On a cold October morning back in 2007, a puzzle game surfaced in the form of a bonus add-on to Valve's Orange Box which included Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2. The game managed to critically trump it's companions as it was praised continuously for it's unique gameplay elements and unconventional humor. For lack of better words; it basically owned the Orange Box and put the other games to shame. It went on to win multiple Game-of-the-Year awards. A sensation had been born. This game was PORTAL.
4 long years have passed since you made it through all the chambers and successfully took down...well let's not spoil the game shall we? It's 2011, and Portal 2 has arrived in top form and despite the recent PSN outage, the game's fun factor remained untouched and more exhilarating than ever.
It's simple. You're a test subject, studied and scolded by what could be one of the most memorable villains in video game history; GLaDOS. She calls you fat, she taunts you constantly for not completing puzzles, she has an uncanny obsession for killing you, her dead-pan humor makes you cringe but at the same time chuckle at your inevitable demise. She's the perfect villain.
For those that haven't played the original Portal, the puzzles involve portals! Literally you have to think with portals if you want to get from point A to point B. In a nutshell, Portal 2 is a game where you have to get to an exit, your primary concern is to find and reach the exit. GLaDOS will on occasion throw in hazardous elements to a room just to make your problem-solving a little more interesting. Sounds easy right? You would be wrong, Portal 2 boasts some of the most elaborate and brain-busting puzzles to ever grace a console and believe me, your brain will be hurting.
Portal brings you new puzzles, new characters, and new FUN.
You reprise your role as Chell, the competent puzzle-master as you venture into the harsh facilities of GLaDOS's work; otherwise known as the Enrichment Center. Wheatley, voiced by the hilarious Stephen Merchant is your companion throughout the game and the things that he says will have you on the floor laughing. It becomes a competition of comedy as GLaDOS and Wheatley are constantly spitting out one-liners and ridiculous conversations; it's a magical moment when you just put the controller down and just observe Wheatley and his comedic antics.
Graphics have improved tremendously, Valve's engine runs smooth with minimal screen tearing and the whole look of it all is just crisp and polished. The first game was a sight to behold as well but Portal 2 ups the ante with it's destruction physics and dynamic lighting. It's flawless.
Multiplayer is flawless as well. The PS3 version of Portal 2 allows cross-game access to STEAM players who are playing Portal 2 on their macs or PCs so when your playing Co-op, chances are your probably playing with someone who's on a PC, Mac, or PSN. The PS3 version also comes with a free copy of the game for your Mac or PC as well! The Co-op portion is separate from the story but it's just as fun and hilarious as GLaDOS doesn't hold back and she ups the taunts like there's no tomorrow. Co-op is also playable in offline play via 2-player split-screen.
Portal 2 has an engaging story as you see characters change right before your eyes, someone who you least expect joins your cause and it's one of those gaming moments that stuns you in awe. The turn of events are hilariously twisted and you will never guess what happens at the end. The pay-off is excellent and unexpected; this is one of those rare gems folks.
Portal 2 is the real deal. Believe the hype. Games in the near future need to pack the big guns because Portal 2 is a lock-in, so far, for Game of the Year. Morgan Webb from X-PLAY says, "Portal 2 is one of the best games ever made" and it might just be the greatest game ever.
Portal 2 is available for Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC