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Portal 2 Review

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MonstaMasha
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#1

Posted 27 July 2011 - 01:17 PM

Portal 2

user posted image

General Information:

Genre:
First person action puzzler

Developer:
Valve Corporation

Publisher:
Valve Corporation

Online:
Separate 2 player co-op campaign

Release Date:
Retail
North America: April 19, 2011
Europe: April 21, 2011

Steam (Worldwide)
April 19, 2011

General Price:
Around 29.99/$59.99

Rating:
ESRB: Everyone 10+
PEGI: 12

Learning Curve:
From my point of view, Portal 2 was easy to pick up. The new mechanics were implemented slowly so that you always knew what to do. However, getting to these new game mechanics is essentially impossible if you have no grasp of the main function of the game, the portals. I knew how to use them due to my prior experience of the first game. However, when placed in the hands of my close friend, who had never played any of the Portal games, it took him a long time to even comprehend the idea of portals, let alone be able to use them at high speed in high pressure situations, ever present later in the game. However, with much guidance, he eventually came to understand how to use portals. Therefore I would say that Portal 2 is a game that can be played by all, although it will take some getting used to for those new to the Portal franchise.

Players:
Single player campaign
Two player co-op campaign (online)

Multimedia:
user posted image user posted image user posted image user posted image




The Rundown:

Introduction:
(Warning: Portal 1 Spoilers)
Portal 2 follows on from the story of the original game released in 2007. Having defeated GLaDOS, you saw Chell get carried away by a mysterious robotic voice at the end of the first game.. At the start of Portal 2, you find yourself living in a suspension chamber, used to house the test subjects. The curator of the test subjects, a small robotic sphere named Wheatley (voiced by British comedian Steven Merchant), bursts in and alerts you of a problem in the enrichment centre. The rest of the subjects are dead, and you are the last one alive. You and Wheatley formulate a plan to escape, which forces you both to pass through GLaDOS' dilapidated and worn chamber. GLaDOS was the main antagonist of the first game, who forced you to complete various test chambers using the portal gun. This is a very simple idea that can be put to many complex uses. essentially, the gun can shoot a blue portal and an orange portal. If you go through an orange portal, you come out of the blue portal and vice versa. Any momentum that you gain is conserved through the portals, setting the game up for some brain bending puzzles. Wheatley, while scared of going near GLaDOS, is optimistic, unknowing of your "relationship" with GLaDOS from the previous instalment. Upon entering the chamber, GLaDOS is alerted (well, woken up from her "murdered" state) to your presence and begins testing with you once more. The plan to escape eventually goes horribly awry and off plan, throwing you into a story of adventure, suspense and of course excellent puzzles.

Graphics:
The graphics in Portal 2 are remarkably good. Details such as individual leaves in the dilapidated test chambers have been looked after, and nothing too big or too small have been ignored. You especially notice the splendour of the game when you reach some of the more open areas of the game, as you are able to look over vast expanses of the testing facility, allowing you to appreciate the grandeur. However, upon closer inspection, some textures can be slightly blurry when examined closely. Also, a friend of mine had experienced a problem with the smashing of glass, an essential part of the game from the very beginning, crashing the game. However, I believe this may have been down to his computer and not the game.
8/10

Sound:
The music in the game has been excellently chosen and is really put to its best uses in the game. There is never an out of place sound effect or soundtrack, whether you're in grave danger or just prancing about safely. The sound effects fit the environments well, and voices are excellently chosen. All characters, including minor roles such as the turrets, have voices that dictate individual personalities. Finally of course, I mist mention the legendary credits songs of Portal. Jonathan Coulton's catchy tune "Still Alive" from the first Portal game inspired thousands of gam,era worldwide, and I can confirm that this game does not disappoint.
9/10


Gameplay:
This game is not for those who enjoy simple gameplay. The puzzles gradually increase in difficulty as you become more and more adept with the portal gun. These puzzles can become incredibly complex and will leave you thinking for a long time in some parts. I was at times tempted to use a guide for one or two hard chambers, but I resisted the temptation and it was worth it. The feeling of intelligence you get when you solve a hard puzzle is something that you just don't get from using a guide. Therefore I beg of you not to use a game guide of any kind, as it will impede your enjoyment of the game. If you enjoy a challenge then this game is definitely for you.
9/10

Storyline:
The story of Portal 2 is excellent. With a canon timeline of the Portal universe built around the game to support in-game developments, you find yourself fully immersed. The timeline even incorporates developments from other games developed by Valve, such as the Black Mesa facility from the Half Life series. I would however recommend that you play the original Portal game beforehand. This will enhance your understanding of the plot and you will enjoy the sequel much more.
9/10


Conclusion:
A simply incredible concept has been put to amazing use with this series. With brain bending puzzles that will keep you thinking intertwined with an engaging and surprising storyline, this game keeps you on the edge of your seat while pushing your grey matter to its limits. The only thing I would say is that you should only play this game if you enjoy complex puzzles, as this game is chock full of them


Overall Rating:
9/10

Stinky12
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#2

Posted 27 July 2011 - 04:56 PM

At least you can provide a cover art with the final rating instead of saying "rating pending" tounge.gif
IMO, Portal 2 the solo campaign seems to be a lot easier than its predecessor. With Aperture Science Innovations,
the big area is my favorite part of the game, but it doesn't provide any challenges as most puzzle are straight forward.
Trying to escape from GlaDOS again isn't that exciting and somehow Portal 2 went from a great game to one
with a Disney type of ending. "enemies becomes your friend". rolleyes.gif


I'll give Portal 9/10
Portal 2 7/10

d0mm2k8
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#3

Posted 27 July 2011 - 05:03 PM

QUOTE (Stinky12 @ Wednesday, Jul 27 2011, 17:56)
with a Disney type of ending. "enemies becomes your friend".  rolleyes.gif

Well, GLaDOS saves you because of the realization of who she is but she still hates you. She just decided to let you go on your own into a post-apocalyptic world rather than kill you because she decided it was easier.

