The award-winning formula of innovative gameplay, story, and music earned the original Portal over 70 industry accolades and a cult following is carried over into Portal 2. Portal 2’s single-player mode introduces a cast of dynamic new characters, a slew of new puzzle elements, and a much larger number of perplexing test chambers. Is the game, however, up to the task? Or has the sequel curse struck once more?
As a result, I’m forced to write a review for an older game. You, as a GO News Publication reader, may be surprised to see this game on the main feed, but I noticed that no one else had reviewed it, so I decided it was necessary for me to do it justice and write a review for it – so here we go.
Portal 2 is a Steam-only game that was released in 2011 by Valve, the same company that publishes the game. The original Portal was a fantastic game with a great story, murderous villain, and a series of hilarious ‘cake’ jokes, but Portal 2 is Valve’s follow-up to the game and boasts a larger map, longer story, and an enjoyable coop mode, giving us the impression that Portal 2 is much better on paper than the first original game.
The story picks up after the events of the first game, in which you play as Chell, a silent protagonist who is dragged back into Aperture after the events of the first game. Wheatley, a spherical robot voiced by the talented Stephen Merchant (from Ricky Gervais’s An Idiot Aboard) who assists the player through the early stages of the game, is soon introduced. Due to great writing and Merchant’s comedic value, I believe the game benefits greatly from Merchant’s talent and obvious enthusiasm.
Eventually, you’ll run into GLaDOS, the villain from the first Portal game, who has been revived after being killed in the first game (a sorry bit of spoiler there). The game’s writers did an excellent job, as evidenced by the quality of Stephen Merchant’s character and GLaDOS. I’ve always praised a game when a lot of effort has gone into the writing and story, as I believe it adds to the game’s overall quality, and Valve has done this to a tee.
However, the second half of the story is where I have a problem. It starts to slow down and become almost boring, but once that is overcome, the pacing begins to pick up again. Despite this, the game is a thrill ride with a fantastic story that rivals Call of Duty in terms of quality.
Valve has also improved the game’s puzzles, making them more difficult and unique, and thus improving on the first Portal game. They’ve also brought back the iconic, fan-favorite portal gun – but unfortunately not as much cake. However, more on this will be discussed in the gameplay section.
Portal 2 Gameplay
Portal 2’s overall gameplay is nothing short of incredible. The game has a razor-sharp, on-point, and precise feel to it. Portal 2 is a fun game to play, and it’s clear that Valve put a lot of effort into optimizing it, putting it ahead of its competitors when it was released in 2011. The game includes a large single-player campaign with an engrossing story, a complete two-player co-op multiplayer game with its own dedicated story, characters, and gameplay, and advanced physics that allow for the creation of a whole new range of interesting challenges, resulting in a game that is much larger but not harder.
As previously stated, the game introduces more challenging and unique puzzles, building on the foundations laid in the 2007 Portal game. The game has that signature Garry’s Mod feel to it, which makes it fun to play. The facility begins in a state of disrepair, and once GLaDOS, the game’s villain, comes back to life in a Frankenstein-like manner, so does the facility, becoming an extension of her body and witty, yet murderous personality. The environments in Portal 2 progress from claustrophobic test chambers to terrifying underground chasms, which is very cool.
Even though it uses the base framework from Half-Life 2, which was released all the way back in 2004 (Wow, that makes me feel old!) the game’s gameplay is outstanding due to extensive optimization.
While you’ll spend a lot of time-solving puzzles, which can be tedious at times, there’s a lot more focus on character development and the story than in the first game. The fan-favorite ‘portal gun,’ which has become a trademark of the series, is also returning. The gun fires two connected portals through which you and objects can pass while maintaining momentum! Portal 2 keeps physics in the game, which is great for science fans. But, no matter how ridiculous the puzzles become, the solution always makes you think, “Oh yeah, why didn’t I think of that first?” The game also reintroduces the original game’s turrets, jump pads, and blocks to open doors, giving it a nostalgic feel.
Gameplay COOP Mode
Portal 2 also has a cooperative mode that is a lot of fun to play! You solve challenging puzzles with the help of a friend or even a random stranger, just like in the single-player campaign. You play as either Atlas (a small fat robot) or Peabody (a tall thin robot) and travel through various sections of a large testing room, solving various fun puzzles with the help of the popular and hilarious villain GLaDOS. You can also create your own puzzles, which is a fantastic feature in a fantastic game. Valve makes the most of the increased capacity for dimensional holes (thank goodness each player has a portal gun) by increasing the level of difficulty and coordination required.
However, if you are not playing with someone you know, this mode can be extremely frustrating, as the game requires both players to work together to prevent one person from doing all of the work. Each person’s contributions are obvious, and Valve has developed a number of tools to make communication as easy as possible. Valve has addressed the problem by allowing the player to place context-sensitive markers on various parts of the environment to indicate where a portal should be placed, where your partner should move, and even triggering a countdown clock to synchronize when switches and buttons should be pressed.
But, in general, this feature is excellent and, when compared to the previous one, it significantly improves the game’s overall quality.
Audio and Graphics
Despite not being the ‘flashiest’ graphics around, the graphics and audio are quite good for a game released in 2011. But it’s clear that Valve put a lot of effort, time, and effort into making the graphics and audio fantastic once again. The game is built on the Half-Life 2 framework and has the feel of a Valve sandbox game like Garry’s Mod; I don’t think it would be a Valve game without this style of interface. The game compensates for the lack of graphics with a fantastic stage design and engaging animations.
Portal 2 Review – The graphics aren’t the best, but the imaginative act and wacky designs make up for it.
Portal 2 has its own soundtrack, and the voice acting, especially from Stephen Merchant and Ellen McLain as GLaDOS, is superb.
Portal 2 Conclusion
In conclusion, Portal 2 is an excellent game that will go down in history as a classic Steam title. Overall, the game’s writing is excellent, as is Stephen Merchant’s and Ellen McLain’s voice acting, ensuring that Portal 2 never fails to entertain. The graphics aren’t the best, but a unique soundtrack, imaginative art designs, and set pieces quickly make up for it. The puzzles are unquestionably the game’s pista la resistance, as they improve on the first game and truly incorporate advanced physics.