The will likely be spoilers, but should I talk about something super new I'll warn ya. But consider this a pre-emptive warning! You're WARNED!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's hard to overstate my satisfaction.

If you're already savvy with the world of Portal, what can I say about Portal 2 besides "Yes. Go get it now, because it's effing awesome."?

If you're not savvy with the world of Portal, what can I say besides "Go get Portal now, and then get Portal 2 later, because you are really missing out on some of the best gaming available."?

See, I don't want to spoil anything about either game because both are best experienced as purely as possible- the less you know, the more there is to discover. It's best to let Portal unfold before you and constantly surprise you with its humor and incredible cleverosity, which is totally a real word, I swear.

Valve takes everything you love about Portal and makes it...more. Picking up essentially where the first game left off, silent protagonist Chell, after years in stasis, wakes up in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center and it's all but completely destroyed. Panels are broken, systems malfunction, weeds have grown up all around, and gaping holes in the walls and floors give you a view down into what seems to be a bottomless void...and the testing begins again.

From there, well...I don't want to say. Every time you think you might be approaching the end of the game, it turns out that you're not. There are times when Portal 2 feels almost like a first-person shootingless shooter than a clever puzzle game: there's a narrative that plays out, and just about every question you had will be answered.

The quality of the puzzles has been improved by the addition of several new features: lasers you can guide with reflective cubes, repulsion gels, propulsion gels, light bridges, and more. Chell will walk into a massive chamber with blobs falling everywhere and fifteen turrets aiming at her, and no seeming way out. Of course there's (almost) always a way out, and when you've finally mastered it and you head for the next testing chamber, you can't help but give yourself a high-five for figuring it out. Can't lie, I feel great and oh-so-smart when I try something ludicrous- you know, like bouncing off of a wall into a portal and grabbing a cube in mid-air only to drop it into another portal as I bounce across a chasm or something- and it actually works and the exit door opens. Portal 2 is quite rewarding that way.

So, if you know Portal, then its successor will be everything you want and expect and more. It's as laugh-out-loud funny as the first, if not more so. It's as challenging, if not more so. There's even a co-op mode this time, but I've yet to give it a go. Basically, Portal 2 is everything you could want as a sequel to a game that really didn't need a sequel. If I could hug video games, I'd hug the Portals.

What are you waiting for? It's either more of what you dug the first time, or it's something you really need to try. Either way, you should play it...for science.


CashBailey said...

Yeah, this game is the goods.

But can you be;lieve the stones on PC Gamer to declare it 'best game of the year'? It's only friggin' April!

Stacie Ponder said...

Yeah, even "Best Game SO FAR!" is a little,'s only April! :D This is gonna be a great year for gaming, though. Wonder what the majority will vote for as Game of the Year when it's all over.

Ryan said...

Mass Effect 3

Koompa said...

The beginning where you awaken in your stasis apartment only to have the walls crumble away into chaos is one of the best opening sequences I've seen in a long time. And the final boss fight ended brilliantly!