Sunday, September 25, 2011

Portal 2

So finally got around to playing Portal 2 and I liked it but I do have some concerns and some things I did not like about it. One of the annoying parts of the game is that it simply did not work until I tried it two days ago; The game would not start and I had not even heard of many people encountering this problem and I am normally the last person to have problems playing games with my computer.

Basically, Portal 2 is Portal with a normal game like plot, a longer single player campaign, and a quite long cooperative two player online multiplayer, and new puzzles elements.

Lets start with my first point and, what I would call, the most controversial part of of the entire game, how it is far more like a normal game. There are long, numerous, and unskippable cutscenes throughout; A whole lot of dialogue, and lots of new environments and situations. In a lot of ways this is fantastic, most of the dialogue I love, it is simply hilarious; But it is not the same elegant minimalistic unique game that Portal was and is. This part of the game is quite well done and a very enjoyable but it is not Portal. While Portal gave you extremely well written witty and well placed dialogue, in Portal 2 someone is almost constantly chatting into your ear and there is as many cut scenes as puzzles. And a lot of the dialogue is fantastic but some of it is not, for the most part there is just so much dialogue that eventually you go over the same stuff multiple times. So yes it is terrific and better then almost all mainstream video games but it is not in a whole other category like the original.

On to the length; I would call it a four hour game (single player campaign), which is ridiculously short but then a lot of people will probably take longer. And then add onto that the multiplayer which is supposed to be almost the same length again. But I for one have no interest in coop, and of course should not be included in any game length stats. Coop sounds interesting but unless you have a friend who wants to play it with you then it is going to be a very hit and miss. You simply cannot progress one single step if your partner is unwilling or unable to help.

So what about the puzzles? The puzzles are another controversial feature in my opinion. Yes, the additions work pretty well and are fun to use but they just seem too complicated. The original Portal works so well because it does something basic and simple, bridging two areas of space together seamlessly. But my biggest problem with the puzzles is simply the design, that is it is far too closed.  The original Portal was great partly because quite a lot of the walls were made of portal-supportable materials, basically unless a surface needed to be inaccessible or ruin the entire puzzle it was left usable; This allowed multiple solutions, the very enjoyable challenges, and a lot or real analytical problem solving; That's all gone now, instead you have puzzles where every portal-able surface will have to be used at some point to solve the puzzle, which is a linear one solution puzzle (with not very many steps). So basically all challenge has been taken out of the game.

If you have not noticed yet I am really not sure how to rate this game. It is good but it is a horrible sequel to Portal. It is a very fun game, but ultimately I think it is more like a very well polished turd then anything else. Portal is great because it has a inner beauty, but most of Portal 2's beauty is just skin deep.

1 comment:

  1. I think exactly the same about the game. It's a game I'm not sure I would play it again.