Author Topic: Portal 2  (Read 866 times)

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Offline Alex Galloway

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Portal 2
« on: May 22, 2011, 05:19:17 am »
Again, I'm going to break it down into 4 easy to chew sections, for easy light reading, making TL:dr less likely to occur
And I shouldn't need to warn you that there will be spoilers, its a review. They will be there, and throughout.
1.: Gameplay
2.: Story
3.: Music and Art
4.: Co-op

1. So, portal 2's gameplay. all in all, it starts off pretty similar to portal 1. portal here, portal there, jump through etc. Though they have spiced it up with things like gels, lasers, gravity beams, and energy bridges, so its not the exact same, and It is quite fun. The problem Portal 2 has with gameplay is that its quite a bit attached to the story, and the gameplay doesn't really shine much as the story is overpowering it, and the puzzles are just little things in your way on the road of the story. Its broken up into chunks, like Glados's reawakening, then your escape isn't really that much of a puzzle time, more of a follow this path, and we'll tease you with gameplay. more story, then there is old aperture, which was a TON of fun. long multiple series of tests, with new dark humor, not the same old same old.then its back up for Wheatly's puzzles, and then the boss fight, which seemed awfully assisted to me. Like my portals just happened to land RIGHT were they needed to be. All in all, the gameplay is solid, fun and entertaining, when its happening. And there is no Gun that's quite as clever (except maybe Perfect dark's Laptop gun. That was pretty amazing). (That was also a joke, the portal gun is the cleverest gun of all time)

2. Now, that's not to say the story isn't good. Quite the contrary, and following valve's pattern, Its a brilliant story. Not that it hasn't been done before, it just hasn't been done with puzzles and twisted robots. The game surrounds itself with story, and it captures your imagination and attention from the very start, and like always with valve, rewards attentive players. A whole backstory of old aperture is unveiled before your eyes, seeing years of glory and poverty reflected in its architecture over the years as you travel through it like time. I don't want to give away too much, just because reciting the story isn't much of a review. I'm just here to explain my opinion of it.

3. Music and art. Valve's source engine isn't new. its been around since 2004, and while it has been changed an uncountable number of times over the years, its still the same old engine at heart. Now, they definitely ave glossed it over, which signs of that were showing in left 4 dead 1 and 2. In those, you could see how valve was polishing the source engine, but Portal 2, being the most recent major release since half life 2 technically, Does show much improvement over l4d2's source version. However, The source engine can only take us so far into the future, as more and more games and software are being developed for Direct X 10 and 11. The music is another major part. Valve games of course have had music in them, but only recently was it being actually given real attention. Half life 2's music is barely memorable, i can't at all, save 1 or 2 pieces. Team fortress 2 toyed with music, having the character's themes, and such. Left 4 dead was again, quite a testing ground for music, having music play significant roles in how the game was played, but it was just another development. Portal 2's music is far more theatrical, and far more professional, being on par with most top movie or other games tracks, each song/track being unique and yet related, tying it all together marvelously. And as I've heard, "Leave it to valve to create robots with more personality then most human characters.". This is completely true, the voice acting done by Steven Merchant is wonderful, especially combined with Whealty's personality. And J.K. Simmons voice portrays Cave Johnson PERFECTLY. (A fun fact, the guy who did the voices for Atlas and P-body, the co-operative bots, is the same man who voiced Appa and Momo form avatar, the last Airbender TV show.)

4. Co operative gameplay, a new idea for extending how long portal 2 is. Its very well fleshed out, having very good cooperative signals, and gestures, not only giving the characters depth, but making them seem less robotic, and more friendly, while streamlining puzzles. The pointing system was executed perfectly, and without it, cooperative would be far harder. However, after playing the co-op levels once or twice, they loose their luster, and unfortunately, bring co-op's life to a shorter end. The only way,which valve has take steps towards already, to keep co-op alive, is to have a constant supply of new and interesting levels. The challenge levels and the ability to design levels for PC users will greatly help it's life, but until then, its very short. fun, but short. and limited.

In final look, if i had to grade portal 2, I'd give it a 8.5. The story and gameplay are fun, but there isn't enough of it to situate a full game, and leave more to be desired.
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Every person is born a white canvas, and each person we touch, each person we talk to, they impart a shade of their color upon you. and these mixes of colors blend into a unique shade that is you - Alexander (me)

Offline Roofus

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Re: Portal 2
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2011, 02:10:29 pm »
I agree with everything you said man, though I'd give it a flat 8 for not allowing me to play the co-op campaign with a bot or something...

It was a lot longer than I imagined it would be, the story is great - don't check on it before hand (something I managed to avoid doing) and it's great...loads of unexpected turns and revelations about...well good. The music like Haddock said, is amazing...

GlaDOS isn't as "funny" as she was on the first game - but she does have some great lines, as does Cave Johnson. Wheatley I personally found very annoying - but as he's voiced by Stephen Merchant I assume that was the point. Loved the ending too - very moving, which was an acheivment considering how...frankly bizzare it was.

Overall, like I said, I'd give it an 8...if I could play through the co-op with a bot then I'd give it a 9.5 but as it is it feels like we're just wasting time, being diverted from noticing that this is the first major-full release from Valve since 2004.

C'mon Valve - we've had a decade of being teased with "episodes", "multiplayer stuff" and "spin-off" games - hurry up and release Half Life 3 :D