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Platform: PlayStation 3|Change
Price:$14.71 - $132.27
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on April 19, 2011
(Note: This review contains ZERO spoilers) / Updated April 29, 2011

If you like puzzle games, this is about as good as it gets. There is no other puzzle game like this, and believe me when I say you won't be disappointed. The first Portal game was just an extra; this is a full-length game. The first thing you'll notice is the inclusion of co-op which adds an entirely new layer of fun to the game. Think about what you could do with 2 portals, and imagine how you would complicate the puzzles with 4 portals instead. My friend and I were having an absolute blast trying to figure out just how to position our portals in tandem to set up the solution for these increasingly difficult puzzles. It's challenging and fun at the same time.

There were a few times where we almost gave up, and then the solution suddenly presented itself and we were able to continue. This game is not for anyone who is looking for a relaxing stroll through the Aperture Science Facility. This game WILL test your patience and intellect, and it is significantly more complex than the original game. Don't let that scare you away though, this game is absolutely amazing. New gameplay elements such as funnels, light bridges and gels come alongside the return of the Portal gun and not only do they present some intriguing puzzle designs, but they will test your wit in new ways that surpass even the sharpest minds.

UPDATE: My friend and I have finished the co-op portion of the game and the puzzles spike in difficulty near the end. There are roughly 40 co-op levels in the game, and there are a few trophies to make you come back to a few of the more difficult challenges. The length of the co-op will vary depending on the skill of the player, but my friend and I managed to solve all 40 puzzles in about 11 hours. Some people will say that it takes 5-6, but that's probably on a second or third playthrough. If you've never seen the gameplay elements before, you will have to take some trial and error to figure out how they work before you can think about trying to solve the puzzles.

The single player campaign is excellent, though this also spikes in difficulty pretty significantly about 1/3 of the way through the game, and then again 2/3 of the way through. The game starts off with a quick tutorial, but this game assumes that if you are playing Portal, you already have a pretty good idea of how to think with portals. Some of the puzzles in the middle of the game actually had me turning off my system until the next night, at which point I was able to figure it out in a matter of minutes. One thing that I really love about this game is the fact that it never tells you where you are supposed to go, you have to look around and then figure out how to get there by using everything in your environment. This is ever more evident once you reach a certain point in the game. All of the stops are pulled out and the amount of mind-bending thinking that you have to do borders on insanity. It's never too difficult though, as the solution is always right in front of you. The trick is you have to figure out how to make it happen with varying degrees of complexity. Some puzzles will take you 30 seconds, and others will have you trying things over and over for 30 minutes. All while being incredibly fun the entire time! The single player campaign took me about 15 hours to complete, and I will certainly be playing it again soon.

The voice acting in both single player and co-op is superb, and GLaDOS is even more hilarious than the first time around. It's pretty much a guarantee that you will find the dialog humorous, whether it's listening to GLaDOS telling you that you will fail to solve the next test, or that Wheatley thinks you may have died from a horribly long fall and isn't sure what to do.

The PS3 version of this game also comes with Steam integration and this is a breeze to set up. I managed to log into my Steam account on my PS3 and I was able to see all of my friends and send messages, view achievements, etc. Best part is you can access this all within the game too, and it was very easy to set up. Just type in your name and password, and I was immediately connected. I haven't been able to test out the PC / PS3 playing together yet, but I'll be sure to update my review once I am able to try it out.

UPDATE: Since the PSN has been down since April 20, I have been unable to play online yet. I was quite fortunate to have linked my PSN account to Steam, as players are currently unable to do this right now. When the PSN is restored this game will certainly be received better by the community due to the online portion being completely dead on arrival.

It's been a long time since I've been able to have this much fun with a video game, and one with so much content (apparently Valve is planning on releasing DLC and a map editor for the game to allow creating new levels). The only gripe I have with the game is a lack of challenge maps. One of the best parts of Portal was to see if you could solve the puzzles in the fastest time, fewest steps and fewest number of portals. That is sadly missing from this game, and it would be totally awesome in co-op mode. The story and level design make up for this, but there isn't a whole lot to come back to once you've completed the game. Even still, getting 20-25 hours out of a video game is pretty good for a puzzle game considering the competition these days.

If you're even close to being on the fence about this game, I highly recommend that you give it a shot.
77 comments| 113 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
I absolutely adored the initial Portal game. I was worried that Portal 2 could not live up to the first game's groundbreaking gameplay. I'm pleased to report that if anything Portal 2 is even better than the first one!

