Monday, September 26, 2011

Video Game Assessment: Portal 2 (2011)

Portal 2 is a game that I've been wanting to review for quite some time. I finished it for the first time way back in April, but being busy and kind of forgetting about doing a review for the game really pushed this review months back. I hated to not do it and I've been thinking about writing it up every now and then, so here it be, men and women, boys and girls, here it be. I really like this game and I'm not saying it's forgettable at all, so don't get me wrong about that or I will have to go a little crazy. Blame the schedule, not the game. That's what I've been doing.

Anyway, this game is purely outstanding. It is stellar in every way that a game can be stellar. It is a puzzle game, much like the first Portal, but has more puzzles, more humor, more levels, more complexities, more gameplay, and even a co-op campaign to boot, which makes this game twice and long and even better to play. I mean, there is so much amazing content, from the old stuff like the weighted cubes and the turrets, to the new content like laser death beams, broken turrets, spring platforms, light bridges, and much, much more. The gels (orange gel that makes one go faster, blue gel that lets one high jump, and white gel that works as a portal sticker) deserve particular mention because they are just so awesome.

Do I see any downsides? Not really and even if they are they are tiny flaws, nothing worth complaining about. Some of the maps and puzzles can be a little difficult if you think about them a lot like I do, overcomplicating them, but once you know what's going on, the game is a piece of delicious cake. Har har har... I hate myself for writing that, I really do. I apologize all of you reading this. It was not my fault. I had an insistent voice in my brain telling me to do it. It was the voice of a Wheatley speaking in my brain.

Speaking of Wheatley, the voice acting is nearly flawless with the characters coming alive from the game itself. GLaDOS returns and is as awesome as ever, albeit in different ways from the first game. The other two, Cave Johnson and Wheatley are also so well done as to be superb. Every single one of their lines is full of quality, humor, and fantastic storytelling. The story of the game is sound and fun, and the gameplay, like always, is superb.

A special mention deserves to go out for the basement of the facility and the old training course. They are easily the best maps in the game and have the best aesthetics. They are absolutely fantastic to simply look at, and I don't ever want to stop thinking about the quality of these levels.

This game is easily comparable to Portal and, in my mind, even surpasses the first game. Yes, Portal had a fantastic atmosphere and was really well polished all around. Yes, it was a sleeper hit and a meme goldmind. And yes, it was an excellent game all around. But Portal 2 is longer, funnier, much more explorable, and full of life and zest where Portal was full of creepy air. Again, I love the first game, and usually creepy would sell it to me every time, but with the added play time, the co-op game playing as robots, and the overall fun and intensity of the game, I can't say that this game is worse.

Anyway, I'm not going to say much except this is a superb game and should be played by everybody. Go and pick it up and play the hell out of it. That's my advice and I'm sticking to it.

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