Steam Series - Portal
Aperture Science, we do what we must, because we can
Aperture Industries requires more test subjects to test and make use of their new scientific inventions. Work closely with: pressure buttons, balls of plasma, portal technology!
With all that being said, and you having signed your testing paperwork. Let's get started!
Don't forget, it's also bring your daughter to work day!
Theme and story
Portal takes place in either the near future, or it is futuristic themed. You'll experience many things that we'd only hope for in our time. Portal technology, and incredible AI.
Portal might look serious on initial look, truly this game does not at all take things seriously. Many humorous things happen and are said. You might find the humor breaks up the dangerous testing conditions and procedures.
You'll be stepping into the shoes of Chell, one of the testing facility's many human test subjects. You'll make use of the iconic portal gun, it fires a blue and orange portal. This will be the main game play and this is what you'll use to solve each puzzle in a testing room.
Character interactions in Portal will be between Chell (You) and GLaDOS. She'll respond to your progression and other actions in the chambers.
You might find that Portal doesn't outright show you/tell you of the story. You'll figure it out as you go along and you'll figure out what has happened in Aperture's past. Also you'll explore the relationship between Chell and GLaDOS as progression goes on.
Each testing chamber will have a type of screen you can look at. It's represented by a number, indicating what number test chamber this is, and show small illustrations of the various obstacles you'll come across and/or items. They don't outright affect gameplay, but they could help you with some preparation.
The gameplay for Portal is what you'd expect, generally in a puzzle game. You'll go from test chamber to test chamber being introduced to various obstacles and objects you either must over come or use to progress. Over the game the testing chambers will become one of many things, complex, deadly, and both!
A few of the obstacles you'll come across:
Pools of acid - Don't be fooled, this is not water, you'll have 3 seconds of direct exposure to this acid before you're dead and must restart.
Crushing things - Whether it be machinery, or extendable testing chamber walls when a button is pressed. This is a common way of lowering your life expectancy.
Turrets - Almost the face of the Portal series. These turrets are used for military experimentation and testing. They cannot move and are completely stationary, they are designed around area lock down. Walking into their laser sight will cause them to go into searching mode and attack mode. While they are attempting to turn you into swiss cheese, they do so with some apologetic behavior. Some lines from them are: "No hard feelings." "Are you still there?" "Activated.". They speak in a cute light robotic voice as you interact with them. One way of defeating them is knocking them over. This will cause them to spray bullets all around and propel themselves lightly, a moment later they will go into shut down mode and no longer be a threat.
Energy pellets - Balls of a high voltage or temperature energy ball, these things can bounce around on most surfaces. Most of the time you'll need to redirect them with portals into a catcher that absorbs the energy. As GLaDOS states, these can "cause a permanent disability of vaporization"
So! now that you know some of the wonderful materials you'll be working with. Lets go over some testing chamber bits and pieces.
Most testing chamber walls are white in color, these types of walls can hold a portal shot from your gun. You'll notice black walls also around the chambers, these are nothing more then obstacles to come across and do not hold a portal shot.
Various lifts- You'll be using these to either get up to an elevated position, to solve a puzzle, and you'll use these as a way to exit testing chambers.
Emancipation Grills - An energy wall that helps keep test subjects from taking testing materials out of their chambers. They'll vaporize any non-approved item in your grasp. Whether this be a cube, radio, and clipboard. They will also reset your portal gun and cause you to lose your portals should you cross into it. These will be another obstacle to overcome
Radios - Playing a jazzy remix of the 'Still Alive' song constantly, you'll find these strewn throughout each testing chamber once you've beaten the game one time already. Otherwise you'll only find a single radio in your holding chamber. If you have beaten the game once already, feel free to try finding them in each chamber. There will be a certain area in each chamber that will allow the radio to pick up a hidden frequency, the red light on it will change to green and you'll be counted towards an achievement.
Challenge Mode - Found in the bonus map menu option, you can attempt to challenge yourself further after beating Portal, with these many maps. You'll be graded on bronze, silver, and gold. There are various Steam achievements to unlock with completing these maps. This is a perfect addition to a completionist player!
I must recommend Portal to anyone who is a big fan of Steam and has played other Valve products, like Half-Life 1 and 2. I feel Portal to be one of the 'faces' of Steam and Valve Corp.
If you're into puzzle games, or are a huge fan of science/sci-fi themed games, or even just like a good laugh here and now. I recommend you get Portal. Its one of those games that are always included in a big Steam sale.
You can get Portal for 10$ or your country's equivalent! You can also find it sold with the orange box, (that's how I acquired Portal).
Thank you for reading! I hope you enjoyed this hub!