You pick up with Portal 2 many years after the initial Portal left off. You're the same person being woken up from stasis by a little floating robot. He is trying to save you, but soon enough you are back in the system, solving puzzles, using your portal gun to create in and out portals. Then it gets even more fun. There are new goo substances that let you do even more amazing things. I won't describe them all because half of the fun is discovering what they do and how to use them. Suffice it to say that it brings gameplay to a whole new level.

The humor is simply spectacular. The subtle comments had me laughing out loud the entire way through. The main character is female and I have to wonder if them only really trigger in a female player's brain. I was playing with my boyfriend and some of the sly comments about weight went right over his head, while I was rolling with laughter at the prods that were being made.

The graphics are great, and when you go through the commentary track you realize just how hard the team worked to get everything to look just right. Their attention to detail is impressive.

The voice quality is also spectacular. The slight lilting of one character's voice, the deliberate pauses and emphasis of another - these are voice actors who know what they're doing. It really shows when a gaming company finds the perfect person to embody an on screen character.

There's single player and co-op mode. This could be tough for solo players; they'll have to find someone to play with to get through those. I know several people who get massive headaches at watching the physics-mind-bending portal play on the screen so this might not be as easy as it sounds. Still it's well worth tracking down a fellow player to go through those levels with.

Is there a down side? Well, as mentioned, some people just can't handle watching the gameplay because of it's jumping-from-heights, rotating-quickly-in-all-directions style. It simply makes them nauseous. And it's also worth mentioning that some of these puzzles are *challenging*. They're not meant for four year olds to hop through. They require a great deal of logical thought.

But to me that's the beauty of it. It's almost a shame that walkthroughs are so easily available on the web, for people to give up after five minutes and find the solution. The joy of this game is that it trains your brain to find solutions, to seek out the answer to a puzzle by breaking it down into logical steps. In pretty much every case here, you can see *what* you need to do. You just have to figure out *how* you get to that end point. I strongly believe that this logical puzzle solving ability is a superb thing for all of us to get better at, and that Portal 2 is a fantastic way to boost that skill.

Plus it is just SO much fun from start to end.

Once we finished the game we immediately went through the commentary track and it is even more fascinating. So be sure to check that out!

Highly highly recommended.
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on April 20, 2011
Portal is back and better than ever! The tests are as mind bending as ever, and they've added new elements, like light bridges and emancipation gates. The graphics are smooth and attractive, but nothing that's going to make your jaw drop. The controls are as simple and effective as the first game. But then, none of that was what worried me. I had no doubt that they would be able to recreate and expand upon the technical aspects of the first game. My concern was whether or not they would manage to capture and continue the personality and sense of humor of the first game. I am very pleased to report that the sequel does not disappoint. The sequel pics up right where the first game left off, and GLaDOS holds a grudge. Her insults, passive aggressive comments, and general malice will have you chuckling throughout the game. Your new companion and guide robot also adds to the character of the game, though he can be a bit heavy handed at times. If you enjoyed the first game, you will love the sequel, both for its expanded challenges, and its unique personality. As long as you enjoy a good puzzle and have a sense of humor, you will never regret this purchase.
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on April 25, 2011
I remember my son playing the first Portal, and me just sitting on the couch trying to suggest how to solve the levels. It was frustrating for me to keep yelling "Over there! No, over there!" without being able to play myself. Portal 2 solves that problem by introducing 2-player mode. Now we can BOTH play, and use our controllers to actually indicate where we want our partner to place a portal.

Great fun for the whole family, actually.
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on July 6, 2011
I didn't play the first Portal, and bought this one strictly based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews. I got the hang of it pretty quickly, and was solving the puzzles in no time. The game commentary that you hear between levels is hilarious and, in my opinion, the best part of the game. This isn't to say that the game itself was not fun, it was. Such a nice departure from a lot of the mindless shooters and sports games that I normally play. Portal 2 does provide a great mental challenge. But after making it through several levels, I couldn't help but get a little bored by the repetitiveness of it all. Granted, new challenges present themselves to inject some variety, but not much.

I appreciated Portal 2 because of how different it was from any of the other PS3 games that I'm used to, and it is by far the funniest game I've ever played. But I couldn't help but think that this felt like a game that I might play on an iPhone or iPad (though obviously with superior graphics). I'm also surprised by the reviewers who suggest that Portal 2 has great replayability. Once you've solved the puzzle, you've solved it. There's no more figuring out to do because you already know how to do it. So, I can't say that I have any desire, whatsoever, to play the game again.

