‘Portal 2′ Comes Under Heavy Criticism from User Reviews

Published 4 years ago by

Portal 2 User Reviews

While most of the gaming world is fully entrenched in Portal 2 at the moment (suffering from what many have dubbed the “Portal 2 flu”),  there are some journalists and gamers who have already taken the time to review the game. Portal 2 is one of the most anticipated games of the year, and according to the critics it’s one of the best, judging by reviews on Metacritic. However, looking at the user submitted scores and reviews, you’d never know the game was anything more than mediocre.

As of the time of this writing the average critical score is 95 out of 100; the average user score, for the PC version, from nearly 400 reviews is 6.2 out of 10. Many gamers are criticizing the new release, sighting four main complaints.

The first complaint is the inclusion of DLC on launch day. Portal 2 has an in game store where users can buy various cosmetic items and movements for their co-op robot. Those that are criticizing the game, and in turn its developer Valve, are stating that the inclusion of DLC on the first day is inexcusable. One user review stated:

“I’m disappointed valve, when you have paid DLC on day one there is a cash grab going on.”

Second, gamers are complaining that the single-player campaign is too short, only lasting four hours according to some.

Third, many PC gamers are complaining that the game is simply a port of the console version. They cite a message that appears when saving in-game which states, “Please don’t turn off your console.”

Finally, gamers seem to be turning on Valve for its Potato Sack ARG. Many gamers are calling the Potato Sack a gimmick that got them no closer to an early release than if they had bought the game at a midnight event at a brick & mortar store. All these things combined have resulted in low user scores for Valve’s latest AAA title.

For those gamers who bought the PC version of Portal 2, are these complaints valid? What are your thoughts on the game? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter.

Portal 2 is available now for Mac, PC, Xbox 360, and Playstation 3

Source: Eurogamer, Metacritic

TAGS: Mac, PC, Portal 2, PS3, Steam, Valve

  • http://gamerant.com/author/trung Trung Bui

    Could this be one of the rare times that Valve might be just working for the money? Unfortunately, while Portal 2 is a great game, it’s unfair that they’re charging so much for it on console and having day 1 DLC…seems like they would be better off creating Half-Life 3 at this point.

    • Alex Larsen

      Nobody’s making you buy something from the store, honestly I hope noone does, would be a waste of money 😛
      But you’re right, It shouldn’t cost more on console :(

  • Scott

    Just some angry PC gamers out there that are upset about getting indie games for at a reduced price. Seems like a reasonable thing to get upset at…

  • http://bradardley.smugmug.com/ SnakeDoctor

    1) DLC, it’s clothing. Like customizing your xbox live avatar. Why would you complain about that? It doesn’t bring down the quality of the game at all! Don’t buy it or don’t look at it. I’m not going to get any of it but it doesn’t ruin or bring down the co-op at all. What a stupid complaint.

    2)4 hours? BS. I have been going through all the puzzles at a ‘cruising’ speed. I’m not done yet but I’ve just passed over the 7 hour mark. Honestly can’t see how it could be completed that fast. It’s an exaggeration by far.

    Unless these people are hell bent on some suicide rush through the game and can solve the puzzles within 2 seconds of seeing it, then I just don’t believe it. Maybe in a week after someone has played it multiple times and makes a speed video, but we are still on release day here….

    3) ahahaha console port? It’s an puzzle game and runs fine. Show me something with weight to it. If their only complaint/evidence is a message which I myself have not seen, their opinions have been nullified. Show me something with weight to it.

    4) So a bunch of games, used for a fun community involvement activity, which to just clarify, is NOT the actual Portal 2 game itself, ruins Portal 2? DON’T PARTICIPATE THEN! How could you get mad at a bunch of indie game developers taking the time to make new fun content for games that were made (some) years ago.

    • http://3d-flash-games.com/ Vega

      Couldnt agree more – with every single point.
      I had alot of fun playing Portal 2, the “dialogs” are hilarious the lvl are tricky.. atleast sometimes.
      This would be the only point i would like to have increased – the difficulty.
      But still, its a great game!

  • Ace

    I am throughly enjoying it, co-op is great. All throughout the first one my Girlfriend was sitting next to me helping with the puzzles, it’s really fun that now we can play together.

