Xbox 360: Portal 2 Review
Portal 2 is the sequel to its acclaimed predecessor back in 2007. The first-person action puzzle game has grown from a single-player campaign to include a co-operative gameplay which is equally, if not, more challenging than the single-player campaign.
How good is this game ? Let us make the jump into the portal to find out
Portal 2 is available on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 consoles and PC (via retail copy and Steam)
The console versions are published by Electronic Arts (EA)
The original Portal came with 19 missions, each filled with various puzzles to solve before you make your escape from GLaDOS, an AI existance that administrates the Aperature Laboratories who is pretty much "omni-potent". Well, that is untill you tear her piece by piece and throwing them into the incinerator.
Many questions were left unanswered in the ending until now
The sequel sets you in perspective with events taking place after the original story, your name is Chell and returning to Aperature Laboratories will not be a walk in the park. Your journey will be accompanied by Wheatley, a metal sphere who wakes you up and tries to be friendly and at most occasions, wacky.
Returning to the facility will be filled with many surprises, the area is in a wreck and you will eventually run into GlaDOS, the 'female' anatagonist in Portal 1. She calls you a monster for ruining her life but she will be put the past behind her in the name of science.
The usual tests will continue with growing intensity since you had returned to be her test subject once again. Very often, she will throw junvenile insults at you using her signature malevonlent tone. She bitches quite a lot as an AI but she is more complex than you think and you will learn to love her during the course of your game.
From the story standpoint, Portal 2 is a remarkable achievement, packed with brillaint voice acting and characters (or robots) with depth. Gameplay-wise, Portal 2 puts you back in Aperature Laboratories again with a twist.
Many things have changed, from a squeaking clean facility to a ruined surroudings beyond repair with crumbling walls and overgrown fauna. The Portal Gun is still your trusty companion which you will learn to use in the current dynamic environment.
You don't need complicated puzzles to ramp up the difficulty, the dynamic changes in the puzzle will often leave you stumped and pressed for time to make desperatre choices. Having said that, the new mechanics added to Portal 2 makes the entire puzzle solving session more fun and mind-boggling as well. There are mirror cubes which can be used for redirecting lasers to unlock doors or trigger certain mechanisms. Light bridges are also the new tools of the game that can be redirected using your portal gun to reach different places.
Later in the game, there is yet another but an interesting tool which you will use. They are gels or blobs of different colours that splatter onto the floor that produce different effects.
There are three colours: blue, orange and white. The white gel is the most basic; it paints the surface white which allows you to create a portal. The blue gel creates a surface you can bounce off, while orange gel grants you an acceleration boost when you run on it.
The Excursion Funnel defies gravity
Another feature is the Excursion Funnel, glowing tunnels that transports you on a straight path. They defy laws of physics in their path so imagine the possibilites when you create a portal with the funnel running through it.
The explorable surroundings have grown larger, some of the environments are filled with various environmental obstacles, forcing you to look around for a solution. It is amazing that Valve has created incredibly made surroundings that focus on thinking while making a well-paced story with plenty of humour. No thanks to GlaDOS and her new dose of sarcarstic quotes.
You will come to understand the events in Portal and the eventual happenings in Portal 2 that brings about a surprise ending.
A tip to our gamers is to observe the surroundings and objects carefully which gives you hints on what happened in Aperature Laboratories and also the unseen character's (Rat man) doings. You will want to try the "Zoom" function to observe the far surroundings.
The single player campaign should clock an estimated eight to nine hours of gameplay, a huge leap than the original classic but what happens after that ? Cooperative gameplay comes into play
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