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About the product
- Extensive single player: Featuring next generation gameplay and a wildly-engrossing story.
- Complete two-person co-op: Multiplayer game featuring its own dedicated story, characters, and gameplay.
- Advanced physics: Allows for the creation of a whole new range of interesting challenges, producing a much larger but not harder game.
- Massive sequel: The original Portal was named 2007's Game of the Year by over 30 publications worldwide.
- The single-player portion of Portal 2 introduces a cast of dynamic new characters, a host of fresh puzzle elements
- A much larger set of devious test chambers.
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The highly anticipated sequel to 2007's Game of the Year, Portal 2 is a hilariously mind-bending adventure that challenges you to use wits over weaponry in a funhouse of diabolical science. Using a highly experimental portal device, you’ll once again face off against a lethally inventive, power-mad A.I. named GLaDOS. And this time you won’t be alone. Meet an expanded cast of characters as you think your way through dangerous, never-before-seen areas of Aperture Laboratories. Break the laws of spatial physics in ways you never thought possible, with a wider variety of portal puzzles and an expansive story that spans a single player and co-operative game mode.
Portal 2 is a unique first-person Action-Puzzle-Platforming game that tests player's ability to think and act creatively as they use the game's ingenious wormhole creating portal gun to produce their own paths through otherwise sealed surfaces and across the open spaces of the game. Sequel to the original Portal game -- the surprise add-on hit included in Valve Corporation's 2007 release The Orange Box -- Portal 2 continues the storyline from the first game, featuring both new and returning characters, and poses a range of new challenges making for a much deeper game. Additional features include a new two player co-op mode and an original soundtrack.
Welcome Back to Aperture Laboratories
In Portal 2 players awake in the Aperture Science Labs as Chell, the heroine of the original game. A great expanse of time has passed since the conclusion of the first game and the gameworld has fallen into visible disrepair, but placed in suspended animation, Chell has survived intact and is revived. With the help of a robotic entity the concluding events of the past game are revealed and you escape your initial confinement, but in doing so GLaDOS, the the AI computer antagonist from the previous game is also reawakened. Just as fickle as ever, GLaDOS' motives are unknown. Insisting on testing you, it may assist you but may also be planning something more sinister.
Like the original game, Portal 2 is a first-person Platform-Puzzle game. In the single player campaign players assume the role of Chell, a former test subject trying to gain her freedom from the Aperture Science facility and GLaDOS, the AI controller of the facility. Set in the test chambers of the facility your goal is to make your way through the game levels using your portal gun (the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device). The portal gun creates temporary passages through solid surfaces, allowing for creative platforming and multiple possible means of clearing a level. The game also requires the player to solve puzzles at times to clear sections of levels. In addition to point-to-point movement through portals, players can also utilize other means of movement of themselves and various objects. These include: using the momentum of portal movement to make jumps to open positions like ledges; tractor beams; and special propulsion/repulsion gels that can be carried or stored.
New Cooperative Mode
Portal 2 contains a multiplayer option in the form of a two-player co-op mode. This is playable both locally and online, with split-screen functionality available in local play and in select places during online play. Players assume the role of one of two robotic characters, Atlas or P-body, both new to the franchise. These two have separated from the control of GLaDOS and so must survive its anger, divvied out in the form puzzles, obstacles and misdirection. Each player has control of their own portal gun, which they use to platform through the game levels, avoiding its dangers and relying on each other.
Minimum System Requirements
- OS - Windows 7, Vista, XP
- Processor - Dual Core 2.0 )or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
- RAM - 1 GB of RAM on Windows XP, 2 GB on Windows Vista or Windows 7
- Hard Drive Space - 7.6 GB hard disk space
- Video Card - DirectX 9 graphics card with 128 MB RAM Sound card DirectX 9.0c compatible
- OS - Mac OS X v10.6.6 or later
- Processor - Intel Core Duo processor (2.0 GHz or better)
- RAM - 2 GB (or more)
- Hard Drive Space - 7.6 GB hard disk space (or more)
- Video Card - GeForce 8600M or ATI Radeon HD 2400 or higher
Key Game Features
- Extensive single player game featuring next generation gameplay and a wildly-engrossing story
- Complete two-person cooperative multiplayer game featuring its own dedicated story, characters, and gameplay
- Advanced use of physics allow for the creation of a whole new range of interesting challenges, producing a much larger but not harder game
- Original soundtrack
- A massive sequel to the title named 2007's Game of the Year by over 30 publications worldwide.
- Win/Mac software is PC and Macintosh compatible
New gameplay challenges.
Creative Puzzle Platforming.
All-new 2-player co-op mode.
Exciting first-person action.
