Community Review: Portal 2

I've only just started playing it. Just. So I would appreciate a little sensitivity when it comes to the spoilerrific nature of the comments, but I would love to hear what you guys are thinking about the first genuine game of the year contender of 2011.

I had a strange experience with the original. I borrowed The Orange Box from a friend. Got halfway through Portal, had to give the game back, and sort of just forgot to finish it. After all the fuss, and the dreadful regurgitation of all the game's jokes and the memes that followed, I wondered if it was worth my while - the surprise factor was gone, the impact of the clever writing had been eroded.

But when the hype for the sequel began to build, for the first time I can remember, I really started to feel a little left out. Like there were hordes of gamers getting their panties in a knot over something I should also be salivating over, but didn't.

So, after having a spare day with nothing planned, I blasted through the entirety of the original Portal, and have just played through the opening section of the sequel.

All I can say is, it feels good to be genuinely excited about playing a video game. My personal opinion is that the first half of 2011 has brought about plenty of bluster, but very little real quality. Last year we had the amazing Bayonetta, Heavy Rain, God of War III, and Mass Effect 2 by April - all games I loved in different ways - but, outside of the surprisingly awesome Ghost Trick, this year has seen a dearth of truly amazing experiences.

I have a feeling that Portal 2 is about to satisfy that need.

How have you guys found the game so far? I know plenty of you have finished it already, but if we could keep the spoilers to a minimum that would be great.

Have at it folks!


    Sometimes I think some of the puzzles are too obvious. Minor gripe, but sometimes they'll have a portal-sized white space just conveniently placed, oh you're just like "oh".

    I'm surprised some people didn't like the second act. I enjoyed it. Not only Cave Johnson, but the shift in art direction, and just giving Aperture science some history.

    Also, co-op is a pretty cool guy.

    All in all, it's a rad game, two and a half thumb ups.

      I agree with this. They should made more of the walls be portal-able, because when you see the single block of white in a wall full of weird brown/black, it's too obvious. The puzzles themselves weren't as hard as I anticipated (but they were still somewhat challenging), but I'm not sure if it's because I played Portal 1 right before I played Portal 2. I would've thought that this would've been okay, if they had bonus maps to really test you, but that wasn't there, so I was also disappointed. But they'll probably release DLC and a level editor soon, so it's all good.

      Other than that, it's a fantastic game. The story, dialogue, music, co op, just superb. And it was $44 or so. Pretty sweet value.

      (Btw, am I the only one who thinks their Steam time counter thingy is broken when it comes to Portal 2? I'm fairly sure that I spent at least 8 hours to finish the single player, but it said 5 hours when I was done on Steam.)

    Finished single player and co-op. Single Player is by far the greater of the two story-wise, but co-op is infinite fun with a friend!

    Overall, it's a 9.5/10. It only loses a 0.5 because I didn't think the ending song was *QUITE* as good as "Still alive".

    I also replayed Single player twice because of the VAST amount of secrets I missed the first time. Seriously, there is some REALLY cool stuff in there! (Not going to spoil any of it for you, but the portal 2 forums should help a lot if you're looking for some)

    PS: If Life gives you lemons, talk to Life's manager.


      And I also agree with some others wishing there were harder puzzles to solve, or some with less obvious portal surfaces.

    I must say, it DID feel like christmas on the day I could play it. And christmas didn't feel like christmas for me, so it's genuine excitement as well :3

    I'll try to keep this spoiler free.

    I really enjoyed poking around in Portal 2, reading the signs, listening to the announcements and checking around every corner. I know I could have just pushed on through and completed it much quicker, but I feel it is more rewarding if you just take your time and soak in the atmosphere.

    The revelations about Apeture science were a bonus and... I can't think of how to continue this sentence without spoilers.

    Still gotta do multiplayer but have the old "have to dedicate time that can't be interrupted" issue. I will probably need to take a day or two off work and have the house to myself before that happens.

    All in all, I really enjoyed Portal 2 and intend to play through SP again to find what I missed - didn't find the reference to the ship in HL2 ep 2 dangsnabbit!

