May 25, 2011
Portal 2 Review Part 1: Single Player
^MC Escher and Portal. Both hand-in-hand with mind-blowingness.
This game is so huge, I’m going to have to split the review into two articles. Now, I know I’m quite late on the scene here, but this isn’t a review for people who wanted to know whether the game was buyable instantly. Rather, this is my opinion on the game as someone who was hesitant and forced to wait, and it goes out to others who were also hesitant and/or forced to wait. So, here it goes.
Graphics: Shame on you for even inquiring about this. Graphics, in my opinion, really bear no pertinence to game quality. However, I must say that Portal 2 is beautiful. The atmosphere of the story in every area is perfectly matched by the colors and textures of your surroundings. Even on low resolutions and graphic settings, the game is still pretty. When cranked up, it’s amazing.
^It looks nice even in places that are supposed to be ugly.
Sound: The voice acting in this game is also superb. Ellen McLain returns as GLaDOS, and two new frequent voices (I won’t spoil it for those of you who are saving the plotline) by Stephen Merchant and J.K. Simmons also perfectly fit their roles. The ambient music and sounds work together to create an amazing atmosphere. If you’re still not sold, how about the fact that Jonathan Coulton (my absolute favorite white boy musician) returns for the final song?
^This lady is GLaDOS. And the turrets. And the announcer in TF2. And the Combine Overwatch Announcer in the Half Life 2 games. And she sings opera.
Gameplay: Portal 2 is the perfect sequel to Portal. All the physics-bending you love is still there, along with all sorts of new modifiers, including three different colored gels that modify any ground or walls they touch, cubes that redirect lasers, and many more fun new toys. The game starts off fairly easy, but the head-scratchers come quickly. By Chapter 6, you feel like a genius every time you solve a single chamber. It’s smooth and doesn’t really lag, and any sort of damage you take is balanced enough. If you’re unfamiliar with Portal, close this window right now, open up Steam (download Steam and set up an account if you haven’t already done so), and purchase Portal. Portal is beyond worth the money, runs on most computers, and you can finish it in about four hours. I’ll wait.
Welcome back. I’ll let you wait another four hours to de-blow your mind.
Yeah. Now, Portal 2 is just like that. Only BETTER.
The Story: Holy. Balls. This is the best story I’ve gotten out of any game in over a year. I’m not going to spoil any of it for you, so just trust me on this. You will not be disappointed with Portal 2’s single player story. It’s truly amazing. The whole single player story is just perfect. I have not a single complaint. It’s perfect. The humor is there, and it’s darker and funnier than before. Creepy semi-hidden areas? Check. Other random creepiness that really adds to the whole game? Check. It’s just unexplainable. Play it.
Now, so far, I’ve done nothing but praise Portal 2. The whole game itself is perfect. The only problem I have with it is the price tag. I haven’t finished the Co-op mode yet (expect a review by next Tuesday), but the game is still too short to deserve the full $60 price tag. I’d draw the line at about $40. Eventually, there will be a sale, and you’ll be able to get Portal 2 for a more appropriate price. I’d advise waiting until then, unless you’re deathly afraid of spoiling the plotline. In that case, go ahead and buy it. Play it through a couple times; there are quite a few interesting quirks you might not notice on your first runthrough.
Overpricedness aside, this game is amazing. Were I using a numerical scale, I’d give it a 42/42. Why 42? Because, it’s the answer to life, the universe, and everything.