    The only thing I noticed was it seems like the 360 version is striped down. I can’t find that interactive Super 8 trailer or where I can download the maps created by PC users.

    I really can’t understand the arguments the people are trying to make. Cosmetic DLC is there only if you want it just don’t buy it. Valve is one of the most charitable studios out there they support their games and are loyal to fans. So if the wanna charge some money for skins I say fine they’ve earned it.

  • http://www.christianspicer.com Christian Spicer

    Ah, the internet….While those people are out there complaining about the game online, those of us that love the game are just simply playing it.

    • http://gamerant.com Rob Keyes

      I’m hitting the ‘Like’ button.

  • Ken J

    You guys have to understand that us PC gamers have been gaming on our PC for YEARS before this whole console craze. A lot of younger gamers only really know gaming after this new generation of consoles. Back before this, extra content, which wasn’t even called “DLC” back then because we didn’t need snazzy acronyms as gimmicks because we didn’t have ADHD, usually came out of a need, rather than as part of the game. A lot of PC gamers see these release date DLC’s as proof that Valve is almost releasing the game just so they can start the merchandising. The only games I remember that had these pay to use things on release were those free games that relied on these sales for their income. Personally I don’t really care either way about this.

    Their second point, with the potato sack, I see where the complaints are coming from. Nobody is complaining about buying indie games at a reduced price. They are complaining about the false advertising that promised an early release for Portal. Some people might have purchased that to try to get the game to release early. When that didn’t really happen, it just made it seem like a ploy to get people to empty their wallets.

    The console port issue, as a PC gamer I can tell you there’s nothing we hate more than a crappy console port. PC games can be so awesome, so when a new game comes out on PC and it has the same crappy graphics as the consoles instead of the awesome graphics our PC’s are capable of, it’s a huge disappointment. If we wanted the crappy graphics we would have bought a console… And it’s happening more and more lately, so when we see a message such as “do not turn off your console” it does make us think of all of those times where we see a game that’s obviously a console port. Some games even had visual ques during the game to hit the “X” button or something like that which is straight off the console version. Luckily that’s not the case with this game, lol.

  • maru

    bah! PC fanboys (too much!!) just like console fanboys!! but no one is gonna stop me from buyin it after seein the critic scores and the awesome contents it came up with (Steammm on PS3! come on Half life 3!)

  • Matt

    Complaints completely invalid. They got Portal 2 earlier than scheduled for PC (by about 7 hours even). If they got all potatoes they got EVERY GAME VALVE HAS EVER MADE FOR FREE. And finally, the DLC content is JUST COSMETIC and not at anything that changes the gameplay, therefore making any complaints about its availability ridiculous at best, idiotic whiny fanboyism at worst.

  • Mike

    I’m sick of these whiny PC gamers. You ever notice any time you talk in person or on forums to PC gamers they’re very bitter towards everything? It has apparently been very tough for them that this is the age of consoles.

    • Salandor

      Can’t agree more with you Mike, those PC gamers are always complaining about everything!! When Crysis 2 came out, which was developed on multi-platform, everybody was enjoying the game except…………..

      Yeah except those whiny pc gamers…

      • reeferman420

        and ps3 users -________-

      • Xacto01

        Although, I disagree with the complaints with portal2, I do agree that Consoles, have, in a way helped the gaming industry, yet hurt the industry at the same time. 1) games dumbed down to fit the masses. I understand that some games should be dumbed down, but it should not affect the PC. So far I haven’t noticed portal2 being dumbed down. It really felt like a Valve PC game. 2) Same crap over and over again. Military shooters with the same linear maps 3) introduce paid DLC to new era of young gamers who dont know anything. Its hard when you came from an era with community built maps, where things were built with pride and there was reputation to be had. If it wasn’t for this spirit, games like Counterstrike and DOTA would have never been made. Now, big producers such as EA, try to milk the gamer with crappy content. $10 dollars for a map pack? Buying guns that give you an advantage over your opponents?

        I do own a ps3 and a gaming rig. I recognize the whining from the PC gamers and while it can be immature, I see their reasons. The console era sucks.

