Like everyone else, Portal 2 was on the top of my “must have” list for 2011 and Valve did not disappoint. Portal 2 is a near perfect game that not only expands on its original concept, but delivers one of the most satisfying gameplay experiences to date.
Portal 2 begins in what looks like a hotel room where you are greeted by a new character named Wheatley, who by the way is my new favorite character in the series and also reminds me of Ricky Gervais. Wheatley is your little buddy that not only provides comical relief, but also helps guide you through the Aperture Science facility, until you are re-introduced to GLaDos from the original portal. GLaDos is obviously not very happy with you, something about you killing her, so she decides it’s time for a little revenge.
As far as the gameplay elements go, Portal 2 introduces a slew of new portal toys that add to the puzzle complexities. The above image shows a gravity belt, but there are also bombs, prisms used for bouncing lasers, and 3 “paints” that allow you to bounce, provide a speed boast or allow you to create portals on surfaces that you couldn’t otherwise. As with the original Portal you will have to solve pre-made puzzles in rooms as well as figure out how to escape once you get out.
Once you do escape, you’ll be introduced to yet another new character, the CEO of Aperture Science, Cave Johnson. You don’t actually meet him, but as you’re navigating your way throughout the Apeture Science facility you’ll hear announcements about volunteering, experiments and just general updates of the facility. The CEO is voiced by J.K. Simmons, who played the editor-in-chief for the newspaper Peter Parker worked at in the Spiderman movies. Again Valve hits its comical queues perfectly and gives you something to laugh at while jumping through portals trying not to die.
While the single player campaign is only slightly longer than the original Portal, Portal 2 features a co-op mode that is a blast. Co-op features 5 chapters with 39 total levels and two new characters which are shown above. Valve has added an item shop to co-op so you can buy things such as hats, skins, flags and gestures. Not all items require a purchase, some can be earned through achievements, and all are cosmetic, so don’t worry you won’t lose out by not having them. Valve is also working on a trade system so you can swap these items with other players, however this feature is not yet enabled.
Portal 2 is one of those games that not only doesn’t disappoint for being a sequel to a fan favorite, but far exceeds expectations. Portal 2 raises the bar for all puzzle games and anyone that is even thinking about purchasing this, can stop thinking and start saving those braincells. Seriously, portal your way to Steam or the store and pick up a copy.
- Challenging puzzles
- Co-op is extremely fun
- GLaDos sings you another song once once you beat single player