Console: X-Box 360, PS3, PC
Synopsis: The sequel to a popular short game, most commonly released as a part of the “Orange Box”, this game sees you reprise the role of Chell, once again being tested by the evil A.I. GLaDOS. This is primarily a puzzle game where you use a portal gun to solve the best method to get to the next exit. The difficulty and number of challenges from each puzzle has also been expanded from the original game.
I intentionally set out to play the original game before picking up a controller on this sequel, mainly as a result of my tendency to be a bit OCD concerning chronology. Though not really necessary, it did ease me into the challenges presented here with greater ease, and I was already predisposed to the brand of humour that was also on offer. This is a great game, and a great sequel. As referred to above, it does expand the extent of the original puzzles, with extra devices added to the challenges. Some of these puzzles are almost frustratingly difficult, yet often the solutions are much easier than they appear. To get through, it is best to take the advice of the tagline… start thinking with portals. In my case, I did to a certain extent start dreaming in Portals.
With this review, I once again follow in the Cyber Siren’s footsteps. However, unlike the previous occasion when our opinions differed over the enjoyment factor of Duke Nukem Forever, I can join her fully in the high praise of Portal 2. The humour is what really sets this apart from your average puzzle game. Chell’s first “guide” is Wheatley, an A.I. voiced by Stephen Merchant. More accurately it is an artificial barely intelligence, prone to mistakes and many musing asides. When GLaDOS returns from the first game, she has barely changed and is filled with delightful vitriol. And yes, this game ends with another song from GLaDOS barely disguising how much she detests your Chell.
When video games are all about fun, this is one that certainly fits the bill, and is delightfully challenging. Also, it is a good game for a wide variety of players. However, some of the content, especially the insults from GLaDOS, may at stage make this not quite as suitable for very young gamers. Hence the PG rating as opposed to a G rating is warranted. This is a good family game though, and does go some way to teaching physics to players, a necessary element to solving a number of the puzzles. Being a physics nut myself, this just makes it all the more fun. My one main complaint? The single player campaign could have been a lot longer, because I wanted to play even more!
4.5 stars out of 5.
The Cyber Siren’s review