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Portal 2 is the follow up to portal 1 and continues on the story from the previous game in which you play as a test subject trying to overcome many obstacles in each test chamber after you were captured by GLADOS an evil machine who tests subjects until she sees fit and then she kills them. .
At the start of the game you are trapped in a small room until you see a ball shaped robot called Wheatley (Voiced by Stephen Merchant) after he explains to you what has happened since the last game he attempts to free you from the room so they are both able to escape. Wheatley eventually succeeds by lifting up the room and ramming it into a wall. As you try to make a daring escape you wind up near GLADOS and unfortunately wake her up.
Now that she is once again fully functional all hell breaks loose as you are told to retrieve the portal gun and go to the 1st test chamber and let the so called fun begin.
Throughout the game the idea is to use portals to help you get to one side of the chamber to another. Sounds simple right, well not when you have to open the door by using boxes whether in a stationary position of falling from a tube into water where if you fall in you die and have to start the puzzle again. Also there are light bridges which you can use to help you but only if they are in that chamber. As you progress to the next part of story you will try to escape multiple times with no prevail as there are many dangers such as lasers, high drops into bottomless pits and robots with machine gun turrets.
This game is very challenging but very rewarding as you feel a sense of accomplishment when you figure out how to complete the chamber but that pride may soon fade as GLADOS taunts you and makes you feel useless throughout the game with her many comments about how much more inferior you are compared to her.
Overall I think this game is well rounded and very enjoyable it challenges you throughout with mind blowing puzzles and a very detailed and hilarious storyline which will make you laugh out even while your going mad trying to complete the puzzle.
@ About, Gameplay Experience @
This game follows on the story of the previous portal 1 game, and neatly begins in the destroyed aperture science laboratory where you are joined by Wheatley. I found this game very interesting and humorous and it's the little things that make me laugh. The fact that GLaDOS this big bad robot designed to kill you ends up becoming a child's potato experiment, and the general "there is cake" joke.
Portal can become a very frustrating game in the harder levels since there are not hints or suggestions, and you are placed in a room with increasingly difficult challenges of being able to escape. The portal gun which fires doorways at walls for you to step through is a confusing feature in itself - If you can't do cognitive thinking then this game is not for you. It is designed to make you think before you act by allowing you to place portals almost anywhere. You can die in the game by jumping or falling into water, and turrets will shoot at you in direct line of sight.
In the game there are certain aspects that I would have not included such as the trap doors, the long confusing hallways and multiple objects such as the "mashy spike plates" which can become the painstakingly hard parts of each level. Unfortunately you can't edit levels and make your own portal levels in the game which is somewhat of a downer given that the longevity of Portal 2 is not that great anyway: Just 1 week to complete single player mode, and two weeks to finish multiplayer in my experience.
@ Graphics, Sound @
Graphics are sharp and defined, even on smaller less notable things like in a robot turrets eyes have glowing red circles around them, and on walls you can see small writing in the rat man caves where scary yet funny text is scrawled by a desperate test subject. The sound is perfect - robotic voices for GLaDOS and turrets, while Wheatley your companion and arch enemy is voiced by Steve merchant.
There has been a lot of effort in the voices too - when the characters shout down hallways it sounds like they really are falling down thousands of feet, not like a voice actor just screamed for a bit. Bullet shots sound like a silenced submachine gun and the portal gun makes a rather annoying goo shooting noise when fired, and it gets tiresome because you hear that noise constantly throughout the game.
@ Overall @
This is a fantastic game but the longevity and creativity is ruined by the fact that you can't build your own levels. The game quality though, is perfect and each level has a challenging feel to it, so if you are not using a guide it will stretch your thinking ability. I don't think this is for young children though, partly because of the language used and partly because of the difficulty. Overall though, a recommended game.
Portal 2 (Multiplatform)
Tested and reviewed based on the Xbox360 version.
Review by Ben Nacca
(Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/BenNacca )
XBL GT: Darkeyes2k7 PSN ID: Darkeyes2k11
In 2007, people who purchased The Orange Box package on the PC which included Half Life 2, would have been pleasantly surprised to also find a game called Portal in there. Valve Corporations First-person shooter platform puzzle game was breath of fresh air and offered challenges and entertainment without the use of elaborate environments, props and characters. Instead it boasted a unique experience and dark humour but its length meant it was purely an addition to the Orange Box, and later became an Xbox Live Arcade and PSN title afterwards.
