May 25, 2011

Portal 2 Review Part 1: Single Player

^MC Esch­er and Por­tal. Both hand-in-hand with mind-blow­ing­ness.
This game is so huge, I’m going to have to split the review into two arti­cles. Now, I know I’m quite late on the scene here, but this isn’t a review for peo­ple who want­ed to know whether the game was buyable instant­ly. Rather, this is my opin­ion on the game as some­one who was hes­i­tant and forced to wait, and it goes out to oth­ers who were also hes­i­tant and/or forced to wait. So, here it goes.
Graph­ics: Shame on you for even inquir­ing about this. Graph­ics, in my opin­ion, real­ly bear no per­ti­nence to game qual­i­ty. How­ev­er, I must say that Por­tal 2 is beau­ti­ful. The atmos­phere of the sto­ry in every area is per­fect­ly matched by the col­ors and tex­tures of your sur­round­ings. Even on low res­o­lu­tions and graph­ic set­tings, the game is still pret­ty. When cranked up, it’s amaz­ing.

^It looks nice even in places that are sup­posed to be ugly.
Sound: The voice act­ing in this game is also superb. Ellen McLain returns as GLaDOS, and two new fre­quent voic­es (I won’t spoil it for those of you who are sav­ing the plot­line) by Stephen Mer­chant and J.K. Sim­mons also per­fect­ly fit their roles. The ambi­ent music and sounds work togeth­er to cre­ate an amaz­ing atmos­phere. If you’re still not sold, how about the fact that Jonathan Coul­ton (my absolute favorite white boy musi­cian) returns for the final song?

^This lady is GLaDOS. And the tur­rets. And the announc­er in TF2. And the Com­bine Over­watch Announc­er in the Half Life 2 games. And she sings opera.
Game­play: Por­tal 2 is the per­fect sequel to Por­tal. All the physics-bend­ing you love is still there, along with all sorts of new mod­i­fiers, includ­ing three dif­fer­ent col­ored gels that mod­i­fy any ground or walls they touch, cubes that redi­rect lasers, and many more fun new toys. The game starts off fair­ly easy, but the head-scratch­ers come quick­ly. By Chap­ter 6, you feel like a genius every time you solve a sin­gle cham­ber. It’s smooth and does­n’t real­ly lag, and any sort of dam­age you take is bal­anced enough. If you’re unfa­mil­iar with Por­tal, close this win­dow right now, open up Steam (down­load Steam and set up an account if you haven’t already done so), and pur­chase Por­tal. Por­tal is beyond worth the mon­ey, runs on most com­put­ers, and you can fin­ish it in about four hours. I’ll wait.
Wel­come back. I’ll let you wait anoth­er four hours to de-blow your mind.

Yeah. Now, Por­tal 2 is just like that. Only BETTER.
The Sto­ry: Holy. Balls. This is the best sto­ry I’ve got­ten out of any game in over a year. I’m not going to spoil any of it for you, so just trust me on this. You will not be dis­ap­point­ed with Por­tal 2’s sin­gle play­er sto­ry. It’s tru­ly amaz­ing. The whole sin­gle play­er sto­ry is just per­fect. I have not a sin­gle com­plaint. It’s per­fect. The humor is there, and it’s dark­er and fun­nier than before. Creepy semi-hid­den areas? Check. Oth­er ran­dom creepi­ness that real­ly adds to the whole game? Check. It’s just unex­plain­able. Play it.

^Cake. Descrip­tion. Recipe.
Now, so far, I’ve done noth­ing but praise Por­tal 2. The whole game itself is per­fect. The only prob­lem I have with it is the price tag. I haven’t fin­ished the Co-op mode yet (expect a review by next Tues­day), but the game is still too short to deserve the full $60 price tag. I’d draw the line at about $40. Even­tu­al­ly, there will be a sale, and you’ll be able to get Por­tal 2 for a more appro­pri­ate price. I’d advise wait­ing until then, unless you’re death­ly afraid of spoil­ing the plot­line. In that case, go ahead and buy it. Play it through a cou­ple times; there are quite a few inter­est­ing quirks you might not notice on your first run­through.
Over­priced­ness aside, this game is amaz­ing. Were I using a numer­i­cal scale, I’d give it a 42/42. Why 42? Because, it’s the answer to life, the uni­verse, and every­thing.


  1. zero_19 - May 26, 2011 12:00 pm

    Awe­some review man, I have been con­sid­er­ing get­ting Por­tal 2, and as you not­ed my only hang up is the price tag, I know there isn’t enough there to jus­ti­fy it.

  2. ScrotusKilmystr - May 27, 2011 8:32 am

    isn’t the ques­tion: “what is 9 X 6?” though?.….
    any­way por­tal 2 is great the co-op is just as good and ties in well with the sin­gle play­er cam­pain
    as far as the price.. i always thought dig­i­tal dl should be cheap­er being that the prof­it mar­gins are so much high­er so wait­ing for a sale might not be a bad idea


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