on April 19, 2011
THIS GAME IS NOTHING SHORT OF A MAGNIFICENT SCIENTIFIC ACHIEVEMENT. GlaDOS would be proud. And believe me, you don't know GlaDOS until you've finished Portal 2.
If you loved the original Portal, you're going to fall wildly in love with the sequel!! I wish I could give this 6 stars. This game is so rich and detailed that it is better than most Hollywood movies, let alone most videogames.
I'll give you 2 words why this new Portal is so much better than the original: CAVE JOHNSON. One of the many new characters, Cave Johnson is the founder of Aperture Science... and he is ABSOLUTELY HILARIOUS. But even better, Cave Johnson provides one of those crucial things that is missing from 99.9% of all videogames today: A STORY. A REAL, TRUE, HONEST-TO-GOODNESS BACK STORY.
Oh sure, with Portal 2, you've got puzzles to solve, but you've also got the AMAZINGLY RICH BACKSTORY that satisfies and delights and humors you every step of the way. You will find yourself exploring & listening & laughing to the backstory of Aperture Science for just as long of a time as you spend solving puzzles!! And what could possibly be better than symbolically TRAVELING BACK IN TIME to solve the puzzles that Aperture Science put out in the 1950's and 1970's?! SO MUCH FUN!! SO HILARIOUS!! SO REWARDING!!
And by no means did I mean to forget about WHEATLEY, the brand new star in the Portal franchise. This character is absolutely laugh-out-loud funny... I simply can't believe how Valve was able to create such a richly humorous character as Wheatley.
It really is a testament to the geniuses at Valve Software that they SMARTLY KEPT EVERYTHING that was so perfect about the first game, and -- to prevent you from getting bored with the same ol', same ol' -- they improved upon it in every way humanly possible!! New types of objects to interact with keep the game fresh & exciting: objects like laser redirection cubes, propulsion gel, repulsion gel, and cute weighted cubes from the 1950's. If you thought you had fun flying through the air with momentum in the original Portal, wait until you start bouncing all over walls with repulsion gel, sliding down hallways with propulsion gel, and creating your own portal surfaces with conversion gel! Talk about FUN!! Adding gels to Portal was a simply magnificent idea, without making the gameplay mechanics any more difficult!
I'd also like to take a minute to comment on the GORGEOUS ART DESIGN and the MESMERIZING MUSIC SOUNDTRACK throughout the entire game. It must have taken an entire team of genius artists & visionaries years to come up with the hundreds of gorgeously-rendered locations and perfect mood music that carry you through the entire game.
If there is a downside to Portal 2, it is that the puzzles are shorter & easier to solve this time around. I felt like the puzzles were closer to a beginner's level this time around, and I wish they were slightly more challenging. (However, this may be because I was trained so well by the original Portal.) But what the puzzles lack in challenge is more than made up for in sheer fun, an amazing cast of characters, hilarious laugh-out-loud comedy, a wonderfully rich & deep plot, the amazing Cave Johnson/Caroline backstory, and SHEER LENGTH of gameplay. Who are these people saying that they beat the game in 6 hours? It took me 32 hours! So anyways, all all of this taken together is really what makes Portal 2 shine beyond my wildest imagination.
You will feel COMPLETELY SATISFIED INSIDE YOUR SOUL when you play and finish this game, because the game RICHLY REWARDS YOU for diving into this entire world. Outside of the original Portal, I can't think of ANY game I've played in the last 10 or 15 years that was as PURE FUN and RICHLY SATISFYING as Portal 2.
NOTE: If you haven't played the first Portal, I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you purchase & play the ORIGINAL PORTAL FIRST! If you don't play the original Portal, you're not going to understand much of the storyline in this Portal. Plus, you may be totally confused with the early puzzles in Portal 2, because they don't spend a lot of time retraining you on old skills. Don't gip yourself out of this experience by skipping over the first Portal. And, of course, the original Portal is a worldwide classic, so why WOULDN'T you want to play the original Portal first anyways?
REGARDING THE PRICE OF PORTAL 2: There are some nincompoops here complaining that the game is too expensive. I personally found it a great value for my money. There are other people here complaining about the high cost of DLC (downloadable content)... this make no sense at all, because you don't NEED to purchase ANY DLC AT ALL to finish this game. The DLC is only for the most hardcore nerdiest of nerds, who need to dress up their robots in multiplayer mode with extra add-ons that are completely unnecessary. If you're THAT MUCH into this game and yet you're complaining about the price of the unnecessary/optional add-ons, then maybe you should get off your couch and look into getting a job so you can afford to dress up your robot?
IN SUMMARY: This game is FANTASTIC. Kudos to the developers for not ruining what was a good thing to begin with, and for simply expanding upon the same winning formula!! I hope they create a Portal 3!!! Oh boy, do I hope they create a Portal 3.