It was much to the fans delight then when Valve stated Portal 2 would be a standalone full game. Bringing back the portal gun and the same character from Portal, you once again get to solve mind bending puzzles with the help of the unique physics engine that allows momentum as well as the addition of lasers, tractor beams and paint like gel.
Portal 2 is visually pleasing to the eye and the run down Aperture Science Enrichment Centre, back from the first game, is clearly presented. The characters that are present, such as Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Merchant, and the return of GLaDOS, voiced by Ellen McLain once again, are created well and further contribute to the overall look of Portal 2. The environments are much more interesting to look at this time round with the centre falling into disrepair, with the damage giving character to the environments. Furthermore, the shift of areas that you can visit and the challenges that await all aim to keep the game fresh and appealing while not being too distracting that they draw your attention from the challenge.
The voice work is fantastic. Ellen McLain, Stephen Merchant and J.K. Simmonds have really added personality to the cast in Portal 2 and the dark humour that returns once more is utterly sublime. Everything from falling objects, the portals, lasers, robots, explosions and so on are all part of the package that makes Portal 2 a joy to hear. Nothing is left out, nothing is forced in. It all has relevance and sounds fantastic.
The single player campaign is roughly around 6-8 hours long. It can be longer if you are a little slower on the challenges or much quicker if you are a challenge guru. Through which, you will experience a story that is woven around what is basically one challenge room after another, and it is very clever how that has been created to give you purpose and strive to complete the tasks.
Portal 2 features a co-op system this time, with local or online play supported. You will each take control of Atlas and P-Body where you both have your own set of portals. The co-op campaign is an entirely separate campaign and is also around 6-8 hours in length. The challenges here are a little more complex, requiring 4 portals to complete and team work and communication throughout. The addition of emotions and a wealth of challenges to complete, your co-op adventure is a delight and at times a welcomed break from the single player experience if you find parts of the challenges there infuriate you at times.
Predominantly, that is the crunch to whether you will like Portal 2 or not. There will be times where you will think "how is it possible?" and there were times where I could figure out what I needed to do, but there was something in the way or I couldn't get a line of sight on the place where I wanted my portal, only to find that I wasn't thinking outside the box (excuse the cliché) and I had to take a step back and approach it differently. Those with zero patience and tolerance will find Portal 2 the equivalent of collecting stamps.
For those achievement lovers out there, Portal 2 is made by Valve. This means that is instantly has an awesome achievement list. Ones such as Left 4 Dead and The Orange Box have some of the most thoughtful and imaginative lists out there that make you try all aspects. Portal 2 is no different and will make you try every bit of the game. Thankfully no collection achievements which is always good and the addition of co-op achievements for both you and your buddy.
The visuals are top notch and really do the game justice. The white walls might get boring after a while but with plenty of portals, lasers and gel all over the place, we are sure you will survive just fine.
The voice work is a stellar performance here and the music from Jonathan Coulton is a compliment to the gameplay and the story. Everything just sounds right.
Boasting two campaigns, a great story and the potential to have fun with your friends, Valve know what people want and have served this dish of magnificence to the fans of the first game. Took 4 years, but we all have to wait for the best things don't we?
A polished single player experience and a co-op mode that works and is enjoyable, without changing the core mechanics of the game to much. A fantastic achievement by Valve and one that once again only supports the widely held view that they are one of today's best developers.
Portal 2 is a joy to play. It is fun at the end of the day and addictive, that is what counts right? Even your friend can join in on the action this time round and Valve have just made the experience so much more succinct and enjoyable without missing out on the bits that everyone loved from the first one. A great game and one worthy in everyone's collection.
This guide is the property of Ben Nacca and is for the sole use of www.lanraiders.co.uk, www.dooyoo.co.uk and www.ciao.co.uk. No copying to other websites or other mediums without written permission first.
This is a new game, so currently costs around £40.
