No spoilers, I promise.
Portal came out as part of the Orange Box back in October 2007, nearly a year before I started this blog. I originally bought the Orange Box for the Half-Life 2, but I got so much more enjoyment from Portal than either that or Team Fortress 2. That’s especially surprising because I don’t like puzzle games or platformers. I’m not a fan of the Mario or Sonic games. I quit the first God of War (and the series) when I got to a wall of blades jumping puzzle.
The game was concise and fun. It had challenges but always prepared me in advance to solve them. These bits made for a very good game.
The humor made the game great.
So, four years later (roughly) Valve has released Portal 2. I’ve been looking forward to the game and yet avoiding nearly all of the marketing. Since it came out right as I was focused on Rift, I figured I’d wait until I was ready to play it then buy and download it (I’m trying to keep my mountain of unplayed games shorter than Everest). I was excited to play Portal 2 but wasn’t feeling and urgency to play.
Amazon forced my hand though by offering the PC version for $30. Even better, I apparently had $15 off promo for a game too which I found out when I checked out, so I ended up getting Portal 2 for $15. That’s a steal.
I feel bad though. I bought a physical disc and had it shipped to me, yet all I used was the license key. I literally opened the box and typed the key into Stream then started the download. The disc never left the box.
While not giving away anything whatsoever of the plot, let me just say that right from the first second of the game the humor is back and it’s amaaaaaazing! I had a great time making my way through the environments and enjoying the humor and personality in the game. It’s able to build on the history of the first game so there’s no ramp like in the first game where you don’t actually know there’s a story for the first half of the game (assuming I remember the pacing rightly).
As far as the pure mechanics of the game, puzzles are less about reflexes and more about understanding your environment. That can lead to some minor frustrations, but if I could figure it out then anyone could.
All in all, I think Portal 2 is an excellent sequel. I’m looking forward to trying the co-op when GC is ready.