    • Ken J

      Very tough? The only thing tough is that we were used to high quality PC games with awesome graphics and awesome game mechanics and now we’re getting crappy console graphics in our PC games with these overly simplistic console game mechanics. So I guess in a way yes, this is a tough time for PC gamers that we have these consoles holding our games back from their full potential… If only there were more smart people out there not willing to shell out $20 more for games with inferior graphics… Oh well, supply and demand… 😉

      • Mike

        “Crappy console graphics?” Find me a game on PC that is using a graphics card from 2005 that looks as good as Gears of War 3. Find me a game on PC that is using a graphics card from 2006 that looks as good as Uncharted 3.

        • consoleGamer

          Mike has a good point here. Decent gaming pc’s cost far more then a console. And if you dont have a decent gaming pc, then you either: can’t play the latest games, have to turn down loads of settings, or try to play while your pc grinds to a halt. Also anyone stating that consoles have inferior graphics clearly haven’t played on a PS3 or 360 through a large HD telly. Can people really see the diffrence between good graphics on a PS3, and good graphics on a top-end PC? (I can obviously see the diffrence in graphics between PS3, 360 and wii.)

          Does the money you save by the games costing less really pay back for the amount you have to spend on graphics cards and other upgrades???
          I guess the answer depends on just how many games you buy, how often you feel you have to upgrade your pc, and wether or not you would need that quality of pc for other doing other stuff.

          Has it ever occured to some of the people whining about games that seem like they might have been ported to the pc that: if a game developer knows it will release a new game on consoles x and y, and also on the pc, then can and if they are smart will design it to work well on x, y and pc. Perhaps to make portal 2 they made the one game with a tool that can put it on 360 and ps3 and pc, and designed it to fit on all the platforms – causing those few messages that are worded ambiguosly. Those messages probably aren’t considered a huge design aspect, and in my opinion nor should they be. So long as the controls, and level design works for each platform its on who really cares what the loading message says. Surely for portal 2 (ive not played it yet but love the original) there aren’t many more game mechanics you could have on the pc then in say the ps3?? Its a fairly simple game idea really, your put portals on surfaces, you can go through or pt stuff through the portals etc.

          • Ken J


            Uh, actually that’s all a myth. You have a PC already right? I mean, that means you paid for a PC?? Well, now you ALSO have a console, so technically, you paid twice. I have a PC, and that’s it, and I haven’t needed to upgrade it for quite some time, and will never need to upgade it if all I’m doing is comparing graphics to consoles since their hardware is never upgraded. So while if a new game that actually takes advantage of new PC hardware comes out like Battlefield 3 comes out, sure I might have to turn some settings down in order to play it, so if you compare it to the top-end PC’s you can say mine won’t look as good, but if you compare mine even after I’ve turned down settings to those on the consoles, mine will STILL look better. People have to grasp the concept of hardware capability. Console hardware has not advanced, well, actually it has, but they have to make sure all games are compatible with the very first unit sold, so technically all console games are built for the same hardware specs. So if a PC was more powerful than the console 5 years ago, it’s still more powerful today without needing to upgrade. Makes sense? While graphics seem to improve on consoles, that’s only because they’re writing new rendering engines and developers are learning the hardware more. The only problem here is the same is happening on the PC, but based on more powerful hardware.

            “Does the money you save by the games costing less really pay back for the amount you have to spend on graphics cards and other upgrades???”

            Uh, considering I’ve only spent about $200 on upgrades for my PC in the last 4 years and I’m still playing the latest games at better graphics than the console, and I play Blu-Ray and HD-DVD movies from my PC thanks to the LG combo drive I bought for it, yes, definitely I’ve been MORE than paid back considering I save about $20 per game and $5-$20 for ever DLC since they are usually free for PC. I haven’t paid for a single DLC yet. So even if you don’t count the costs saved by DLC’s, all it took was 10 games from 4 years ago until now and I’ve already been paid back for “all of the upgrades (lol)” for my PC. I love that myth… So basically I made the money back probably within a year of building my PC…