Portal was a 'small' game that made a big splash in 2007. Developed by Valve, creators of such beloved franchises as the dystopian shooty Half-Life series and the gore-strewn zombie-massacre Left 4 Dead series, Portal was a lovely little puzzle game that was released as part of The Orange Box, a budget bundling of Valve games. I think Portal is related to Half-Life in some fashion, although it doesn't matter a jot if, like me, you never got very far with Half-Life.
You played a woman kept in a huge 'Aperture Science' project facility, and you were made to run tests using a portal gun. Effectively, the gun makes blue or orange holes in reality, through which you can pass in both directions - it's difficult to describe properly, but very easy to pick up when you play. Basically, you used them to reach places you could never reach normally. The tests were puzzles - get a box onto a button, sneak past some gun turrets, use gravity and portals to hurl yourself through the air to get to the exit. That kind of thing. It's a brilliant game - a genuinely inventive idea with enough variety and trickiness to keep players interested until the end.
And on top of the stunningly good gameplay, it also had a genuinely funny, engaging storyline. You were being tested by an all-powerful (seemingly female) Artificial Intelligence named GLaDOS, whose dialogue was incredibly well-written. As the story progressed it became obvious that she was completely insane and fully intended to kill you. The game culminated in a big showdown, as games tend to, in which you vanquished her.
And to top it all off, it ended with probably the cutest song in gaming history. Everyone loves Portal. Everyone loves GLaDOS. Everyone loves the song. Seriously. Everyone.
And now they've done a sequel. You don't need to have played Portal 1, but I'd urge you to do so anyway, as you'll love it.
**This was a triumph**
In Portal 2 you play the same character (apparently your name is Chell, although I'm not sure how we're meant to know that). Awoken from hibernation, the Aperture Science facility is now being ripped apart by explosions. You have to try to get to safety using your wits and your trusty portal gun (when you find it). You're assisted by Wheatley, a well-meaning but rather dim AI; unfortunately he revives GLaDOS, and she's out for revenge. And so the game falls back into the familiar pattern of fiendishly complex tests and the occasional attempt to escape.
It still totally works. There's not a lot that's new in terms of gameplay - a bunch of new types of test, sure, but the sorts of things you have to do are just as they were in Portal 1. They're effectively logic puzzles, as you have to figure out what to do, and then what order to do it in, in order to progress. ("So if I put the box on *that* button, then portal the weird tunnel-y thing over there, it will take some of the orange goo with it, thus making that bit over there super slippery, so I can probably jump over that yawning chasm and *then*... oh, but hang on, I'd need to move the box to the other button halfway through and so... gah... damn you GLaDOS!")
My main concern was that a full-length game might not be able to sustain itself using the same old things. Just doing Portal 1 again, but making it three times longer, might well have been boring rather than refreshing. And for the first hour or two of play, that seemed like what we were going to get, especially when GLaDOS was revived. Happily, just at the point at which I'd resigned myself to Portal 2 just being Portal 1 but longer, it goes for a genuine, full-on plot development, and plunges your main character deep into the depths of the facility, where she has to find a way back through obsolete test chambers from the 20th century. This fully justifies the extended length; provides more than enough variety to keep you interested; and even makes you really, really want to know what happens, always a plus in a narrative-driven game.
In terms of difficulty, it all really depends on how good you are at puzzles. You'll always have everything you need to progress to the next section, it's just that sometimes you won't realise it until you've spent several minutes peering at every tiny detail on the screen looking for places to put portals. Sometimes the solutions are fiendishly simple, and you'll slap your forehead in comical fashion when you figure out what to do. Other times they involve a ridiculously complicated sequence of actions that you'll have to try a few times to get right. It judges the difficulty level very nicely; a really tricky puzzle will usually be followed by a fairly simple one. My one complaint is that the final boss fight is a lot easier than the one in Portal 1. The whole game takes about eight hours to play from beginning to end. Even Valve's usual 'taking forever to load' problem isn't present this time round.
