My Thoughts On: Portal 2

<Article>

<cheesy_reference>

Well here we are again

It’s always such a pleasure

Remember how I have horrible writing habits

</cheesy_reference>

<intro>

Anyways…

Hello there. I have been getting more into story driven games instead of my habits to play games that don’t have a story so I don’t get distracted with said story. One of those games was Portal 2, the sequel to Valve’s experimental success, Portal. I think everyone reading this knows about or has played either of the Portal Games,  but I will explain for the two of you who don’t know.

Portal is a puzzle game where your goal is to solve many different puzzles using portals, an interdimensional gate that allows you to step from one place to another that’s across the room in a fraction of a second. It’s pretty much a colourful wormhole that doesn’t require massive amounts of energy that can’t exist because Einstein said so and so on. So the game requires you to think irrationally and it’s really neat. I enjoy it and so do many others.

The first game, Portal, started as a Senior project made by students attending DigiPen institute of Technology in 2005. They went by Nuclear Monkey Software. The game was titled Narbacular Drop and you played as a princess that was trying to escape a dungeon filled with many puzzle-like rooms for some reason. You were able to place portals (That did not look anything like the portals from Portal) to escape each level. The game was so well made that it fell under the radar of Valve and so they made a game and released it as an addition to the orange box, which included Half life 1, Half Life 2, and Portal.

The game saw much success, so much that a sequel was made that had a more fleshed out story and one that was quite amazing. One that I absolutely love. But I haven’t played the game until now? How come?

Well actually, I have played both games before on my XBox when I was still a console gamer, but never finished them. I never did until now.

That was back when we still had a 360 that still worked and could run the Orange Box and Portal 2. Then the disk drive broke and then I couldn’t actually play Oblivion which was quite sad. And Skate 3. Most of my favorite games where on that console. Sad.

Anyways. The game was the game that I got about halfway through when I was sick and is still a really good game to play if you’re sick. Unless you have a really weak stomach. Then the motion stuff might get to you. But that’s really light stuff that doesn’t hit most people.

It’s good because it just keeps your mind stimulated and distracts you from how you’re not feeling good and I love games like that.

ANYWAYS. I need to stop writing like this. Getting all distracted and stuff.

So, after the history part of the game, let’s get into the review of the game.

</intro>

<main_game>

 <story>

   <spoilers>

The story of the game is simple at first. All of the humans in the relaxation vaults have died because of a malfunction in the generators or something like that. And Chell, being the superhuman she is, somehow survives. So Wheatley (Voiced by Stephen Merchant, known mainly by his roll on the U.K version of The Office) the core designated to taking care of the <british accent>”smelly humans” </british accent> wakes her up to see if there are any survivors. Wheatley is fed up with… The humans I guess? And you have been trapped and harrased and insulted enough by GlaDOS that you and him both want to escape.

Simple, right?

WRONG. Because things get really complicated, because in an attempt to help you escape, Wheatley detaches GlaDOS from her body, and attaches himself. It seems like a good solution, until you consider what the body is for. And that is meant for adding purpose to the core attached to it. I think that’s how it works, anyways. So Wheatley gets himself attached to a body that is evil and corrupt and that loves testing. That is not good, considering that, later on in the game, we figure out that Wheatley was created as one of the personality cores to control GlaDOS. What was his purpose? TO MAKE BAD DECISIONS! I KNOW! And we put him into command.

Anyways, we are thrown into a pit and Hijinx ensues.

I don’t want to get into what happens after that so whoever may be reading this can experience the game for themselves.   </story>

   </spoilers>

<gameplay>

The Game is simple. Solve puzzles using Portals. Get to the end. Beat the game. Simple.

<elaboration>

The game is very smooth and plays well. It is a valve game with a huge budget, so that’s given. The controls are solid and I never had a problem controlling Chel at any time during the play through. The only problem I had with it is a wished Chel could move a little faster, but that isn’t all that bad because everything is packed together and it doesn’t take long to get to one section to the other. It just makes spaced out puzzles more of a drag.

It also makes “The Escape” a little less intense.

The game is just smooth all together. The game feels amazing and it deals with the trippy feel of portals really well. Transitions are smooth and seemless, and very few glitches are present in the game altogether.

At least it’s better than Portal was with being able to go out of bounds easier than the game was to beat.

</gameplay>

<my_thoughts>

I enjoyed the game. It was made really well (better than the first) and has much more content to enjoy. The story was really well made and the storytelling was one of the best I’ve seen for a videogame. The script was even better with Ellen McLain nailing her role has GlaDOS really well, and J.K Simmons doing really well with Cave Johnson. I don’t think anyone else would be able to pull of a Johnson as well as he did.

The game controls like a valve game. No complaints there.

And everything else just checks out in my book. The game is high quality and fit my needs really well.

</my_thoughts>

</main_game>

You may have noticed the tag that was labeled “main game”. Well:

\<rest_of_game>

The game has two more game modes, community test chambers and multiplayer. (Don’t ask me what their names are in the lore of the game. I’m not that much of a Portal fanboy.) I’ll talk about the community made chambers only because I haven’t played the multiplayer before so.

<community_chambers>

The game is equipped with a test-chamber-maker. So that gave people the idea to make their own, really creative test chambers. Then people decided to take that to the next level and mod the game to adding custom features, like reflection gel and whatever the Unreal Chambers are. (I got a headache from playing those chambers.) It’s amazing what people have done with the game and what people will continue to do with the game going on.

I enjoy playing community test chambers and will continue to play them in the future. They are really entertaining.

</community_chambers>

</rest_of_game>

<final_word>

Portal 2 is a great example of what Valve can do with plenty of time and a bit of funds. This is the kind of thing we expect from HL 3 when it comes out. Notice I said “when”. That’s a topic for another day.

People joke around with the idea of “Portal 3” but I don’t see that ever happening. It’s something that wouldn’t be easily written because of how Portal 2 closed all connections that could be filled with a third game. I think we can excuse Valve’s lack of ability to count to 3 here. They don’t need to. Unless they want to turn Blue Sky into a game, I really don’t think they will continue the story of Chel and Aperture science.

</final_word>

 

</Article>

 

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