‘Portal 2′ Review

Apr 20, 2011 by  

Portal 2 Reviews Overgrown

Throw in a few impromptu chase sequences, split-second decision-making and the freedom to solve problems at your own speed, and it’s hard to see Portal 2 as anything but a completely new exploration of the foundations of its predecessor.

From a technical standpoint, having each section of the game environments separated by a loading screen – albeit a shorter one – may irritate players who prefer their experiences unhindered by hiccups or delays. As the game progresses, the screens become much more tolerable, considering the shockingly expansive and visually varied environments.

As the game progresses, the puzzles, the risks, and the narrative implications only get larger and more polished. While the sheer length of the singleplayer campaign may lead to some feelings of dragging in the middle, those who have always hungered for more story and complexity along with puzzles will likely find the experience a perfect one.

Portal 2 has already received a beating from user reviews on Metacritic, with some claiming that the main campaign is not nearly long enough, clocking in at roughly four hours. Speedruns aside, the average player can easily expect a six to seven hour experience out of the singleplayer mode. In addition, Portal players’ couch companions can now pick up a controller of their own for the brand new coop campaign.

The preview of coop gameplay may have implied that the campaign would be just as dosed with story and character as that of the singleplayer, but those expecting a fully-realized game may be disappointed. The challenges offered are as inspired as those of the original Portal, and will likely provide just as much fun as solving the singleplayer puzzles by sharing brain power.

The coop element forgoes mission progression in favor of various challenges selected from a central hub environment. Not to say that the online and local coop isn’t an absolute blast with friends, but having your partner in the room with you is definitely our recommendation.

Portal 2 Reviews Coop

Thanks to the PS3′s Steam integration, picking up a copy of Portal 2 for the console will not only win you a free PC copy, but the ability to play alongside partners on either platform. While the developers may promise that both console versions are identical, Sony and Valve are making a compelling case for Portal fans to go the PS3 route. The visuals won’t be pushing any PC hardware to its breaking point, but that was never the strength of the series.

The stark white styling of the Aperture facility has been given some seriously new life throughout the various chapters of the game, so there’s no need to worry that Portal 2‘s environments won’t be beautiful, with some stages conjuring images of BioShock before those of its predecessor.

With an atmosphere as well-designed as the challenges posed to players, Portal 2 has finally received the time and attention that the original title proved it deserved. The first game was almost as hard to define as it was to convince skeptics to give it a shot, but when all was said and done, Portal stood alone as a truly one-of-a-kind experience that was more committed to realizing an artistic vision than selling copies.

The sequel makes that differentiation even clearer by fully realizing the propositions made by the game’s story and technology, and shows its pedigree by giving an emotionally jarring, shockingly suspenseful, and genuinely funny experience completely devoid of guns, mature content, or current trends in other popular titles.

With an ending that takes the heart, story and humor of the series to brand new levels, Portal 2 is an absolute must-play for fans of new and interesting games.

For those of you who felt that Portal was a sign of just how much potential gaming possessed, Portal 2 is more than worth the wait, and sure to be remembered when discussions of Game of The Year begin.

Portal 2 is available now for the Xbox 360, PS3, Mac and PC.

Our Rating:

5 out of 5

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Tags: PC, Portal, Portal 2, PS3, Valve

12 Comments

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  1. Why does Valve have to keep putting out these unbelievable gaming experiences and show everybody else up? There is no equivalent in the industry to the games this company produces.

    I had high expectations, they were met and surpassed, and I am completely satisfied if there is never another Portal game. No other sequel in gaming history (other than the spiritual successor that was Shadow of the Colossus) has done this to me. I honestly feel slightly more jaded about the rest of 2011 because of this game.

    Newell, you’ve done it again, darn you!

  2. The infamous 5/5 Stars from Game Rant. :O
    I’ve really been debating getting this game for the past week, but I think this review has just sold me on it. Valve just can’t seem to do wrong!

  3. I absolutely love this game, the additions like the gels just set it over the top. I just wish I had steam integration on 360, because contrary to what was said earlier this year, it seems like us 360 gamers got shafted from user created stuff.

  4. When Portal was released in 2011? I thought it was 2007…

    • That sorta makes no sense if you look at my comment quickly. The first part of my question is a quote from the story, hope that clears things up…>_>

      • Ha ha I got it, thanks for pointing that out. Portal 2 actually added… time portals too…

  5. is this your guys first 5/5. i like it when sites dont throw around perfect scores often that way you know they mean bisnuss when they give a game a 5/5. i thought that i wasnt going to get portal 2 because it was 59.99 but i am now. ill wait until after a get and beat deadspace 2 though.

    • Not the first, since most games have some area it could improve on, or aspects that obviously didn’t work the way the developers hoped. Off the top of my head, I think Ghost of Sparta and Heavy Rain got 5/5. Either way, Portal 2 is in some good company.

      I honestly can’t say that there is one thing the game sets out to do that it doesn’t completely succeed in.

  6. Just finished it, worth every penny. My only complaint was they used traditional loading screens instead of the Portal/Half Life screenshot with “loading” on it. Sort of breaks up the rhythm.

    The final level was the most fun I’ve had beating a game in years, it’s hilarious, terrifying, and cathartic all in one.

  7. trolls from metacritic, i know youu people dont have lives. But the game is a masterpiece, every puzzle that ive sold makes me feel like a genius and no other games do make me so. Every puzzle is better than any trophy ive unlocked on my ps3, it is so rewarding. Valve is wonderful ^^

  8. My only complaint is the loss of least steps and least portal and least time medals. I thoroughly enjoyed doing those in the the first Portal.

  9. this is GREAT news, im no slouch when it comes to reflexes and skill, (im a old school gamer ive beaten the original ninja gaiden and ALL of the megamans) but some of the fast-precise portaling required for the later levels of portal 1 where truly tough, all of my friends never got past level 18 whitout my help even KNOWING what they have to do they simply couldnt do it, this detracts from an otherwise perfect game, also some of the rooms really took a looooooong time to figure out just how to get past or something simple as just where to go next, a hint sistem or even a little marker or arrow that pop up after 15 or 30 minutes stuck in a room would be greatly appreciated for those like me that DONT ever, Ever, EVER use FAQs or guides.

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