I don't want to make it seem like Portal 2 isn't an enjoyable game, because I did have a good time playing it. I just don't feel it's worth the $60 that it originally sold for, or even the $40 that it's listed for at the moment. It would be a great rental, however.
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on April 20, 2011
I got this game last week and am currently on chapter 9. Although i have not finished the game I think I have played it long enough to give a fair review. I will update the review once I have completed the game.

Graphically the game is great but then again portal 2 or even portal for that matter was never about the graphics... thats my opinion anyways.

Portal 2 takes place after the events of Portal. You wake up from a stasis sleep in what looks like a hotel room and are soon greeted by Wheatley a robot. He helps you you escape from the room which is in fact a storage container in what looks like a huge warehouse among thousands of other storage containers. Soon after you find yourself back at the Apertures Science facility. You play as the same character(Chell) as you did in the original portal, and solve puzzles or as the game prefers to call it "testing". I will leave this section at that since revealing any more would possibly spoil the game.

For the most part the gameplay is identical to the first portal. You are in first person shooter mode equipped with a portal gun that can shoot portals at certain places in the wall(mostly anything white) allowing you to teleport through them. You use these portals to solve puzzles in the room and try to get to the exit, and then move to the next room and repeat. One of the key things about these portals is that you maintain your speed as you travel through them. So for example you could shoot a portal on a wall, jump off a high place, and right before you land shoot a second portal at the ground. As a result you will launch out of the first portal you shot in the wall and be able to reach places you would normally not be able to reach. There are a few additions that were not in portal for example the gels, tractor beams, light bridges/walls, laser redirection, and aerial faith plates. there are 3 types of gels you will find throughout the game that can be painted on various surfaces: Repulsion gel (blue) makes you bounce on contact, Propulsion gel (orange) boosts your speed on contact, and Conversion gel (white) which lets you shoot a portal on a surface you would normally not be able to shoot a portal on. The tractor beam does exactly what you would think it does by pulling or pushing anything(objects/yourself) that gets caught in it. The light walls or bridges depending on how you use them create either a bridge for you to walk on or a barrier to stop you as you fly across the room. The laser redirection again does exactly what it sounds like. It is basically a cube with glass on the surface and can be used to redirect a laser in order to activate a platform or an exit to a room. The aerial faith plates when stepped on launch you across the room. The goal is to use a combination of these depending on which room you are in and try and get to the exit

Voice acting
The voice acting in the game is what really shines. From GLaDOSs'(voiced by Ellen McLain) insults, to Wheatleys'(voiced by Stephen Merchant) constant sillyness, to Cave Johnson(voiced by J.K. Simmons) strange recordings that will leave you wondering what went on in Aperture Science Laboratories. In my opinion Stephen Merchant pretty much steals the show as you will be laughing throughout the entire game. This is probably the only time in a game I have thoroughly enjoyed everything being said by the game characters.

There is a co-op aspect to the game as well. Two players play as robots equipped with portal guns and have to work together to solve puzzles and get to the exit. Co-op play requires that both players actively play and work together. In other words if one person is being lazy or doesn't want to work on getting to the exit the puzzle becomes impossible to solve. I have not played the co-op part of the game extensively so I don't have much to say about it, but it is there and from the looks of it is a great way to continue playing after you finish the single player part of the game.

Final comments
Regardless of what genre of game you prefer playing any gamer will thoroughly enjoy portal 2. The puzzles are hard at times but never become frustrating to the point that you feel they are unsolvable. The longest I found myself stuck in a room was probably 30 minutes. And with what is probably the best voice acting ever in a video game you will never find yourself bored as you play. It's amazing what started off as an add-on to the original half life series in the orange box collections has made a come back as a stand alone game and is shaping up to be one of the best games of 2011.
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on April 19, 2011
Portal 2 is a continuation of the Portal we love but we added touches that make it Valve's best game ever. Harder puzzles coupled with the introduction of Excursion Funnels, Aerial Faith Plates, Thermal Discouragement Beams, Pneumatic Diversity Vents, Repulsion Gel, and Propulsion Gel make soLving a level even more sAtisfying. The graphics are also improveD from Portal 1 alOng with more complex level deSign in the now destroyed Aperture Science facility. I don't want to spoil any of the game but if you played Portal 1, everything will feel very familiar. The PS3 version of the game includes Steam integration so you can play along in co-op mode with PC and use the steam chat feature. Trophies / Achievements are synced with Steam. PS3 buyers get the PC version for free so this is by far the best console version to purchase.
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on April 23, 2011
Portal 2 is obviously a sequel but you need not to play the first in order to enjoy this one. The only thing you will miss out is on the story from the first Portal. You catch on a bit from this one but the important thing is being able to play it. Everything is explained in the beginning through pre-recorded messages the laboratories left for you. The portal gun itself is simple yet crucial when it comes to solving the puzzles. Now the puzzles, elaborate but not difficult. They'll have you thinking but not throwing your controller out the window. Portal 2 is a great game, especially in a market where outstanding puzzle games are rarely seen.
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on April 24, 2011
The Good:

