May 15, 2011


Portal 2

I have a new video game obsession: Portal 2.

Its the most fun I've ever had playing video games. Its the perfect combination of Plat-formers (like old-school classics such as Super Mario Bros 2, Contra, Sonic) and First Person Shooters (Call of Duty, Halo, Half-life). The story is so engaging, and hilarious. In the original, and this follow up, you play the role of Chell, a lone survivor of some catastrophic event where you are left in this facility that consists of Test Chambers, where you essentially have to use your Portal Gun, imagination, and the laws of physics, to navigate from point to point, thus completing the Test Chamber. You then take an elevator ride to the next Test Chamber, ultimately trying to escape the facility.

During game play you are very often treated to sarcastic remarks from GLADOS. In the original, and even more so in this follow up I literally feel like I'm experiencing Stockholm Syndrome (and affection for my tormentor), the game's antagonist GLADOS, the computer system controlling the tests, allegedly in the name of Science, but with a clear sinister subtext.

The Portal Gun (a genius idea for gaming) is what makes this game so unique; it aims and fires like you control any first-person-shooter weapon, except it does two things: It shoots two different oval shaped “portals”, and its capable of picking up heavy things. (Chell is also equipped with special boots that allow her to land safely from very high drops.) The two “portals” are what give the game its most distinct quality. Your controllers' left trigger fires an orange “portal”; the right trigger fires a blue “portal” - when Chell (you) move through one of those portals, you come out of the other …

I LOVED the original. Not often will any video game inspire me to actually play to the end, but Portal succeeded in doing this; and I was sad when it was over. Portal 2 greatly expands the world from the first game, adding new interesting elements to the level design, while keeping all the elements that

The game-play is more exciting, and the story is even more sarcastic, hilarious, and engaging than before.

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