Portal 2 Review (Xbox 360)
Portal 2 is the much-anticipated sequel to the vaunted Portal, a small add on game, which hit the big time, due to its awesome power of humor and cleverness.
A rather tough act to follow, but Portal 2 manages quite well. Filled with the trademark dark humor and teleportation puzzles, but bundled in a much larger package. Portal 2 is a gigantic game, boasting a multi chapter single player story mode and a completely separate cooperative multiplayer mode.
I had to wait for Portal 2. At its release I had not yet played Portal. I was told that it was my duty to go back and play it before trying the sequel; that this was the natural order of things and I would be committing a crime if I jumped ahead.
And I actually enjoyed Portal (much to my surprise). Without delay I delved right into the Portal 2 cooperative multiplayer. This is a cooperative experience worth having. Really.
It wasn’t until after I had finished the multiplayer section that I move onto single player. I wasn’t sure I was going to like it, but the beginning three chapters are very fun and engaging. Wheatley is hilarious and GLaDOS is understandably grumpy. She has been dead for who knows how long.
But really what I liked the very most about this game is the white goop. Any location that the white goop paints white, you can use to portal. When I first encountered this new stuff, I thought, shit, I must spread this out as much as I can, just in case. I might have to place a portal in that far back corner, because you just never know.
And then it turned into a challenge. How white could I get each room that contained a white goop machine, OR any room I could portal too? Thus the best mini game ever was invented.
Yup, I spent hours painting the walls (floors, pillars, doors) white in Portal 2 and had a blast. Oh and the rest of the game was fun too, I guess.
Like its predecessor, Portal 2 is played in the first person perspective and contains a series of puzzles that need to be solved by jumping and using the portal gun. This device is the only weapon our scrappy protagonist is given. It creates two inter-spacial portals, which connect, and teleport the player from one to the other and vice versa.
A few new features were added; tractor beams, laser redirection, bridges made of light, and gels that impart special properties on the surfaces they paint. One of these is the white goop.
But in general the game feels and plays very much like Portal.
World and Story
In single player, poor Chell is once again revived inside the dreaded Aperture Science Enrichment Center, only to find it literally falling apart. Thankfully, Wheatley is there to help her navigate the rapidly deteriorating structure. Of course there is the incredibly vengeful GLaDOS, who wants nothing more then to put Chell through her paces. Escape sounds so much better then death by science.
The story is really quite interesting as much of the history of Aperture is revealed through the prerecorded announcements of Aperture’s original CEO, Cave Johnson. One can almost believe that GLaDOS is related to him.
Beyond revealing really fun background story, the question of power and power corrupting absolutely is explored; all with that familiar dark humor.
The game is built on the Valve Source engine. And like all Valve games, it has a crisp and rather clinical look to it. Then again it is supposed to be a research facility.
The fun thing about the single player is that the facility falling apart allows for more diversity in the backgrounds.
Mulitplayer is an entirely separate game that centers around two player cooperative puzzles. Atlas and P-Body are the two playable robots, each with a fully functioning portal gun. The robots have been supplied to GLaDOS as science testers, in lieu of running out of human test subjects. She of course spends most of the five different levels of testing, berating and demeaning them. Oh and pitting them against each other. It is what she excels at.
Things that bothered me
- Too much empty running.
While the facility was really interesting, it did feel rather empty after a while. Much of the later chapters just felt a bit boring after a while.
-Lagged in the middle, just went on and on and on.
This was partially due to the endless walking, but also it became a bit repetitive. I really enjoyed the story parts and wish they had condensed them a bit, especially since the story was more background announcement, rather then cut scenes (minimal cuts scenes is GREAT!).
-Really wanted more white stuff.
I could have spent my entire 20 hours painting everything white via portals. It would have been nice had they expanded this idea a bit. From what I read online, it looks like this mechanic will be getting its own game. I hope! =D
-No more cameras to drop.
Dropping the cameras in Portal was one of the very best things. In Portal 2 we get screens to smash. It just isn’t as satisfying. =(
Progress (Time played/Game finished)
Multiplayer and single player together added up to around twenty hours of played time. Though I enjoyed the entire game, I’m pretty done with it. Played through the entire single player and multiplayer and don’t really see the need to play more, especially since I’m not really interesting in getting achievements.
Four out of Five Mushrooms. I really enjoyed this game, but probably would have taken more of the multiplayer and a bit less of the single player. And Valve, make a white goop mini game please?!
(1 White) Resigned to finishing Portal first.- (1 Pink) Yaay Portal 2 multiplayer time. – (3 Purple) Fun fun fun cooperative. – (1 Green) Single player will be mine. – (1 Red) Xbox 360 broke, grumble grumble. – (1 Grey) So slooooooow in the middle. – (1 Purple) WHITE GOOP! – (1 Green) I will finish, despite the slowness.
Portal 2 is totally better then Skyrim. Totally!