Thursday, August 15, 2013

Now you're thinking with Portals!

Let me first apologize for the poor formatting. Its not up to the usual standards and, I'm sure, will be fixed in short order.We were out a few weeks ago, shopping for various things and decided to stop by and pick up a game we could play together for the Xbox 360. My wife is a gamer, but more of a WoW only type gamer. Her previous favorite game was Myst and there isn't really anything else in that class...except Portal. Portal 2 is right up her alley, and I enjoyed Portal, so we picked it up on the cheap. This review may seem a bit oddly timed, P2 came out in 2011, but its fun and deserves more attention.

Atlas and Peabody (all images from the Portal 2 site as I cant take screenshots on xbox)

This is a great game for couples to play, particularly if one isn't into more action oriented games. Portal 2 is a puzzle game with a great story line that will keep you intrigued the entire time.The concept is unique to say the least. You come equipped with a portal gun. You can put a portal on one wall (or floor, ceiling, whatever) and another where you want to come out, then walk between the two. Your goal is simple, get to the exit. To do this you'll need to avoid traps that include electrified water, lasers and gun turrets (they are stationary and avoidable, don't worry its not secretly a shooter). To do so you'll have to launch yourself through the air (have a portal high on a wall then you fall from a height through a portal on the floor and go flying...probably one of my favorite parts), redirect lasers against turrets, and all kinds of other clever things I don't want to spoil. You can die if you fall into the traps (and we did...a lot) but there isn't the huge pressure you have in most games. It was a very relaxing good time.

Portals and, well, some of the other clever stuff.

Its also important to note that the single and co-op modes are very different stories. The story is much more in depth in the single player but the puzzles that require two people to solve are very, very cool. Its worth playing through both. Also, the special editions come with a DLC that adds not just puzzles but a bit more story to the co-op mode as well. Its totally worth it. The DLC was needed. It was a bit short in my opinion. I didn't track how many hours we played, but it felt like it was over quickly. To be fair, that probably speaks less to a lack of content and more to how much we wish there were other levels/puzzles to complete.

An exit.

As mentioned before, there is really nothing else in this class. Myst came out forever ago and Big Fish Games, though fun puzzle games, are not quite to this level.

In summation; Portal 3 can't happen soon enough.