Top Customer Reviews
The only real "con" I can say about this game is that it's campaign is short for the price tag. However, if you felt it was justified to pay ~$50 for Call of Duty 4 despite how short it was, then expect the same quality (if not better) with Portal 2. It's a short campaign, but it is absolutely amazing.
Many people have been complaining about the DLCs and other strange things so let me be the first to clarify this for you. Portal 2 has an in-game shop, not unlike Mannconomy from Team Fortress 2. What you can buy are little customizations for your co-op robots, things like skins or gestures. There are about 60+ negative Metacritic reviews complaining about this, saying it should have been included in the game. I honestly do not understand it. This content has nothing to do with the single-player campaign as far as I am concerned, and I really do not care about them. They are just little trinkets that make your robots pretty. I really...don't understand the enormous criticism over it. PC players (which is what I am) have complained about the "Please do not turn off your console" dialog as well, which shows up when you are saving the game. I can assure you that other than this, the entire game feels exactly as well tuned for PC as with every other Valve game. I can hardly understand why they are complaining about this so much when there are games like Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 or Assassin's Creed II that have significantly screwed PC player over on a magnitude far greater than this.
There will be many naysayers that will criticize some very trivial things about the game, and they are doing themselves a great injustice by not enjoying the single-player campaign without any false politics and drama about DLCs or what-not. If you enjoyed the first Portal, you will definitely enjoy this second installment, most likely more than the first. If you're worried about it being too short, wait a while and pick it up when it's $5 on Steam (which you know it will be eventually), or perhaps when it is even free. Either way, you deserve to play this game. Period.
P.S. I ran this almost perfectly on my netbook with a Atom 330/nVidia ION on full res and medium textures. My netbook can't even run L4D2 or Team Fortress 2, so Portal 2 can definitely run very well on many computers.
In addition, as of yesterday Valve has added split screen local co-op. Hurray for us HTPC users!
My original review has not been edited as I don't like stealth updates to reviews.
There are very few developers that I would pre-order games by pedigree alone. There are even fewer developers that I would pre-order, wait on pins and needles for the unlock, pull an all-nighter during the work week out of pure eagerness to play it, and not regret a thing while I was in zombie mode the next day. As time goes on that list of developers has shrunk to a mere two.
Valve is one them, and they have yet to truly disappoint me. They are, for all extents and purposes, the Pixar of gaming for me.
That's not to say I'm blind to their faults and mistakes, they've certainly made them before and they'll make them again. None of their games are perfect, either -- including Portal 2. But what they do right they do so bloody well right that it makes the bobbles easy to look past.
Half Life 2 may be my personal favorite Valve game for a lot of reasons, but Portal 2 is probably their *best* game when looked at objectively. From the level design and puzzles to the writing and the voice acting to even the subtle touches and animations, Portal 2 is just pure fun and clearly a labor of love. It's a far cry from the derivative sequels churned out by the big publishers that the industry is so often plagued with.
Portal was pretty revolutionary at the time and had a bit of a perfect storm of events that propelled it into near legendary status very quickly. Portal 2 doesn't innovate or try to reinvent itself into something else entirely, instead it adds new mechanics in a very organic way without losing much of what made it's predecessor so special. Some are going to try and make that out to be a flaw and call it "recycled" or even "lazy," but I'd be pretty disappointed if that wasn't the case. I wanted a sequel to Portal because I wanted more of it, not something completely different despite a '2' after the name. Portal 2 strikes the right balance of old and new mechanics, while the story is completely different in tone. There is hardly even a mention of cake, thankfully.
I'm not going to go into detail about the story and characters; I would be doing a tremendous disservice to anyone debating a purchase if I ruined the humorous twists and turns the story takes, and would recommend to go into it as unspoiled as possible. Everybody has a different sense of humor, but I was thoroughly amused throughout the entire game and often laughing out loud. However, the campaign's humor is not as subtle as the original Portal, and that may be a turn off to some. That subtle, almost unintended humor makes a reappearance in the co-op campaign, but the single player is much more overt. You're no longer a confused test subject in a pristine but creepily abandoned facility trying to figure out what's happened while surviving sadistic puzzles, all leading up to a surprise reveal. You already know the game and the major players this time around, the mystery lies in the history of those involved now and the consequences of your prior actions.
The single player campaign is approximately 6-8 hours long over three acts. It can be rushed through even faster, with some beating it in 4-5 hours instead, but I guarantee they haven't found and done everything. There's an entire second subplot hidden in the campaign that continues where the Portal 2 prelude comic left off, along with easter eggs that are very easy to miss that tease of events that took place before and after Portal. Myself and most of my Steam friends list have beaten it in about 7 hours and missed things, including a ton of alternate dialogue from certain characters. Considering that the game can easily be found for $35-$40 and that this doesn't include co-op, the developer commentary playthrough, the future release of the SDK and inevitable user made maps, or any DLC Valve has planned, I feel like I easily got my money's worth already. Portal 2's campaign will be something I replay just for the pure fun of it in the same way I've replayed Portal several times since it was released.
