I’m so sorry that Portal 2 will have to be viewed in the light of Portal, which like
most gamers out there is the love of my life. It was meant to be a
little extra packed into the Orange Box to keep us happy because of
the delays on Half Life 2 Ep2, along with Team Fortress 2. Seeing as
Portal was a 9.8 out of 10, Team Fortress 2 was a 9.3 out of 10 and
Half Life 2 Ep 2 was a 9.1 out of 10 and that’s before we look at the
bundled Half Life 2 (10 out of 10) and Half Life 2 Ep 1 (9.1 out of
10). So if you ignore Half Life 2, Portal was the best game in the
Orange Box. Valve knows how to make a great package. Even if we have
to wait for fucking ever for our games.
Portal 2 is a great game. The best game of the year to date and I can’t see it being
beaten, even with the new Duke Nukem and Elder Scrolls. It’s not
better than Portal. Portal was a great puzzle game with superb story
telling and awesome black comedy all the way through. While Portal 2
is a great comedy game but with a puzzles… More or less the roles
are reversed, while in Portal there was many ways to complete the
puzzle, Portal 2 is more hand held and the story comes first.
That said, the story, as with almost all Valve games, is better than
great. It’s perfect. The pacing is spot on. The lines and voice work
is done in a way where you believe in what is going on. On the
subject of Stephen Merchant, I didn’t watch the Office (UK). I’m not
a fan of Ricky Gervais and therefore Wheatley was just that, Wheatley
to me. I understand that Stephen was being himself in the voice work
and I understand from a film makers point of view why they maybe a
let down, but I don’t know anything about him. Sorry.
Ellen McLain returns as the voice of GlaDOS and she is a great, if not the best voice actor
that Valve looks to own. I know it looks weird to talk about the
voice actors, but in a game about the story first (over say the core
mechanics of the game- Puzzles!), if they are shit at the voices,
then the game will be shit. These two should gain a lot more credit
then I have seen them get in other reviews. Cave Johnson is voiced by
J.K. Simmons and his lines are superb. Now back to the game…
Portal 2 is on the Source Engine, but the game doesn’t look old in the tooth with Valve
updating the engine every time they make a new game. The game starts
with a sweet physics show off that looks much better than anything
from the Half Life 2 games or even Left 4 Dead games. If your a
hunter for Easter eggs, Portal 2 will not let you down, infact you’ll
get achievements (more on them in a second). If you look around
enough you’ll find links to the Half Life games, fail experiments and
The achievements, even if they are on Steam, are well done. I don’t often include this in
the review, but in this case you can earn at least 2 achievements for
kill yourself. Not saying which ones and how to do it, but damn.
That’s just awesome. Now away from the single player – as I don’t
want to give anything about the story away.
The Co-Op game, I was a little worried about this. However while the single player is
hand-held puzzles the co-op is not. The co-op mission a very well
made and very fun. The interactions between the two robots is so
funny and there are nods to the very first game the team that went on
to make Portal in the achievements. However like the single player,
once it’s done its done. I don’t mean that in a horrid way, but if
you do the co-op mission once and then say re-do them with another
friend you’ll be in one of two places.
You’ll want to do everything for them OR you’ll sit there bored because you don’t want
to ruin the game for them and no, Valve hats do not make the co-op
more re-playable. If DLC comes out, it need to be co-op and single
player but not story single player. If anything the best thing is
just to make co-op levels as you have the hub world which is perfect
for adding extra doors. (EDIT: We now know that DLC is coming and it
will be both Free and Co-Op. There will also be extra single player
stuff. Not much is known at this point).
There are some extras in the game, like the interactive movie trailer for Super 8. Which
although nothing special is a nice showing of the new physics powers
in the Source Engine. As I hinted at there is a shop for extra crap
to dress your robots in. I personally don’t care. I didn’t care about
it in Team Fortress 2 as well.
Overall, Portal 2 is a great game which little replay value right now. DLC will help. It is
more than worth the asking price, but it’s better to get on PC for
co-op (twitch skills are a must) or if you must have it on console,
even with everything that has happened as of late, the PS3 is the way
to do. It was cross-platform play and a free copy of Portal 2 for
PC/Mac included. This is a MUST BUY!.
Score: 9.3 / 10
(Plus an extra 5 reviews from the Orange Box are included in this review)