    I spent pretty much my entire time playing with a grin from ear to ear. Whenever a character talked, I'd stop what I was doing to make sure I heard it all, because it was almost always worth it.

    The puzzles were a little bit on the simple side, I would have liked it to be a bit more challenging but it was still simply brilliant.

      I should point out, I beat single player and the first 3 chapters of co-op on the PS3 and the remaining chapters of co-op using Steam. So the PS3 version that came with a copy on Steam and let you play co-op with someone on Steam or PSN is easily the most brilliant value package.

      Also, with co-op, there was so much fun to be had with failing. There was one time where my co-op partner failed in such a spectacular way that I was laughing all the way through the next chamber. If only I could remember what he did.

      Oh, and breaking the co-op into 5 hour-ish long chapters made it a lot easier to get together and play.

    To quote Notch on his review of Portal 2: "Play it." :D

    The first one was the very definition of a mini-game, it's truly amazing how much attention and reverence it got. It was a great game that deserves praise, but lightning never strikes twice.

    The sequel is clearly the better game, it's almost as if the first never happened (again, this is kind of a good thing).

    I don't have much experience with Valve titles but the story is well-done and keeps pace with the speed you wish to play at.

    The learning curve is steady, though after a certain story point the game DROPS you into some very obtuse situations, experimenting is just as fun as solving the puzzles! Graphics are pretty unchanged from the first one but the sound design got better, the whole presentation oozes class.

    It's the sign of a good game if you say it's too short, but surely not when there's multiplayer involved. I am playing through the Co-Op at the moment (some PC on PC action), I think I am almost at the end of this portion of the game. I hope not though, it's as if they held back from using my favourite new gameplay mechanic when every thing else gets a go - very JEALOUS.

    Portal 2 is not just a good game, it's an important game.

    I haven't enjoyed a game this much since the original - I would go so far to say that it rivals Valve's main franchise for pure enjoyment.

    I do wish there had been some harder puzzles, and some time-based "quick reflexes" game play. For example, there were very few instances where you had to shoot a portal while flying through the air in order to maintain your momentum; you could often take your time to work it out. Thinking puzzles are great, but I wanted some reflex game play as well. I wish there was a separate group of puzzles accessible from the main menu that are almost impossible to solve without some crazy portal skills and mental gymnastics.

    Still a 9.5 out of 10 from me.

    I finished the single player portion this morning and absolutley loved it.

    Some puzzles absolutely stumped me but then I had that facepalming moment where it all suddenly clicked and the solution was as clear as day and suddenly I'd feel clever again.

    While I miss some of the intuitive jumps and the subsequent satisfaction of the original, I loved the single-player fun of Portal 2 and am curently in the market for a co-op partner.

    The story is more complete this time around and fleshes out the Portal side of the HalfLife world more, answering most of the questions left from the original game.

    From the opening tutorial the humor establishes itself, giving people a glimpse of what they can expect, but what really shines is the information which comes back to the fore at later stages in the game, either in backhanded comments from the games other characters or in plot elements.

    In respect to Mark I won't recount my favourite moments in the plot, but there were many moments I found myself either laughing out loud or remembering earlier moments of the story.

    It's a great game and I would reccomend it to anyone who enjoys challenging themselves with a good puzzle and a great story.

    way to easy.

    sums it up perfectly in my mind, everything is just 2 obvious because your unable to do anything ridiculously wrong

    other than that the characters were good, and the few new mechanics that were actually retained are nice.

    Though if anyone plays through the commentary it basically gets to a point where they are like we had to dumb everything down because people don't understand basic concepts

      To be fair, it fits with the reconstruction of the laboratory
      Take for instance the last chamber before Act 2, the chamber is completely white, with Glados making a special note of everything being fully restored.

      Besides the puzzles in portal 1 were easier than in this one, without a doubt

      I have heard that kind of thing a lot and it makes me sad: the purpose of a puzzle game is to make you think is it not?

        I've played through the first 2 chapters so far and there's been a few that stumped me but not for more than 10 mins or so (though the last one with turrets and light bridges might have taken me about 30 mins I think).