Co-op has it's own storyline that continues immediately after the events in single player and will spoil events if you skip the campaign. As already mentioned, the subtle humor of GLaDOS makes a reappearance here to balance the pure hilarity of trying to coordinate four portals. Co-op is at it's best when you and a friend both go in completely blind not knowing how to solve the puzzles, but it's enjoyable even after the solution is known, too. There's just something amusing about sending your buddy crashing into spiked plates and breaking into a dance, much to GLaDOS' ire. Depending on how many (non)accidental deaths you have, the co-op can last 4+ hours in and of itself. It is also much harder than the sometimes too easy single player campaign.
The PC and PS3 versions also have cross platform co-op, which is honestly really refreshing. I'm a PC gamer through and through and the idea of playing a first-person-anything on a controller is somewhat horrifying, but it's awesome that I can play alongside my console-orientated friends for once! Having played co-op with both a fellow PC gamer and a PS3 gamer, it's hardly noticeable due to the lack of constant twitch reflexes required. You'll notice the PS3 player sloooooowly turning 180 degrees with their silly analog sticks rather than the quick movement of the KB+M, but that's about it. The benefits of a larger pool of players far outweighs any hangups one might have from playing with console gamers.
The item store needs it's own discussion, as it's currently drawing a lot of hate and ire on sites like metacritic. I don't like item stores and really, really dislike this generation's trend toward cutting games up to sell in chunks later. Thankfully, that isn't the case here and anyone that's played a Valve game should honestly know better than to jump to conclusions. There are no maps or gameplay affecting items for sale, they are purely cosmetic and some are unlocked through standard play. There is, for example, a hat for $2.50 that is unlocked for free just for finishing the single player campaign. I've unlocked several gestures and a skin playing halfway through the co-op campaign. None of it is necessary or required to keep up, only one other person at a time can even see whatever silliness your 'bot is dressed up with, and even then it's barely noticeable. If someone is so desperate to equip P-Body in a top hat that they'd spend money on it, that's up to them. But it is completely optional and shouldn't have any bearing on buying the game or not.
With all that said, Portal 2 does have some negatives.
The worst by far is the constant loading screens. Unlike Portal or Half-Life 2 where the loading was effectively blended in and didn't interrupt the flow of the game, Portal 2 suffers from it. You're taken to black screens with an Aperture Science logo showing progress now, sometimes at times that really break the pacing. I have no idea why this was changed from the system Valve had always used to great effect before, but being completely removed from what you were doing during, for instance, partway through a chase sequence on top of between every puzzle is just plain bad. On my PC the loads were quick and painless, but it definitely impacted pacing. I don't know if this is due to multiplatform development or a limitation of the Source engine, but it's overkill. Bring back the old system, Valve!
The PC version, inexplicably, had split-screen co-op dropped as a native feature. I realize that this isn't the most popular multiplayer mode for PC users, but for those of us with HTPCs capable of running Portal 2 it would have been fantastic. This is especially disappointing as the consoles have it. PC users can, through some dev console commands, get a hacked-together version of it running. A menu option would have been vastly preferred to putting in console commands 15 feet away on my tv though.
I was surprised to discover that the FOV is locked at the moment, even through console commands. It's set at 90, which should work for most everybody except those trying to play on EyeInfinity-like displays, but it's still very surprising for a Valve game. Hopefully this will be adjustable later on.
The single player campaign feels very easy at times and most of the Portal-esque twitch puzzles aren't present. The last third of the campaign begins to ramp the difficulty up, but I imagine that this is the reason why complaints regarding the game's length have been cropping up. It's easy enough that advanced Portal players are blazing through it, and unfortunately don't know (or, sadly, don't care) about some of the hidden areas. This is compounded by the game not shipping with challenge levels, so if you don't have anybody to play co-op with as an advanced player and fear random grouping, you might be out of content faster than you'd like. This will hopefully be solved by the SDK's release and the mod community producing new maps.
Those are really my only complaints, anything else is simply nitpicking.
I love this game to pieces and it is by far my favorite of the year so far.
DRM Note: Like all Valve products since 2004, Portal 2 uses Steamworks and requires Steam activation. This is what enables the cross platform co-op. If you're on a very slow internet connection or simply do not like the Steam client, this may be a no go for you. I've used Steam for years now with no problems but I understand some may not feel the same. It is *not* required that you download the entire game regardless of buying the retail copy, you can install it off the disc just like any other game. If you're having trouble doing so there is a very simple way to force it, but keep in mind that you will have to download the latest patches after your installation before you can disable updates and turn on offline mode.