Meet Me on the Other Side with ‘Portal 2’

I never played the first Portal game and I found out that Portal 2 does a terrible job of explaining what the hell happened in the first installment.  With that being said, I could not help being extremely lost with Portal 2‘s story line.  To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much of a story, but once I found out there was some sort of underlying tale, I wanted to know what it was.  Most games that are sequels give a brief overview of the who, what, when and why.  Bummer…this did not.  Story aside, I thought the game was fun and challenging.   So let’s talk about it some more.

The object of the game is to use a gun that creates a blue and an orange portal that you can walk though and go to the other portal.  These are used to transport you to higher ground, through a fence, or to avoid dangerous turrets.  From what I saw, the character is a female with a very slender athletic build and the vocal skills of Link from The Zelda series.  Most of the conversation comes from a robot companion trying to help you solve the different puzzles in the room.

Eventually you reach a room with the main robot from the first game and she is trying to kill you.  You eventually over take her and place your robot companion on her platform and you think maybe this is the end and then all of a sudden your once companion becomes drunk with power and then takes over and tries to kill you now.  There are a lot of and’s in that sentence.  LOL.  He opens a whole in the floor and you fall for what seems like an eternity until you go to a loading screen and then realize you are at the complete bottom of the facility.  From this point on you must take the robot that originally tried to kill you and work your way back up to your once robot companion.

There are very few dangers you face throughout your adventure and they consist of machine gun turrets, falling off the edge and lasers.  These are the three things that can kill you.  Most puzzles involve you going around these obstacles, but sometimes you must find a way to eliminate them all together.  The challenges start out very elementary, but become progressively cumbersome.  The longest it took me to solve a puzzle was 15 minutes, but most I figured out in a short period of time anywhere from 1-5 minutes.

Overall I liked the game.  It was challenging.  The only drawback, as I mentioned earlier, was the lack of story.  I would not recommend this game as a buy, but definitely if you have the ability to rent I would suggest taking it out for the weekend and busting out this game in a little over 8 hours of game play.







3 Responses to “Meet Me on the Other Side with ‘Portal 2’”

  1. Aaron Neuwirth

    Yeah, basically disagreeing with everything said here, as Portal 2 is just one of those rare gems that I can easily say will be one of my favorite games of this year, and of the last few.

    The story and the writing is one of the main reasons, as it is so well crafted, clever, and incredibly funny. It certainly helps if the first games has been played, although even a quick scan through something like Wikipedia could catch anyone up, but regardless, it is very easy to know what’s going on regardless, minus some fun inside jokes. Plus you have some great voice work from the three people involved.

    Then the gameplay is incredibly refreshing, since it involves strategy, thought, and and working out puzzles, without having to resort to violence, which is so rare in today’s gaming. There is such a great feeling you receive upon solving every puzzle and figuring out more solutions as you go along.

    Plus, there is a great co-op mode which isn’t just the single player with two people, it’s a full set of puzzles that requires team work, which is just as much fun.

    Easily recommend this game to anyone who is a gamer, who likes figuring out challenges, and enjoys incredibly clever writing.

  2. Patrick

    For having a full time job, going back to school, and helping to raise my girlfriends daughter it’s any wonder how I find time to immerse myself in a good game. This game lacked the story to drag me away from my other responsibilities. In the same regard I don’t have much time to go around and research previous games. At $50 a pop and limited funds to play these games I think that throwing down half a c-note just isn’t worth it. Again I said I enjoyed the game just did not like the fact that I had no story that pulled me away from the harshness of my own reality. Give me a game like Mass Effect, Uncharted, God or War, Gears of War, and Assassins Creed and yeah all my daily issues seem to float away with the wind. These games were crafted with time and care which plays out through its game play and amazing visual effects.

  3. Aaron Neuwirth

    You’ve certainly presented a situation, so I can see where you are coming from. So it just comes down to a \to each his own\ kind of place. Portal 2 certainly relies on having simplicity being expanded upon through its writing within specific confines and a minimal group of characters and not a grander scale like the ones you have mentioned (which are equally amazing). 🙂

    Really, it sounds more like you didn’t know what you were getting into, despite hearing about all of the rave reviews from everyone wrapped up in the awesomeness of this series, which is not an accusation by any means, but kind of unfortunate that the experience was not more meaningful or immersive.