            And you realize if you want to play a game on a big screen tv from a PC you can right? Just about ever flat panel LCD television out there has DVI inputs, which is the output for your computer. My video card has two DVI outputs and an adaptor for one to turn into HDMI. So I have a monitor AND I have my HDTV hooked up to my PC via HDMI cable. And the same people buying consoles probably pay $80 for a HDMI cable from Best Buy while I can get a 3 pack of the same cable for $8 online… I can play games on my HDTV using my PC and yes, it’s at higher than the 720p resolution your Xbox or PS3 usually plays games in. And yes they run at higher framerates and have better quality textures and uses the latest DirectX technology, so the games look pretty awesome compared to the consoles. But unfortunately most games are held back from their full potential just so they don’t look too much better than their console counterpart, so basically they’re only using like 60% of my PC’s capability. When Battlefield 3 comes out, that’s going to change. Then I want to hear the sme sentiment from the console gamers. :-)

        • Ken J


          Wow, you have no clue what goes on do you? No game “uses graphics cards” from specific years dodo, games are written to run off specific 3D rendering engines that can run on anything that can handle it. So it doesn’t matter when the game was made, as long as the hardware meets the minimum specs required, it will run it. You realize these so-called “good looking games” you mentioned, especially Gears of War, are not actually using the latest tech right? Do you know how they get that affect on GOW? It’s something called Bump-mapping and normal-mapping. They basically bump-mapped EVERYTHING, which is stupid, only certain things should be bump-mapped, that’s why everything looks like claymation in the game, but console gamers think it looks great, it’s pretty funny. But the thing is, bump-mapping has been on PC games for YEARS. Port the game to PC and yes, my aging PC will not only run the game, but will run it at higher resolutions, better texture quality, AND at higher framerates. Same goes for any of the other games you mentioned. They look good for console games, but in the end, they’re not using the latest shader tech, they don’t have new DirectX 11, and they’re only running at 720p resolution. I’ve been running at a higher resolution than that since the day I built my PC 4 years ago… It’s probably getting close to 5 years already actually. So just so I make sure you understand this, there are no games using a graphics card from 2006, no games are built for specific graphics cards…

  • http://twitter.com/ddanzflor Danzflor

    As a heavy TF2 user, I understand the Store logic, so I have no problems with that, Hats can’t barely be called DLC and it’s just cosmetic thingies, it does not affect the gameplay. I can’t believe people are complaining about paying for little hat that does nothing to the gameplay but they are fine with paying Activision for an overpriced map pack that you HAVE to get in order to enjoy the full experience.

    I haven’t finished the gae, but after 3 hours I managed to the chapter 4, haven’t touched the Co-Op yet.

    Console version? I’m really annoyed by this whole COnsole vs PC players, we’re all gamers, end of the story. I don’t give two cents about graphics, if the game it’s fun, that’s all that matters.

    And yeah, the Potato Sack was a fiasco, but I got some cool indie games for real cheap, so not so mad about that. Oh and yeah, 5-6 hours doesn’t count as early release.

    • Ken J

      But it’s not just graphics. Console games tend to be way more simplistic, linear, and lean toward instant gratification over a deeper experience. The fact that there are so many people willing to spend more money on worse games have made game companies lazy because they know as long as they satisfy the console community, which is super easy apparently looking at the COD games, they will turn a profit. Nobody is making these high quality games anymore, even for the PC, we just get the ports of the crappy console games. So there is definitely a downside to this whole console/PC thing…

  • Bradley Davis

    I am utterly confused at all these gamers saying they beat it in 4 hours. To me it just doesn’t seem possible (unless hacking was involved, and is more likely to happen on PC). Me and a friend played the co-op right after midnight and it took us about 6 hours altho that was with the help of two other friends that came over. I then played the single player campaign which took me about 7 1/2 hours to complete. There were only a few rooms that took me about 10 mins to figure out but other than that I was at a pretty consistent speed. I read in a interview that they wanted to make the rooms challenging enough that you would “feel smart” after completing them. After some of those last levels i felt like Einstein because they seemed impossible. They were also fun and rewarding so it didn’t take away from the experience for me. I am personally a huge Valve fanboy (a term which I think should not be considered an insult) so I had very high hopes for this game and Valve delivered far beyond what I imagined. Portal 2 gets a perfect 10 from me

  • reeferman420

    it sounds like a bunch of haters trying to bring down the score. cause i havent actually heard a complaint about the game itself, just some small details like DLC (doesnt affect the game) some marketing tool(doesnt affect the game) and wow you got a console port….. i bet the pc version still looks better -.-

    and the length? if portal 2 is 4 hours then the first was like an hour and a half, seriously stop bitching. and gamerant shouldnt have even posted this cause it just looks bad….

    i still wanna pick this up thouggh………..