        But I think the first game was definitely training for this game because I find myself less stumped by the physics of it (once you get past test chamber 17 in Portal 1 using momentum becomes second nature!)

        The only thing I know that they did dumb down (and thank god they did) was replacing the energy pulses from the first game with much more visible laser beams

    I loved every last little bit of it :) With the Last Guardian delayed, I can't see anything beating this for my game of the year. I don't even mind about the handholding through puzzles - the new elements are all just fun to play around with, and work with the base portal mechanic very well.

    I'll admit a little bit of bias in that Chell & Glados' relationship struck home a bit for me personally, but the fact that the game can even do that, especially with purely one-sided dialogue, is a testament to its quality.

    Too short!

    didnt think it was the greatest. got pretty bored in the last few chapters. ending was good. 7/10

    A serious contender for GOTY (yes, yes I know it's early), but I'd be surprised to see many games that have the dialogue and charm (holy shit, you don't see that in many games these days) that Portal 2 has.

    Though this year has a lot of heavy-hitters as far as games go (Arkham, Skyrim, Deus Ex, ME3)

    *I borrowed the Orange Box off a friend*

    So you mean, het let you log in to his steam account or something? You can`t really lend a steam game to someone.

      360 version. Then I bought the game off steam.

        You played.... the console version of the orange box? Oh, you poor, poor man. I hope you're ok now :( I can see why you would have been turned off portal intially. Trying to precision aim portals on a gamepad is a NIGHTMARE

          Only if you suck at using a controller.

    My thoughts? A very solid game, though not without its flaws.

    I am a point a to point b kind of guy, so naturally I was so incredibly thrilled to have a game that was so linear it hurt. Im so sick of everything (Red faction, prey, far cry) being needlessly forced into a sandbox game.

    The writing for the SP was fantastic! Stephen Merhcant was great as Wheatley and Ellen McClain was as adorable as always. Lots of cool new concepts kept the gameplay fresh, but If i had one gripe, it would be that I never really felt 'challenged'. I didn't have to resort to any FAQ while playing this game, and a puzzle never managed to stump me for more than a few minutes.

    However, Co-op more than scratched that itch! Playing through with a good mate of mine gave its share of head-scratchers! Despite the quizzically poorer writing, as well as the annoying constant loading screens, co-op was easily the strongest point of this game, and worth the price of admission alone.

    On top of that, the way that it has been set up with the store suggests that there will be constant updates in content for the co-op mode, akin to TF2.

    I really enjoyed it... thought it was perhaps a little too long (the second act dragged a little... could have been pruned a bit), but overall great game.

    I did find it easier than Portal. Whether that's because they actually made it easier or because my brain was just already in the right place after replaying Portal prior to Portal 2 but yeah, a little easier. But not TOO easy.

    Still haven't played the co-op (****ing PSN outage), but looking forward to giving it a shot.

    Literally the best game I've ever played. Perfect in almost every way, except for length (it's just too damn short!). It hits the right notes with story, gameplay, graphics and audio (their sound designer is immensely talented). The entire single-player campaign is hilarious and extremely well-written, and when the solution to a puzzle just *clicks* - the game makes you feel like a genius.

    Co-op is immensely fun, but the story is lacking compared to single player (completely understandable - the fun of playing with a friend more than makes up for it).

    I kinda wish I didn't finish it. You can only play it for the first time once, and I recommend that you savor that first run-through. If Valve decide to create a Portal 3, I don't care if it takes 5 years - going by Portal 2, it'll be well worth it.

    I agree with everyone 100%, the game is pretty much brilliant in every way...


    One feature that practically no one has touched on that would IMO turn an incredible game into one of the best games ever made... a level editor for the consoles. I don't know if you can do it on PC, but a Far Cry style level editor would be amazing. Games like FC2 and LBP2 prove it's possible, but with Portal it would be sublime, and extremely doable from a development perspective.

    I kinda wish there was more Ricky Gervais giggling his ass off and RoundHeadedMonkey with his idiot-genius tho.

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