Portal 2 explores several
innovative physics concepts in great detail. One trick used in several puzzles
involves momentum. Players must place portals on surfaces so that they may fall
into one at high speed in order to come flying out another. The game teaches
this concept and others to players simply in earlier puzzles and later on
integrates them into more complex pieces.
Portal 2 is a linear game, and each puzzle contains one specific
solution. This can actually work to the game's detriment at times, when it
seems like allowing players to come up with their own solutions may be more
satisfying. For the most part, though, puzzles feel satisfying enough. Players
will need to experiment within each test chamber, and figuring out the correct
solution can feel personally satisfying on its own.
Additionally the game contains multiple
hidden areas and Easter eggs for players to discover. While they are not at all
required to enjoy the main game, they actually offer further insights into the
By the Developer:
Portal 2 is as ingenious as the original Portal, and the new cast
of characters and much lengthier campaign make it an even more impressive
package. While the raw novelty of the portal gun is something many players will
now already be familiar with, the game introduces plenty of new elements, like
light bridges and various colored gels. These are combined with the basic
concepts of the first game - using portals to move around objects and conserve
momentum - to make a series of increasingly complex obstacle course-like puzzles.
The game's co-op
mode offers more challenging puzzles that use the fairly amazing idea of
putting two players equipped with their own portal guns in the same space.
The game's story is also much more complex this time around, adding characters
and backstory to fill in the original game's sparse plot.
A fantastic voice
cast helps bring the game's distinct characters to life - a robotic AI named
Wheatley tries to help Chell escape the facility, and an adventure through
Aperture Science's history allows players to hear extensive audio logs
featuring the company's eccentric CEO Cave Johnson. The game is also littered
with hidden surprises.
And finally the
game is visually fantastic. Players will get to watch in real time as the Aperture Science Enrichment
Center collapses and
rebuilds itself around them as they attempt their escape. The game's soundtrack
is also remarkable, as it progressively alters itself to suit the player's
actions. Portal 2's huge production values constantly shine through.
skills are not a factor in Portal 2.
Portal 2 contains a
separate, complete cooperative mode that has two players controlling a pair of
robots that are being put through a series of test chambers. This part of the
game offers puzzles even more complex than those in the main campaign, and
every one is built to require two players to work in tandem. One puzzle, for
example, drops one player into a maze filled with lethal spike walls while the
other player operates a set of switches from outside that allow the first
player to move forward. Other puzzles require players to set up their four
total portals into fairly complex sequences in order to proceed.
The malevolent AI GLaDOS
also speaks to the players throughout, often making comments aimed at pitting
the two robots against each other for comedic affect. Players unlock a series
of emotes that allow their avatars to make high-fives, play rock paper scissors
and eventually hug each other. These small details give the game loads of
The game also
offers a unique set of options for communications. Players can aim at a spot on
a wall or an object and apply markers that will be visible to the other player
to offer hints or suggestions or start short countdowns to aid in attempting to
time complicated maneuvers. Players with headsets can naturally just speak to
each other, but for players without headsets or those looking to experiment
this system offers interesting alternatives.
all about creative problem solving. Generally players will enter a new test
chamber and immediately be able to pick out what elements are going to be involved.
Crates, switches, light bridges, different colors of goo, turrets and other
traps all come into play frequently and players will quickly learn to identify
the uses and hazards of each. The exit is usually easily visible, and it's up
to players to figure how to use their portal guns to reach it.
Describing specific puzzles would be difficult, especially as the game offers
such a wide variety. But it's safe to say that nearly every puzzle requires
players to experiment and consider many elements carefully in order to succeed.
Portal 2 is not a simulation game.
Portal 2 has been praised
enormously since its release, with many reviews calling it the most innovative
game of the year. Several reviews also go out of their way to say that Portal
2 does a good job of avoiding the typical pitfalls that many titles face.
The game's graphics, voiced dialogue and cooperative mode have all been praised
Portal 2 contains basic audio and control options.
Portal 2 was rated Everyone 10+ by the ESRB
with descriptors for Fantasy Violence and Mild Language.