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Portal 2 Review

Portal 2 review

 

  Portal 2 is the sequel to the hit game Portal which first appeared as part of the "The Orange Box" collection. Set in the same universe as the Half-Life franchise and yet distinctively different, Portal's story was set within the confines of the Aperture Science Enrichment Center around the same time as the Black Mesa incident.

 

  In the first game you took the role of protagonist Chell as she made her way through the Aperture Science test facility using a device known as a portal gun. With this device you could open two micro connected worm holes. Anything entering one wormhole would exit the other with the same velocity that it had entered the first wormhole, or in lay mans terms speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out. This created an interesting set of physics to solve puzzles with.

 

  Chell was not alone in the test facility as she was guided through the test process by the computer GlaDOS (Voiced by Ellen McLain), with promises of cake if Chell completed testing. You soon learn that not only is the cake a lie, but that GlaDOS is quite quite mad.

 

  Portal 1 ended with Chell's escape from the test facility, however a recent update to the game by Valve has altered the ending and now Chell assumes the party escort submission position and is dragged by a robot back into the facility.

 

  Portal 1 was a great game that made you flex your mental muscles, but does the second game hold up to this? As we know not all sequels are created equally.

  

Sequel Comparisons

Sequels come in many varieties, good, bad, and WHY DEAR GOD WHY!

 

 Portal 2 opens with Chell waking up in the Aperture Science Extended Relaxation Center, there is no way out of the room and Chell goes back to sleep only to be awoken several years later by the computer core Wheatley (Voiced by Stephen Merchant).

 

Wheatly

He's not just a regular moron. He's the product of the greatest minds of a generation working together with the express purpose of building the dumbest moron who ever lived. ~GlaDOS

 

  Not only is the entire facility in complete ruins, but do to low power levels, all the safeguards are offline triggering the beginning of a core meltdown. You and Wheatley have to escape the facility before this happens.

 

  Wheatley helps you recover a portal gun so that you can move about the facility, but after an accident GlaDOS is brought back online, and she is not happy that you killed her.

 

  Your forced once more to make your way through new test chambers by GlaDOS, as you try to find a new way to escape the facility.

 

  The second portal game is a lot bigger than the first and is divided up into several sections. You get to explore not only the test rooms designed by GlaDOS but also some of the older parts of the facility that were built by Cave Johnson (voiced by J.K. Simmons) the founder of Aperture Science.

 

Cave Johnson Painting

Cave Johnson, he will burn your house down with lemons... Wait What?!

 

  The portal gun was not the only invention that Aperture Science worked on and you will get to use many of these other inventions in conjunction with the portal gun to solve puzzles. Gone are the energy ball launchers from the first game. Now you have catapults, hard light bridges, acceleration gel, and bouncing gel to help you in your escape.

 

Lemonade

 

  But wait there is more! Portal 2 does not have to be a solo experience as Valve has included a new co-op mode that is not only fun, but also has a fully fleshed out story of its own. In co-op mode you and another player take on the roles of the robots Atlas and P-body as you go on missions for GlaDOS. It is nice to see that both the solo and co-op mode were completely fleshed out as usually one or another of these in games today is often times severely lacking.

 

  Adding in a partner who has their own portal gun changes the way in which you approach puzzles, who knows maybe in Portal 3 you can have a human and two robots all working together.

 

Companion Cube B.F.F.

 

  One of the things that sets this game above and beyond the other puzzle games out there is the dark humor and story. The voice actors do a fantastic job delivering their material, you never feel like any of the lines in the game was phoned in. Did I also mention no walls of text. Everything in this game is voice acted. You can turn on subtitles if you do miss huge amounts of text.

 

  The twist ending to both solo and co-op mode left me a little bit surprised, it is not often that this happens to me.

 

Final verdict for Portal 2  10/10

 

  A mix of intelligent puzzle solving and fantastic humor and voice acting make this a great game. Buy it now. But one thing, where is my cake?

 

  ~Professor

 

 

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