Demitrius Berkley-Thomas On May 27, 2011 at 3:08 pm

Portal 2 ScreenshotPortal 2 is the sequel to Valve’s massively popular Portal that was packed into the Orange Box with other games like Team Fortress 2 and Half-Life 2. The first Portal wasn’t a full length game lasting about 4 hours but Portal 2 is a fully fledged stand alone title. Portal 2 has also added a completely separate co-operative campaign in which two players must work together to solve the puzzles and continue to test for science. Portal 2 also adds new elements to the gameplay to vary up and add more complexity to the puzzles.

Playing through the single player and co-op campaigns were an absolute blast. The single-player campaign is more story driven and action oriented while co-operative play is more focused on the complex puzzles and forcing the players to really use teamwork and coordinate well. Single player has players return to the role of Chell, the heroine of the first game, as she wakes up after being asleep for what seems like a long time. It doesn’t take long before she’s reunited with the Portal gun and once again portaling around Aperture Laboratories. Co-op puts the two players in the place of two robots, P-body and Atlus, whom GLaDOS uses as test subjects that can’t die because they can always be re-assembled. One thing that still amazes me about Portal 2 is the amazing amount of detail that is put into the environment. You can read signs, posters, whiteboards and almost anything that you see will have some kind of writing or picture on it that just adds to the atmosphere. I would go into more detail but I honestly do not want to spoil any part of the amazing story for anyone. The first game had a good sense of humor and Portal 2 not only has it but it is way funnier. Easily one of the funniest games I’ve played in a very long time.

Portal 2 continues to use portals like the first game but adds a lot more mechanics to the test chambers and puzzles. Things from the first game have all carried over such as jumping from high ledges and using momentum to launch yourself further, cubes are still used, turrets are still around(and hilarious) and lasers. One of the first new inventions you’ll come across is the laser redirection cube which allows you to change where a laser is pointing. Next up you’ll come across excursion tunnels which are blue tunnels that make objects and players float in whatever direction it’s pointing. There are light bridges which players can walk across and can go through portals creating a bridge where needed. The biggest additions to Portal 2 though are the three gels. The first gel is repulsion gel that is blue colored and will make objects and players bounce off of any surface it’s on. The second gel is propulsion gel that is orange colored and accelerates the speed of players and objects moving on it. The final gel is a white gel that allows the placement of portals on any surface it covers. The combinations of all of these elements make for some very cool puzzles and solutions that vary enough to keep the game from getting boring or stale.

The part of Portal 2 I was looking forward to the most was the co-operative campaign. I was very interested in how well Valve would work in not only all of the new elements added to the game that I mentioned about but the fact that with two people there would be four portals. Valve not only succeeded in making the Co-op challenging without being impossible but they also made it extremely fun. Seriously this was the most fun I’ve had in a co-operative game ever. When working together with another person in a puzzle game such as Portal 2 communication is key and Valve gave players some tools to help them communicate visually to help add to verbal communication or even in place of verbal communication. There is a marker that can be placed to indicate where the player wants a portal to be placed or highlight an item. There is also a countdown marker that counts down from 3 for situations where timing is critical. There are also gestures that can be performed like waving, high-fives and hugging your partner. There are a total of 8 gestures and if done in front of one of GLaDOS’ cameras she’ll make witty remarks about how what you’re doing is annoying her.

When Portal 2 was announced and it was revealed that it would be a full priced many people were skeptical as to whether Valve could pull it off without dragging the game on and it getting boring and repetitive. Well Valve pulled it off and exceeded all of my expectations, this game is easily way better than the original and that is quite a feat. They managed to pull off an impressive 8 hour single player campaign and 8 hour co-operative campaign and I just couldn’t get enough of the game. The levels and areas varied enough to keep me engaged and the levels were designed to be challenging enough that they left me feeling quite clever after figuring them out. Portal 2 left me with a feeling after beating it that I rarely feel anymore and that is extremely satisfied. I would recommend this game to any gamer out there, go out and get this game.


Fantastic gameplay and story, can’t really think of a single thing I didn’t like about it.


The environments in the game are fantastic and the physics with the gels and excursion tunnels looked really cool.


The voice acting is great and funny and I really enjoyed the music.


Overall this game is just fantastic and I don’t think I could’ve asked Valve for a better game.

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