happens when a 1st person shooter tries to really immerse itself in a puzzle. In fact the developers threw this game in as an add-on to a collection, Part of the original Orange Box, Half life 1, 2 and team fortress. Sweet fancy fun, this package is still a steal on the discount rack.
There is only 1 gun, and it only does one thing. Shoots either entry or exit portals. using gravity, ingenuity and luck you need to navigate through countless levels of complex and mind bending puzzles. You begin to wonder if a 2 player version would even be possible. Fans of motion sickness, and Nausea need not apply. In fact that was probably the orignal title of the game.
Did there need to be a Sequel?
When a sequel for a great movie or game comes out you need to ask yourself is the story workable? Does it continue or break the other continuity to make this game even happen? Is this a Matrix 2, or heaven forbid Highlander 2…. Or did it go the way of other great sequels Rock IV and Ghostbuster 2. Come on maybe a happy little carpathian kitten is lurking somewhere around here. Yes this game needed to be made. It didn’t break the first story, it added to it. Without ruining any of the story beyond the first 2 minutes. Yes you are Chel the protagonist from the first game, GLADDoS is back, and I don’t think there will be cake, because the developers got tired of cake jokes. I did find one single cake reference in the game, let’s see if you catch it. At this point I’ve beaten it twice on single player, and am going back for more. I’m working on the next level of awesome.
Co-Op: Before we start this, let me tell you the Co-Op campaign comes AFTER the single player campaign in the overall timeline of things. So pleasure delayers be aware that you should probably play the First person player-mode to get all the awesome jokes in the multi-player mode. Co-Op is fantastic, there are moments when one of you will crack and send the other into a pit of acid, just because. This is truly a team game, although if there was a … “Battle Mode” that would be pretty fun too! Most if not all of the puzzles NEED to be completed as a two player set. I can think of only one so far that you really didn’t have to work together.
The Good: More Portal, More Science, More Better
The traps… er tests are fantastic, the story is what steals the show. Continuing from the first game the witty dialog, straight laced insult humor and overall polish on the game is the same only… better. There are less standard puzzles and more off kilter broken ended tests of your portal-ability. In fact I completed the single player game by a non standard means without even realizing it, which is why I played through it again. Pay attention to your surroundings they can lead to some fun surprises.
The Bad: If there really is anything bad in the game its that there seems to be a lack of extras, like challenges from the first game. I would have loved to see the first portal game as an include on the disk just for fun. The replay value also leaves a good deal to be desired as well. If you have played through once and have a good spatial memory then you’ll be set!
Leave me Wanting MORE: Some minor bits of fun from the trailer don’t appear in the came, like suction tubes. Sadly they didn’t appear once in the game. I am a Portal Junky though and love the game as a whole. We also had some pretty awesome use of gels in demo content that didn’t quite make it into the final version. but I can’t complain they showed you the solution… what fun is that! Hopefully some of the awesome tech demos are getting pushed into the DLC coming this summer… oh by the by…. it will be free! So I can only think they rushed to have all the awesome story in the game and are adding in the extras after the fact. Sweet Fancy Science this is going to be cool.
Conclusion: Should you buy this. YES! I’m Paul Muller and we’re done here