As a huge fan of the original Portal game, I couldn’t wait for Portal 2, but I was further excited when Gabe Newell from Valve told us at E3 that the best way to experience Portal 2 would be on PS3. This was a dream come true for me, not only was there a second portal game coming out, but we on the PS3 bagged the best version. As some of you may know, Valve aren’t massive fans of the Xbox, if you want to know why, simply Google it, this probably isn’t the place to discuss this. Fell free to discuss it on our forums though!
I was planning to talk about Portal 2 as a whole game, as I would any other game by including a review of the single player, multiplayer and any other features on the game, but I have not yet been able to play Portal 2’s Co-op or try out any of the Steam features because of the PSN outage. So with this dilemma facing me, I will have to a review of the single player story, so this could be pretty short compared to our other reviews as its very hard to go in depth about a games story mode without revealing any spoilers, but I’ll do my best. I will release an updated review when PSN is back up, and I have fully played the Co-op for portal.
Portal 2’s single player picks up pretty much where the last game left off. You still play as the same Test Subject from the first portal game and are back in the wrecked and battle worn Aperture Science test facility. The game starts off with the brief basics, but Valve being Valve, they did this in an interesting way, and you are a test subject after all. The first character you encounter is called Wheatley, who is voiced by the brilliant comedian Stephen Merchant. Straight away a bond is built between you and Wheatley, and the voice of Stephen Merchant had me laughing within seconds of his first sentence. So Wheatley guides you through your tutorial and askes you to find a portal gun. A few battered test chambers later you locate it and continue your journey with Wheatley. This next part contains a few mild spoilers, but if you didn’t expect these things to happen, you probably have no idea what Portal is, or have ever played the first one. So anyway whilst trying to locate an escape pod with Wheatley you being to travel up a massive shaft of buttons and are taken up to the one and only GLaDOS, the voice of portal 1.
So after reuniting with a not so happy GLaDOS, she makes you continue doing a whole new range of tests. After some tests (which take about the length of the first games tests) the story picks up. I really don’t want to spoil this for you, as the story after this point is literally awesome. Story is massive in Portal 2,and rather than make it a cinematic epic like a lot of sequels to successful games do, they have kept to their morals and kept it as Portal, but they have made it a story epic now. I really cant say much without revealing massive spoilers but what I will say is this, Portal 1 was about the Test Subject and her life, where as in Portal 2, its more about the history of GLaDOS and Aperture Science.
The middle of the game is possibly the best part. You find out so much about Aperture Science and GLaDOS whilst playing through a fun but challenging game. This really is the perfect match for the next portal game, and there isn’t a better way they could have done it. I honestly couldn’t find a single fault with this game, because Valve don’t tend to make mistakes, they create a brilliant game and give you a challenge in the process. I often describe Valves games as the only games that give me a real challenge anymore, as its not just running into a room, shooting the crap out of anyone and anything, then moving along the obviously marked out route and finishing the mission, you have to use your brain to figure out what to do. It’s the same in Valves Half-Life series, and if you haven’t played it, you seriously should. So after solving the puzzles after actually using your brain in a game, it feels so much more rewarding to get anywhere in the game, and you do it all yourself, there’s no air lifts to the next mission, or any back up to help you out, its all you and your brain, you just have to learn how to think with portals. You can pick up Portal 1 if you haven’t already played it for £6.99 on Steam for Mac or PC, or in The Orange Box for PS3 that includes some of Valves best games including Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2 episodes 1 & 2, Portal, and Team Fortress 2. These are all brilliant games, and you will thoroughly enjoy them all.
I don’t often give games a rating when I write reviews, I tend to set an trend in the review of what I think of the game, but this time I’m going to rate this game, because I couldn’t give a 2 sided review of this game, as I cant see any faults, and I highly doubt that there will be any faults in the Portal 2 Co-op or Steam features so we will end this Portal 2 single player review on my rating. The unfaultable game, Portal 2 gets a perfect 10/10.
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