Also, Portal 2 is a story driven puzzle game, with emphasis on the story. If you want difficulty, play the co-op wink.gif

Indi
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#4

Posted 27 July 2011 - 08:22 PM

I'd have to give Portal 2 a 10 on the graphics side, Crysis has mega great graphics... but there's still something about the Source engine that makes it in my opinion... stand out from other engines.

Great review mate, I agree on everything else. On the PC the graphics are beast.


Portal 2 is one of my favourite games of all time.

AndyGanteks
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#5

Posted 27 July 2011 - 08:23 PM

Shouldn't those reviews go under the thread itself?

Otherwise, good job man!

Butters 2011
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#6

Posted 27 July 2011 - 09:50 PM

QUOTE (AndyGanteks @ Wednesday, Jul 27 2011, 20:23)
Shouldn't those reviews go under the thread itself?

Nargh, they always had their own respective topics, just last time they were quoted into the main topic itself. smile.gif

Kratos2000
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#7

Posted 27 July 2011 - 10:40 PM Edited by *MURDOC*, 28 July 2011 - 05:01 AM.

*Spoilers*

The game is f*cking epic, I finished the last level like 30 times, definitely my third fav of all time. The part where you're on the moon, gave me goosebumps.
The music, the lines, how they designed the moon and how GLaDOS says "I already fixed it, and you are not coming back" just made my weeks, even months.
Anyone has an idea what's the soundtrack of the part where we're in space? (holding wheatley)

d0mm2k8
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#8

Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:36 PM

QUOTE (Kratos2000 @ Wednesday, Jul 27 2011, 23:40)
*Spoilers*

The game is f*cking epic, I finished the last level like 30 times, definitely my third fav of all time. The part where you're on the moon, gave me goosebumps.
The music, the lines, how they designed the moon and how GLaDOS says "I already fixed it, and you are not coming back" just made my weeks, even months.
Anyone has an idea what's the soundtrack of the part where we're in space? (holding wheatley)

Why not use spoiler tags? But yes, I agree. The ending was the most satisfying endings I have ever experienced in a game. Simply brilliant.

Afro Zombie
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#9

Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:49 PM

Portal 2 was a great game but I don't think it was better than the first but it would be hard to top Portal.

I think the only problem I have with the portal games is that people try really hard to find memes with them. I just found the whole "cake is a lie" and "SPAAACE" things just annoying rather than funny. But that's more a problem with some portal fans rather than the games themselves, I think valve is even aware of this as they never mentioned cake in the whole of the second game.

Xboxless
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#10

Posted 27 July 2011 - 11:52 PM Edited by Xboxless, 28 July 2011 - 12:49 AM.

My only qualm with portal 2, how short it is. It's a 4 day game tops for people who played the first one. That's including co-op time too. 4-days is way to short for a game, especially when the first portal had the whole least steps, least portals thing but the second one doesn't.

My judgment would be pretty much the same other than "It's so short that it is a renter, not a buyer."

Nice review though, don't let me take that away from you.

Tashan
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#11

Posted 28 July 2011 - 07:01 AM

cool review

MonstaMasha
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#12

Posted 28 July 2011 - 09:56 AM Edited by MonstaMasha, 28 July 2011 - 10:45 AM.

I agree with all of what you've said. Amazing ending, but yes, it was a very short game. I'll have a go at finding that music from the very last bit of the last level for you Kratos. ALl in all though, I think both games equal each other with their own pros and cons.

EDIT: Kratos, bad news. It seems that the soundtrack for that part is unavailable on its own. The actual audio file has the voices embedded in the background music, not as separate files.

TL;DR: Can't get it without voices.

MagnAn
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#13

Posted 28 July 2011 - 10:54 AM

QUOTE (Xboxless @ Wednesday, Jul 27 2011, 23:52)
My only qualm with portal 2, how short it is. It's a 4 day game tops for people who played the first one. That's including co-op time too. 4-days is way to short for a game, especially when the first portal had the whole least steps, least portals thing but the second one doesn't.

My judgment would be pretty much the same other than "It's so short that it is a renter, not a buyer."

Nice review though, don't let me take that away from you.

IIRC, free dlc is coming, with challenges like the one in the original Portal.

JOSEPH X
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#14

Posted 28 July 2011 - 11:29 AM

QUOTE
This game is not for those who enjoy simple gameplay.


Compared to EXIT, which shares some similarites in that you have to make your way to the Exit, Portal 2 is child's play.

Xboxless
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#15

Posted 28 July 2011 - 01:42 PM

QUOTE (MagnAn @ Thursday, Jul 28 2011, 10:54)

IIRC, free dlc is coming, with challenges like the one in the original Portal.

Cool, but then it could be said that it should have been there in the first place. I won't go there though. colgate.gif




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