NEED TO KNOW

Rating
90

Release Date: April 19, 2011
Genre: Puzzle
Developer: Valve Corporation
Publisher: Valve Corporation
Platform: Windows, OS X, Linux, Playstation 3, Xbox 360
Game Size: 7.6GB
Average Duration: 6-10 hours
Official Site: Official site.

Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle game, developed and published by Valve Corporation. It continues from the first “portal” game, included on the “orange box”. As the first short game proved to be such a success, the developers went on to create a full game in 2011, with much more gameplay and an intricate storyline.

It was the second best-selling game in the US in 2011, it had sold 637,000 copies in the first month of its release in April. Portal has a huge fan base and following, and it has lots of merchandise, thousands of people cosplay as the main protagonist and is popular and well known on meme sites and social media. Basically, if you haven’t heard about Portal 2, you need to climb out of your rock and play it!

In order to advance through the levels, you must use your scientifically engineered “portal gun” to create portals in the walls and transport yourself to different areas and pass tests.
Along with it’s immersive, addictive gameplay, Portal 2 delivers a brilliant amount of humor, which makes you want to play more.

Portal 2 Trailer

Single Player Storyline

Portal 2 is a sequel to Portal and it’s storyline continues, so if you’re playing this game before the first, it will ruin the story for you.
The game is based in a large testing facility called “Aperture Science”, where they test to see if human subjects can successfully navigate a series of puzzles using the portal device. Portals can only be used on white walls. The artificial intelligence used to govern the laboratory (GLaDOS, Genetic Lifeform, and Disk Operating System), turned against the humans and killed all of the employees.

SPOILER ALERT (For the first game)

At the end of portal, the main protagonist “Chell” had defeated GLaDOS and escaped the facility momentarily, however she was dragged back inside and then later saved by an ex-employee, Doug Rattmann, who placed her into suspended animation, which is where we meet our lead character in Portal 2, nearly 300 years after the first game.

You wake in a bed, in a small, tatty room. An automated system explains your situation and the game cleverly gives you a little tutorial by making the character follow instructions. It then becomes apparent that all is not as it seems, and you are in danger.

A small robot appears in the room, warning you and trying to help. The robot is called “Wheatley” and is very valuable to you throughout the game. His character is voiced by comedian Stephen Merchant and his sarcastic dry humor is brilliantly reflected in Wheatley.

After completing some simple tests to get you familiar with the basics of the game, you discover that GLaDOS is not completely shut down, and she reactivates. You then play through many levels of puzzles, each level gets a little harder than the last, and eventually, you try to break free from the facility. You discover secrets and dark truths from the past of the laboratory as you go along and find an abandoned, gigantic old facility! Deep in the facility, you will discover a newly implemented aspect to the game, “viscous gel”, which when present can coat the surrounding areas, giving them different physical attributes, such as bounciness, enabling portal-surfaces and extra speed.

Co-Op Mode

While many games offer great story modes, usually the co-operative modes are reasonably average in comparison. The same cannot be said for Portal 2, however, as it is still packed full of interesting levels and even more of that witty sarcastic humor.

After finishing the game, co-op delivers a continuation of the storyline, except you play as two robots, “Atlas” and “P-Body”. Both robots are equipped with the same portal gun Chell has in the main storyline. As you’re playing with a friend, GLaDOS will passive-aggressively insult each player, making it easily one of the funniest games I’ve ever played.

The aim of the game is the same as before, but you both need to work together to solve the “tests”. You can easily pull pranks on your fellow robot, which is funny the first few times, but killing your friend over and over again gets a little annoying. Don’t be that guy.

Gameplay

One of the levels on Portal 2

The gameplay for Portal 2 is fantastic. The character movement is fluid and easy, and placing a portal is accurate. If you’re at an angle, the portal will place in the same angle, so it works well for when you need to fall into one. The physics engine is brilliant, and as most tests require you to transport cubes, this becomes handy because it realistically predicts where objects will fall.

Sometimes the concept of portals can just click with a player, and other times it can be confusing and hard to decipher. The tutorial explains it well, but if you struggle, it helps to play around with the gun for a while.

The portals can only be blasted onto white walls, this element of the game ensures that the levels don’t become too easy, however, it would be fun to see how it would work on any surface.

Overall, it offers really easy control and interesting ways to move and travel, giving a new perspective to puzzle gaming.

In this section write 2-3 paragraphs about the gameplay, e.g. how the game actually feels to play. Is it smooth? Are the controls easy to learn? Also, point out any potential drawbacks about the gameplay.

Visuals

Graphics were, for its time, pretty good. There is nothing notable and different about the graphics, however, the quirky little objects and graffiti placed around the facility make up for it. To start, the sterile white rooms look good and are interesting, but are very basic. However, upon discovering the old facility, the scenery becomes completely astounding.

When using the viscous gel, the graphics and physics here aren’t so impressive. Using a portal to spread the liquid over the floor results in one layer of the gel covering a small section on the floor, and doesn’t spread as a liquid would. I do believe this is a decision Valve made to keep the gel levels from being over-complicated.

Is It Worth It?

So, is portal 2 worth it? In short, YES.

The hours of engrossing gameplay, complex & charismatic characters and new and exciting immersive puzzles are definitely worth it.

If that’s what you’re into. No judgement here, we love it!