Game Review - Portal 2 on PC

Written by subzerobelow on May 20, 2018 @ 12:21 am

The Portal series has always been a rocky road with me, I played 1 on the orange box back in 2011 when I still played the Xbox 360 a lot and was very active on it. To my surprise, I really enjoyed it and found my self-wanting to play the second which I did several years later on a PC that I had just got. For the life of me, I can't seem to remember why I stopped playing it half way through as the game is amazing in its own right. I believe I might have been distracted during that time by many other games that I couldn't have played since I didn't have a PC up till that point. None the less I managed to get back to it and oh boy was it was just as good as when I started it. The story is very well done especially for a puzzle game since trying to attach a story to a puzzle game leads it to being jarring, boring and stretched out. Valve somehow did the impossible. They made the progression seamless with each puzzle only being slightly more challenging after the last one and adding new elements like turrets, gels etc. at the appropriate times that helps the player learn them correctly so that they can figure out the corresponding puzzles with ease. The fact that the progression is flawless is key for how good the story is since the player needs to finish each puzzle in a reasonable amount of time. If the puzzle is to difficult then the player becomes disinterested in the story and if the puzzles are too easy then it wouldn't be a good puzzle game. Striking this balance is almost impossible and you have to have a match made in heaven for both the writer and level designer for this to work. The story even adds forth wall breaking elements when you go outside the test chambers to explore the world in Portal. This is extremely clever by Valve as it allows players a different set of puzzles to solve, at the same time developing the world further then if they were stuck at developing the story in just the test chambers, a literal "think outside the box" moment for Valve. The characters are very well done and GLaDOS to this day remains one of my favorite characters of all time. The voice actors are what really bring these characters to life, with Ellen Mclain (starring GLaDOS) and Stephen Merchant (starring Wheatley ) fitting their characters so well and are really talented VA's, to begin with. It's absolutely necessary when writing characters to have a voice actor to match them well so that they can reach their full potential and really bring with their personality, in Portal's case I couldn't ask for better VA's. The comedy also deserves a node in this regard as well because it's hilarious and fits the game so well with its light-hearted atmosphere and helps the player relax when they get frustrated with any puzzles, making for some great comedic relief. The Multiplayer was very solid and with the writer for Left 4 dead returning for this I can't be surprised, also it's valve do we need to question the multiplayer? It had an interesting side story and I'm glad it's a separate story as it's rare these days for games to have two separate stories for the multiplayer and singleplayer. It's arguable that the multiplayer levels are better then the singleplayer and for me I find that true, its a must for anyone to play the multiplayer because of how fun it is with friends and would be a shame to not. The music was again on spot for the game and did what it needed to do, worked really well to bring the game's atmosphere into the spotlight with the overall techy feel. At the end of the day Portal is one of a kind and I can't stress enough how great of a game this is. The Talos principle and Antichamber are the only two puzzle games of recent years to match the level of Portal 2 and no way are able to exceed it. Portal 2 has done something that is incredibly hard to replicate and goes far beyond a simple puzzle game with it's deep story, rich chararters and complex but simple level design. It truly could be a game that will overshadow the genre of puzzle for many years to come.

Gameplay Rating: 9
Story Rating: 10
Graphics & Visuals Rating: 8
Sound Rating: 9
Overall Rating: 10

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Game Information

Platform
PC
Developer(s)
Valve Corporation
Publisher(s)
Valve Corporation
Genre(s)
Puzzle
NA Release Date
April 19, 2011
JP Release Date
April 19, 2011
EUR Release Date
April 21, 2011
AUS Release Date
April 21, 2011
ESRB Rating
E
PEGI Rating
3
CERO Rating
A
ACB Rating
G
MVGL User Score
8.9
Composer
Mike Morasky
Official Website
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