Wednesday, April 20, 2011

First Impressions: Portal 2

There are no spoilers in this review.

I was slow to the party in discovering the original Portal, but it's one of the few games I would wholeheartedly recommend to ANY gamer. The review I gave it in 2009 was:

The highly logical, entertaining puzzle game is wrapped in sardonic narration that ultimately reveals a crafty little storyline around the entire experience. It will only take a few hours to beat, but it's worth the time of anyone who likes puzzles and doesn't get dizzy in first-person games.

Portal 2 came out yesterday, and I downloaded it off of Steam for the high price of $49 -- like the various Blizzard franchises, I had enough confidence in the reputation of the Portal series to pay the full price. I'm currently in Chapter 4 and am enjoying it just as much as the original.

Puzzle-wise, gameplay is very similar to the original, with a few new features such as lasers that can be reflected in different directions, and floating bridges that can go through one portal and out another. It takes no time at all to get back in the proper mindset for the puzzles. Although there are a few basic puzzles up front, the tutorial phase is definitely shorter, so new players will definitely want to play the first game (both for learning AND story purposes).

The atmosphere of the game is top-notch, with tons of little flourishes and details. The game takes place a long time after the first, and the decay of the previously sterile, clean environment is done very well (although this makes it a little harder to determine the goal of any particular puzzle, since the visual noise is increased).

The story and voice acting to date is also great, and I've laughed aloud several times since I've started (and a computer game that can actually make me laugh is rare).

Bottom Line: It's a little pricey for what will probably be a shorter-length game experience, but it looks as if this will be a perfect case of quality over quantity. Definitely recommended.

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tagged as reviews, games | permalink | 2 comments


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