When the first Portal game released in 2007, gamers immediately embraced its clever mixture of portal-based puzzles and dark humor. It was quickly recognized as one of the best puzzle games of all time and further established developer Valve's legacy as one of the best studios in the business. Portal 2 is the highly-requested sequel to that iconic game, which provides another hilarious adventure through a laboratory full of puzzle rooms. This time around, players will meet new characters, scratch their heads at new mechanics, and even solve some puzzles with friends in the fleshed-out cooperative mode. While fans will argue about which game is better, most will agree that Portal 2 lives up to the original Portal in almost every way.
Main Game Features
- Lengthy single-player campaign
- Standalone cooperative campaign
- Humorous storyline and characters
In the single-player mode of Portal 2, players once again step into the shoes of Chell, an unlucky test subject who continuously finds herself trapped and at the mercy of plotting machines. After narrowly escaping the Aperture Science research facility in the original Portal, Chell finds herself trapped once again within its now crumbling walls. As the building threatens to collapse, Chell must find a way to escape by using her trusty portal gun. She is aided in her adventure by the personable floating robot Wheatley, while the villainous AI GLaDOS continues to torment her. If Chell wishes to survive another journey through Aperture Science, she'll need to use every bit of her wits.
The cooperative mode features entirely new characters and an altogether different story, but it's much lighter in terms of narrative content and dialogue. In this two-player adventure, you'll play as two test-robots named ATLAS and P-Body. Designed to explore and test out puzzle rooms, these two robots must work in tandem to solve tricky and complex problems. While this mode mostly serves as a way for players to test their skills at more complex puzzles with a pal, there is still plenty of witty humor to keep you laughing along the way.
In order to keep things simple and not overwhelm the player with new features, Portal 2 plays very similarly to the original. This means that fans of the first game will not have to worry about an excessive amount of complicated new mechanics, although there are a few intuitive additions to note. As always, players must solve a slew of test chambers by utilizing their portal gun, a device that allows them to place two portals on viable surfaces. By placing the portals in certain places and at certain angles, players can then reach the exit or hit triggers to complete the room. While it sounds pretty simple, things can get deceptively complex, requiring you to think outside the box. Even hazardous items like turrets and lasers can be used to your advantage if you properly place a portal.
Of the new mechanics that Portal 2 introduces, the Propulsion and Repulsion Gels are the most game-changing. These orange and blue liquid-like substances cause your character to speed up and bounce around, which can be used in tandem with launch-pads and other environmental features. Like anything in Portal 2, gels seem simple at first, but you'll find yourself using them in interesting ways as you progress to later puzzles. If you're really looking for a challenge, you can find exceptionally tricky puzzles in the standalone cooperative mode. You'll need a skilled partner though, as these puzzles require both quick-thinking and fast reflexes. Each set of cooperative puzzles focus on a different mechanic, but with access to double the portals, things are generally more complicated than in solo play.
Portal 2 is a worthy successor to the 2007 classic Portal, which is an impressive feat. The sequel not only gives gamers more unique puzzle-solving gameplay, but it also expands the universe in some fun ways. It's also absolutely hilarious, with characters and cutscenes guaranteed to make you laugh out loud. Portal 2 also manages to improve upon the original with some fun new mechanics and a fleshed-out cooperative campaign, so the experience never feels retreaded or stale. Even if you don't consider yourself an expert at first-person games, you should try out Portal 2 if you're a fan of puzzle games. It's a truly unforgettable experience that's satisfying, hilarious, and tons of fun to play.
- Hilarious writing
- Awesome cooperative options
- Fun puzzle mechanics
- Some puzzles are considerably tough
- Only a few new features