More of what made the first so much fun. It really is enjoyable to actually have to think while playing a video game, and the humor and writing are fantastic. Controls are top-notch - no cheap deaths or frustration due to physics not behaving as they should.

The Bad:

Not incredibly long. I took my time for maximum enjoyment, and still finished the single-player mode in about 8 hours. I can overlook the length compared to the amount of fun I had.

I haven't yet tried the multiplayer mode, but will gladly do so once PSN is back. Overall this game is fantastic, a must-own for fans of puzzle solving.
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on May 27, 2011
Portal 2 is the kind of game that comes across subtle and doesn't try to wow you with fancy graphics or lots of bells and whistles. What Portal 2 brings is a fun puzzle game loaded with a great sense of humor, fun yet challenging puzzles and lots and lots of gameplay! Not only does portal 2 manage to emulate the original Portal, it improves on many aspects of the original which makes Portal 2 a fantastic and must have game for any puzzle lover or fan of the original game.

The meat and potatoes of the title, this is what Portal 2 is all about. If you played portal then you will be quite familiar with the game mechanics and know what to expect, but for the newcomer to portal; The game involves solving puzzles using a portal gun which creates two inter-linked portals. Though a bit of interesting storyline twists and turns you find yourself thrown into various testing chambers and situations ranging from small rooms to large warehouse sized areas. Using your trusty portal gun you create portals and move about the room solving the various tests all in the name of advancing science! There is a single-player campaign which contains the bulk of the simple storyline, and a co-op mode allowing you to play with friends or random people online in specifically designed co-op tests to help further the advancement of science!

What makes the gameplay so enjoyable is smooth controls, virtually no bugs (unless you really try to break the rules with the portal gun), and a great sense of humor the characters have. The personalities and dialogue add some spunk into the gameplay to keep things lively. Each puzzle area provides a slow increase in difficulty, and despite some fairly long gameplay the puzzles do not feel repetitive at all.

While this is not the games strong point, nor does it need to be, the graphics are fairly nice on the PS3. The game looks sharp and crisp. I did not experience any slow downs during gameplay or graphical bugs. To be honest there really isn't much to talk about when it comes to the graphics of Portal 2 since there is more of a focus on the gameplay/puzzle element. The game does look really good though!

A shining spot in the game is the sound effects and voice acting. Top notch in my book. The characters you will bump into on this crazy journey are great and voiced perfectly. The dialogue is funny in a nice subtle way that hits you with a joke right out of left field when you least expect it. There was a ton of effort put into the audio and sound effects of the game and it shows big time. As for the story, this is a simple aspect of the game. There is an underlying storyline here that plays out through the short dialogue segments while playing. For the most part the storyline is there to lead you through the game while providing some minor background and insight into the background of Aperture Science (company that made the portal gun)

When it comes to the game length.. I completed portal 2 Single-Player in around 6-8 hours. It could be shorter or longer depending on how good you are at puzzle solving, as well as how much time you spend trying to find hidden areas. Replay wise, once you solve the puzzle there is no mystery to the room anymore unless you want to figure out alternative solutions to the puzzle or go trophy hunting. The game also contains Co-Op mode which technically could have infinite replay value depending on your friends and just how crazy you two want to get with two sets of portal guns. If you love the game it should have high replay value, as there is always room to find hidden objectives or find some hidden tricks in the various rooms.

OVERALL A-/A ... 92%
Portal 2 is a great successor to the original game. It expands the puzzle nature of the game from simple rooms into large scale areas while throwing in some really comical humor and dialogue. While similar to Portal in many ways, this game manages to subtly take itself to the next level. By the time you are done with the game you will be smiling and really feel as if you spend your money well. While Portal 2 is not a perfect game, it is a game worth owning and playing through multiple times, always leaving you satisfied in the end.

NOTE: The PS3 edition of the game grants you a free copy of the PC edition as long as you have a steam account. (A steam account is free to create)
NOTE: Portal 2 Co-Op is cross platform between PC and PS3 users.
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