I finished up with Portal 2’s single player mode awhile ago but due to the unfortunate PlayStation Network outage I was prevented from trying out the new multi-player mode until more recently. Now that the PSN is back I feel that I am finally able to write this review.
I had to rush through Portal 2. It’s not the kind of game you play once and forget, it’s the kind of game that stays with you. After you beat it you’ll want to talk about it with anyone who will listen, which makes it difficult for those of us who have kids and can’t dedicate copious amounts of time to finishing the game as quickly as possible. I was forced to rush through the game so that my experience wouldn’t be spoiled by overhearing any one of the hundreds of Portal 2 conversations going on around me.
The game takes off sometime after the original Portal game. A narrator with a memorably absurd sense of humor guides you through the game. Half of the story of Portal 2 is told through narration, but the other half is told nonverbally as you explore the Portal 2 world. The environments are detailed with items such as posters and video screens that won’t help solve puzzles but will tell the story. Hidden areas and carefully crafted level design tell the player more about the Portal 2 universe than the narrator ever could. This unique method of storytelling in a video game is what gives Portal 2 its mojo.
Several new gameplay mechanics improve on the original Portal experience. In the interest of not spoiling anything I will not discuss them here, however they do exist, and they are awesome.
Some of the puzzles are extremely clever and require you to work out a lot of complex details. Some of them might be as simple as exploring until you find the right surface to create a portal on. The more complex puzzles took time to work out but I never got so stuck that I had to resort to looking up a solution on the Internet.
Even with the time constraints imposed by my family duties I was able to finish Portal 2 in about a week. This may seem like a short game but by the time you get to the end of the game you are ready for the resolution. The new multi-player mode offers several more test chambers worth of content and endless opportunities for frustration and hilarity with your friends. Even though the single player mode is short I still feel the game is worth the money.
The PS3 version of Portal 2 comes with a code so you can get the Steam version on your PC for free. It’s a pretty great deal and if you have a PS3 you really don’t have an excuse.
- Free PC/Mac version of the game with the PS3 version!!!
- Clever Puzzle Solving using Portal Mechanics
- Humorous Dialog
- New Multiplayer Mode
Is it fun: Yes
Length: ~8 hours