November 09, 2011

Portal 2 Review

Portal 2 is the acclaimed follow-up to 2007's classic, Portal.

(Yes, another sequel.)

Areas Of Concern: 

Violence: Considering as most of this game is spent around robots,  No violence of any real concern occurs. There are however a few instances of cruel violence towards robots. 

A robot is squeezed to "death" by another robot's claw. Another robot is disassembled by mechanical claws, all whilst screaming in creepy robotic fashion. The robot doesn't "die".

The player comes across several turrets with cute voices, but a killer attitude. These turrets can shoot or kill the player, resulting in the screen being coloured red (Not with blood though, it just becomes red) These turrets can also be blown up, dropped or knocked over causing them to malfunction and shut down.

The player can also die from falling a height or into a pit with toxic water. (Or from the aforementioned turrets.) All the player deaths involve the camera flashing red and just falling over.

Sex/Nudity: One malfunctioning robot flirts with the player character (Who is a woman, in case you haven't noticed.) 
and says, "I got a black belt in everything, karate, judo, (Etc)....bedroom......." 

Nothing else.

Language: Words like H*ll, D*mn and Bl**dy are used, and God's name is used in vain a few times.

Drugs/Smoking/Alcohol: Nothing.

Spiritual Content: Wheatley (See review below.) says "Let there be light! Uh, that was God. Quoting God." As mentioned before a robot mentions that he has a "black belt" in everything. He mentions eastern practices like Karate and Judo, as well as related fighting sports, which the bible forbids BTW! (By the way)

However, he doesn't really practice them as he is, well, just a talking robot head! He is also just saying this to impress the player character, which he doesn't accomplish very well.

A quick note: The game does have a very tense atmosphere, as it is set in an abandoned testing facility.
There is NOTHING OCCULT or SUPERNATURAL. The tense atmosphere has more to do with the facility being abandoned. 

Miscellaneous content: Many jokes made by GlaDos (See the review below.) make fun of the player. For example: She jokes about player being fat, (Which isn't true.) Adopted, (Which might be true.) and calling her stupid. (Which isn't true. Mostly.)

This is all done in a very inoffensive manner. It is not intended to be insensitive. This is done to demonstrate just how cynical and mad at the player GlaDos is.

I should also note that this is one of the cleanest comedies ever made, that is actually funny. (Be it TV, Film, Books, Etc, Etc,) 

Anyways, time for the good stuff!

Review Of Game:

Gameplay: The gameplay revolves around solving physics related puzzles, through the creation of portals, created using a "Portal Gun"

The puzzles are usually solved by pushing some kind of button. A variety of techniques are used in puzzle solving. Like using different kinds of gels to increase movement speed or jumping height. 

The game does a better job of explaining this than I do, so here is some gameplay footage:

Portal 2 gameplay. It's from the early stages of development,
but it should give you an idea of how the game works.

Portal 2 can also be played Cooperatively (Co-op) with a player who owns another copy of the game. The puzzles in this section can only be solved by two players. I haven't played this game-mode yet so I can't give a full opinion on it yet. 

The Player Characters from Co-op.

Portal 2 is mainly an interactive experience, so not much more can be said about gameplay. The game, however, hinges on the story and humour. Speaking of which.....

Story + Humour:

Chell, the player character.

Portal 2 takes place hundreds of years after the original Portal, in the facility you destroyed, known as Aperture Science.
Chell is suddenly woken up from her cryogenic sleep, by Wheatley, a spherical talking robot, who is not very intelligent. 

Wheatley, after waking up the player.

This clearly evidenced later when he accidently reactivates the villain from the first game, GlaDos. GlaDos is a female AI with a bitter and sarcastic attitude. She then decides it is time for the player to start testing again. (Which means, solving puzzles.) 

GlaDos, right after being reactivated.

The humour is what sells the whole game, which means it has to be funny. And it is definately VERY funny. Between Wheatley, GlaDos and later, the CEO of Aperture Science, Cave Johnson, there is never a dull moment. 


The jokes are very memorable. (Lemons, Space Core, etc,)  They already are becoming fads amongst the gaming community. And they are sure to make you laugh. In fact, if the whole game was jokes only, it would still be great. So all round, the story and humour are very well done.


The presentation is top notch, as is expected from a Valve game (That's the developer by the way.) The visuals, although not innovative, are very good and atmospheric. The voice acting is excellent, (As is expected from a Valve game.) with all the actors very believable and funny in their roles.


The sound design is good, the music is good. Two songs were written by musicians exclusively for the game, fitting in well with the atmosphere. 


Overall, the presentation is definately top notch. (As is expected from a probably know by now.)


Verdict: AVERAGE

  • Fun, unique and intelligent gameplay
  • Lots of funny jokes, good plot with lots of twists
  • Solid presentation, with great voice acting and art style
  • Cooperative gameplay is fun (Based on the reviews)
  • Okay for older kids, parental guidence suggested 

    So in other words: Why are you staring at this page? 
    Get the game already!



    So that concludes my Portal 2 review! My next review will be up soon, So be looking for that. In case you are curious, it is a very popular FPS series.