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Portal 2 Impressions

Updated on April 22, 2011

Single Player

Single player returns with more voice acting, more tests, and more lore for the game as you will delve deep into Aperture Science’s History and learn of its founder who is a great character by himself.

Single player is longer than it was in the first game and is more flushed out with more comedy than the first. It is pretty hard to make it through the game without a good laugh here and there.

It is pretty hard to sum up an experience like Portal 2’s single player campaign, it is both fun and engaging and sometimes perplexing throwing in a good deal of humor and story. This is classic gaming greatness plain and simple.

Single Player Puzzles

With the introduction of several new elements from Thermal Disencouragement beams to special gels that have different effects, Portal 2 has stepped up the puzzles with a difficulty curve that is generous but that could be argued as a bad thing for those seeking hard core testing.

Voice Acting

The voice acting in is amazing and carries with it real emotion and feeling with each utterance and verse. Rarely has voice acting left an impression on me but Portal 2’s cast has done so and magnificently at that.

Co-Op Testing

Now you can test with a friend on line or in duel screen. The concept is good and several tests are fun but a part of the experience leaves a bad taste in your mouth. (See The Bad) Aside from that it is a fun 8 hours of testing to be had with a friend if you can drag them to play this kind of game that is.

Crisp Graphics

Portal 2 proves that gears style graphics are not required to have great graphics. Portal 2 features crisp graphics and colors giving the game a distinctive look and feel. You can look at a screen shot of Portal 2 and know that yeah that is Portal 2.

Aperture Science Facility

Many gamers will tell you that an area can be a character just as much as any NPC and Aperture Science Center is most definitely a character. Through the game you will see much of it from the old to the new and everything in between. It is a place you will grow attached too and come to love just as you will the characters in the game.

Good Value

The games campaign is long, has tons of dialog and then comes with a fully functional split screen enabled co-op campaign. The game will clearly last you about 16-20 hours with the co-op campaign and single player combined.

The Bad

Lower difficulty Curve

I liked a good challenge yes I do but Portal 2s difficutly was lacking. It isn’t that the tests were particularly lame as many of them were quite well constructed but the latter simply took away your ability to use portals and thus began a game of what do they want me to do rather than intelegently solving the tests as you did in the first game. Even Hard difficulty in Portal did the challenge angle better than the tests in Portal 2. Again this is not a rally against all the tests.

I felt kind disappointed that the tests were occasionally lacking or instead of difficult were “where can I place a portal”.

Co-Op rather Weak

It is true the difficulty curve in Portal 2 is lower than the first game but the co-op tests were especially weak. Many of them were not difficult but actually long. Only one actually gave me and my brother who I co-op tested with, trouble. The rest were essentially easy.

It is understandable that they were made this way to avoid the rage at the multiplayer but I feel the puzzles could have been flushed out a bit more and more engaging for the co-op arena.

Lacking Manual

The manual for the game is small, short and lacking in depth that a game of this caliber should come with. The buttons are shown but not in a control layout form like the first games manual. This manual was clearly a cost saving angle but with a game that would sell so greatly it simply can’t be excused.

Final Conclusions

Portal 2 was an amazing adventure and an amazing game. Games of this caliber do not come out often but when they do they are amazingly fun to play. Portal 2 is a game that must be experienced for it is an experience. I totally recommend this game.

Final Score 4.4/5


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