    • Paul

      Actually, there have been quite a few complaints being mentioned:

      – Outdated graphics (It is using an old engine
      – Stale Game Play (Nothing that new or original)
      – Short story (for such a high priced game)
      – Limited Co-op
      – No multiplayer.

      All of the above, coupled with the fact that some fans seemed upset that they are charging you around $80 to download all the other content. I understand this complaint to the extent that if you wanted everything that comes with this game you have spent in excess of $135.00 for a 5-7 hour game.

      I think some are even more angry if they purchased the Potato Sack package and have paid even more for a few hours early release of the PC game on steam.

      I don’t begrudge anyones feelings for the above. I personally will not spend $59.99 for a console game that gives me less then 10 hours of enjoyment, but for those that don’t mind, enjoy!

      • Ken J

        I got the PC version delivered on release date for $35.99. :-)

      • Xacto01

        I got 9.5 hours out of the single player alone and that is no way a disappointment considering MP hasn’t been touched yet. If I were to watch 9.5 hrs of movie, that would cost me roughly $62 :)
        Considering the super high frame rate, I didn’t find the graphic bad at all. I thought the art direction was better than most games we see today. Did you play the super 8 trailer? Source still evolves till this day, it is not the original engine it started out to be.

  • Dr. Seltsam

    Day 1 DLC in 90% of cases simply are game features that should have been a part of the game in the first place, yet you have to pay extra for them.
    Of course they bring down the quality of a game and of course I complain about it when!
    To me DLC are the worst videogame trend ever.

  • Wicked Ninja

    I play on PC and it took me around 8 hours to finish the game. The story line and graphics were great, I spent half the time playing laughing at all the funny things glados was saying. The only thing I feel that is wrong was that it was not challenging enough and that they should have had more of the spiked crushers and stuff. It seemed they just had those for show and not part of the puzzles which really were not that difficult to solve. Can’t wait for the next one.

  • Jake

    I was\am loving Portal 2, but I can’t help but let little things grate on me.

    The way that portals now almost jump to the correct location on a wall (you can’t reposition Portals at all) and the while the writing and production are excellent, the game is feeling very, very short.

    Chapter 7 after only 3 hours? I refuse to believe it’s my astounding talent with Portals, the game is just briefer than I expected.

    Also, and I’m aware this is a major nitpick, the sound of the portals and the whoosh of air as you fly around have been changed, losing a lot of impact. Seriously, the howling air as you got flung in the original were exhilarating. In Portal 2 I don’t even hear it.

  • Xacto01

    PC costing more? of course it does, it’s a PC. It can do anything. Plus It’s a gaming rig. Can ur console do spreadsheets or photoshop? Can you develop and design games on a console? The price argument is invalid. Not to mention that PC games are at least $10 cheaper and free for those who break the law. (I don’t support this)

  • mroz

    Regarding of play time….
    On my first playthrough I stopped almost everywhere, watched assembly of turret, listened to dialogs etc. and it took me about 6 hours to complete. Puzzles are not that hard – there is usually limited number of “portal surfaces” so you know where to put it almost immediately. Also the most of the puzzles are obvious, long and boring :/ Despite of number of new elements like gels or light paths I really missed some more complex puzzles using more than two elements at once.
    On my second playthrough today I managed to complete it under 3 hours – I didn’t remember some of the chambers though :/

    • Ken J

      Most likely they got rid of some of their harder puzzles because they knew it might frustrate some console gamers since the controller isn’t as precise as the keyboard and mouse. They even said themselves that they got rid of those “quick reflexes” type of puzzles like the first one had.

    • Mycroft

      Found it short as well, but I think it was definitely more difficult than the first one, and also more satisfying since the hardest puzzles here really ‘puzzled’ me, whereas in Portal 1, the hardest puzzles mainly consisted in avoiding turrets.