Tuesday, June 14, 2011

"Portal 2" Review

Portal 2 is the new, hugely popular sequel to the original Portal game by the game developer, publisher, and distributor, Valve. Following the success of its predecessor, Portal 2 features a first-person gameplay where the object is to use a 'portal gun' (obviously enough, it is a gun that shoots portals) along with the environment to advance through the test stages of Aperture Laboratories, run by the corrupt GLaDOS. My game review, after the jump.

The Gameplay

As with any game, gameplay is an important factor when deciding quality. This is definitely the case with Portal 2, but it's not the only facet of the game you will immediately notice. Those other fantastic qualities of this beautiful game will be covered in the following, appropriate sections.

First and foremost is the portal gun. The whole game revolves around this one item, and it's the only actual item you will ever carry around with you. At first, it only shoots one portal, and you must combine it with other, pre-constructed portals to get around. However, you will soon be led to the full-power portal gun, which shoots both blue and orange portals, allowing for mind-blowingly fun puzzles.

The portal gun and it's two portals.
The game runs incredibly smoothly, and there is next to no problems with the gameplay. I have played through the game completely, some levels many times over, and I cannot find a glitch or bug anywhere. Valve really made sure they did their QA homework here.

One new noticeable introduction to gameplay with Portal 2 is the use of 'gels' -- paint-like substances produced at Aperture Laboratories that alter the way the game can be played. Blue gel lets you bounce much higher, orange gel lets you run much faster, and white gel let's you create portals where once you could not. The gels offer many new considerations to the world of portals.

Other new features include light-paths, which light up and allow one to walk on them, as well as block any objects (including bullets and other projectiles); and light-lifts, which are tubes of light that move the player or object in a specific direction.

The Visuals

In-game and still beautiful.
There is no doubt that you will be stunned by the incredible graphics of this game. The original Portal was not poorly done, but Portal 2 is a masterpiece in comparison (and not just because it's newer). This game has such cutting edge graphics that I fear it might not have worked on a lesser computer, though I almost never had any problems with lag, even on a standard off-the-shelf laptop.

The light-objects (paths, lifts, etc.) are beautiful in themselves, and merit special recognition here. I don't think anything in the game quite amazed me like they did. The detail is incredible, much like any high-quality game should have.

The Audio

Portal 2 isn't all gameplay and graphics, of course -- it does feature quite a score. The background music, especially when you're in a fight or fast-paced scene, is definitely adrenaline-pumping. The voices are so well done, as well; as soon as you get to talk to Wheatley at the beginning of the game, you'll know what I mean. I can't stress enough how perfectly these voice actors portrayed the spirit of their characters.

The Multiplayer

P-body and Atlas in multiplayer.

I haven't yet had a chance to play the cooperative missions with anyone yet -- sadly, no one I know has Portal 2 and will get on to play cooperative mode. I heard it was great, but I am not too sad, as the singleplayer mode itself is incredible enough to keep me going on Portal for a while. I would give it co-op a try.

The Conclusion

You must get this game! Even if you only rent it, play through the entire singleplayer. The jokes, the graphics, the physics of the game are all amazing enough to easily warrant a rental of this game. However, not having played multiplayer (and fearing that it may just be a rehash of singleplayer), I am going to have to say buying it would not be my suggestion. Perhaps I may change my mind in the future, but I am going to call this one like I see it, and I don't see much replay value in this game.

[ RENT | BUY ]


  1. Personally i just wanted the potato hat they're giving at TF2 but after reading your review i'm glad i didn't get it at full price on Steam :)

  2. I agree with your whole review, the game is great for a one-time playthrough!