**I'm making a note here: huge success**
Of course, Portal 2 didn't have to just deliver in terms of gameplay. The script needed to be consistent in tone with the previous game. And again, it succeeds. The first couple of hours (again) felt like it was going a bit too far with the wacky dialogue, as if that was more important than the puzzles etc. But once again, my early jitters were soon settled. As the game progresses and things happen that I won't spoil, it gets better and better. The ending might even choke you up a little bit, if you're not laughing too hard. GLaDOS is now acting like the bitter ex-girlfriend from hell, constantly sniping about your character's weight and explaining how she'll kill her. But their relationship grows a lot more complicated as things develop. I found Wheatley annoying at first, as he's acted by some blokey-voiced comedian called Stephen Merchant, the kind of person who winds me up on principle. But his dialogue is funny enough to make him endearing after a while.
Eventually the game introduces a third character, Cave Johnson, the founder of Aperture Science, who talks to you from the past in funny corporate recordings (occasionally joined by his cute assistant Caroline - "Sorry fellas, she's married. To science!"). This gives us a great little subplot about the wilting fortunes of Cave's business in the late 20th century, and it manages to tie in to the main plot in a genuinely satisfying way. The plotting overall is immensely satisfying, in fact - even the fact that a certain type of experimental goo is made of ground-up moonrock has a beautiful pay-off. The wit and ingenuity is fully intact. And being Valve, the Xbox achievement names are full of endearingly poor puns. 'Schrodingers Catch' (in which you have to, er, catch something) was my favourite this time.
It looks much like the previous version, a nice mix of sterile testing rooms and grotty maintenance corridors, with everything taking on a shabby retro feel for the older test chambers. The sounds, the music, the voices are all as lovely as ever, science-fiction-y without ever losing their humanity (although at certain points I found GLaDOS's voice a bit difficult to understand and had to resort to onscreen subtitles). A lot of the rooms are being rebuilt or cleaned up around you as you play, which provides enough visual variety to keep everything fresh.
There's another song at the end, written by the same guy as last time, Jonathan Coulton. The weight of expectation must have been overwhelming. It's good, but 'Still Alive' from Portal 1 has ingrained itself into my very soul (largely by being offered as a free download for Rock Band). With any luck the same thing will happen with this one. I'm fully prepared to love it. I just need time.
**It's hard to overstate my satisfaction**
I'd have been perfectly happy with just the single-player version, but they've also provided us with a two-player collaborative mode, in which you and a friend can puzzle your way through test rooms together. These aren't linked to the main story - you play as a pair of funny looking fat and thin robots. You can play with two people in the same room, although inevitably it's better playing with a friend online, as it's not split-screen, and it somehow feels more sci-fi to be playing remotely.
The puzzles here - those that I've had time to do so far - are the same kind of thing as in the main game, but obviously requiring two-players to get through them.
Apparently there are about 40 levels, but they're the kind of things I'm going to want to play with friends rather than strangers online (I get a bit sweary when I'm playing online, truth be told), so I've not got through more than a handful so far. The levels I've seen are good, though. They've given the two players easy ways to communicate non-verbally through a flagging system, whereby you can mark exactly where you think your chum should put his portal. Personally, I prefer shouting out stupid instructions that are open to misinterpretation, and then blaming my hapless partner when they put them in the wrong place. "No! The other blank white bit! Yeah, that's... No! Further down! It's no use to anyone *there*, is it?" And so on.
I guess it's another, shorter story mode really, and you even get GLaDOS making sarcastic comments at you. It's fun so far, but not quite as good as some people are saying (it will probably get better when I get a properly enthusiastic friend playing online, instead of my rather grudging flatmate).
I guess the problem with it - and with single player - is that it doesn't have the near-infinite replayability of something like Left 4 Dead. Because it relies on solving puzzles, once you've solved them, the appeal of re-doing them over and over isn't that high. Valve have made several of the single-player achievements quite esoteric - involving things you perhaps wouldn't think to do on a first play through - which feels like a slightly desperate attempt to get people replaying it. I'll probably want to play single-player through again, as it has more charm than most games, but I'll have to leave it about a year so I forget the solutions to everything.
Still, that's not a particularly major complaint in the grand scheme of things. Certainly not enough to make you not buy it.
**Look at me still talking when there's science to do**
Seriously, just get Portal 2 as soon as possible. It's more fun than almost anything else right now. It's also available for PC and PS3, although I've not tried those versions, obviously. You need this in your life.