April 22, 2011

Portal… My First Step Through

With the upcoming release of Portal 2 I realized that I had never actually sat down to play the orginal.  Sad I know, but regardless, I’ve had Portal sitting in my ever expanding Steam queue for quite sometime and never got around to playing it.  I’m not sure what had stopped me from delving into it, perhaps it was the fact that I didn’t quite understand what it was all about or perhaps there were to many other games pressing for my time.  Regardless I finally told myself that I was going to play it after my friends at work were raving about how awesome the first one is and amazing the second one was.

For those of you who don’t know what portal is, much like I didn’t before I played it, it is a puzzle game.  If you are expecting a high powered action game you are going to be disappointed but that isn’t to say that portal is a bad game because it most definately is not.  Portal is probably the most original game to come out in years.  There is really nothing else like it on the market that I know of. 

Portal starts you out in a lab, where you, Chell wakes up from stasis hearing instructions and warnings from GLaDOS about the upcoming test experience. This part of the game that involves distinct test chambers that, in sequence, introduce players to the game’s mechanics. GLaDOS’s announcements not only instruct Chell and help her progress through the game, but also to create atmosphere and develop the AI as a character. Chell is promised cake and grief counseling as her reward if she manages to complete all the test chambers.

I would say there are around 23 stages in portal.  The first ones start off with easy to solve puzzles which require you to open only a single portal  and progressivly get harder with puzzles require enginuity and creativity to solve and involve the use of physics and moving platforms. 

Being that there aren’t any enemies to fight within the game outside of avoiding turret fire and finding ways to take them out one might think that Portal is a boring game but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  Portal is one of the most engaging games I’ve played in awhile, especially in the puzzle solving genre. 

Portal thankfully avoids the mistakes that many other puzzle games tend to make and that is making overly pointless puzzle that serve no purpose or puzzles that are so insanely hard that you have to Stephen Hawking to solve the puzzle.  While a few of the puzzles … “puzzled” me for a bit I found them all to be exciting, intuitive and creative.  In addition to having great puzzles the games AI is ever amusing with lines such as “we were just kidding we really weren’t going to kill you” or “there will be a party with cake for you”.  The AI does a good job of pushing forward the story as well.

Portal two is a unique adventure, one that begs to be taken.  If you haven’t played Portal or have been on the fence about trying it, much like I was I would suggest that you give it a try.  Portal is fantastic and I will most definately be picking up the second one. 



  1. thsoundman - April 30, 2011 10:41 pm

    Portal 2 looks amazing. I’m currently saving my dollars to purchase it as we speak. Hopefully I can pick it up withing the new two weeks. I know that gamestop has a deal on the ps3 version for 35$ and you get a free copy of the PC version. About the best deal in town I think.

  2. Kamiki - April 30, 2011 10:37 pm

    Ahhh, I wish I could buy this game. Alas, it shall have to wait until I have the mula to do so. Loved the first portal!

  3. eveboo - April 30, 2011 4:38 pm


  4. CharcoalCoyote - April 23, 2011 7:47 pm

    I beat the first Portal in one single sitting. It is the epitome of what makes a game good. The graphics are good, but that isn’t the sole purpose of the game. The controls are incredibly familiar, but you use them in new and exciting ways. You actually have to think to get to the end of the game, and the plot is amazing. The most important part of this game, the thing that makes it so good, is that it doesn’t overstay its welcome. The length sits at a perfect 4-5 hours. Any shorter and it would have been too short. Any longer and it would have gotten boring.
    On a side note, IGN did a list of “The 100 Greatest Video Game Villains”, and GLaDOS beat Bowser out for the number 1 spot.

  5. ScrotusKilmystr - April 23, 2011 6:29 am

    I played it back when it was bundled with the “Orange Box” and that bundle just reacked of awesomeness!!! I have yet to see valve let us down with quality experiences and a pedigree that is hardly matched in the gaming world Portal is great and with all the updates to portal 2 including co-op it is so far a great time and you get to stretch your brain muscle alittle as well

  6. PimpmasterF - April 22, 2011 2:16 pm

    i played the 360 demo looooong time ago but never went beyond that, however I should pick this up at some point as the demo was pretty intriguing.

  7. zero_19 - April 22, 2011 10:19 am

    Good review, I like you just recently loaded portal up after leaving it sitting in my steam que forever and I compeletly enjoyed it.


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