Portal was a game that was initially packaged in with "The Orange Box" collection from Valve, and was used as more of an experiment that anything, but it ended up getting great reviews, which led to the creation of it's highly anticipated sequel, Portal 2.
Now, before 2011, I was surprisingly not that interested all that much in video games. Sure, I loved playing games like ROBLOX, Pokemon LeafGreen, Sonic 1 and a bunch of weird virtual pet games on my GBA, but other than that, I honestly wasn't too interested in video games until I bought Super Mario World for the GBA again and loved playing that. I was more into collecting wooden trains and making train sets. Yet oddly enough, the first Portal was one of the games that sort of drew me to the industry. Usually, my brother played lots of FPS games (most notably Call of Duty) on his 360, which didn't really interest me at the time, and yet one day, when he bought the orange box, which of course contained Portal, for some reason it drew my interests, and I even got him to let me play it, which I of course had tons of fun with.
Since then, the series has been hands down my favorite Valve series. Both of the games contain interesting stories and some really fun puzzle strategy. And when I first heard a sequel to Portal was being released, I was pretty hyped for it. Despite that, however, it kind of went under a trend that a lot of my other favorite 2011 games (i.e. Sonic Generations, Super Mario 3D Land, Mario Kart 7) went under, and that was essentially a case where I wouldn't be able to play the games until around 3 to 4 years after their release, due to me not really having a good PC or Steam account, and there wasn't really anything that made me want to buy it for my brother's 360 either for some reason. However, the 2015 Summer Sale came, and my mom let me have $25 for the sale. I was looking at the catalog, and with just my luck, a bundle containing both the Portal games was only around $5 or so, and I bought it instantly, with no hesitation. And let me tell you, that was one of the best game purchases I've ever made.
This review comes from the opinions of the poster himself. This does not reflect the opinions of the rest of the gaming community. Plot Summary: Hundreds of years after the events of the original Portal, Chell is woken up by Wheatley, a personality core and during their escape, they end up waking GLaDOS, who's up for revenge. However, after finding her again, Wheatley replaces her, puts her in a potato and takes over Aperature Science Labs.
Like it's predecessor, Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle platform game. In the single-player playthrough, you play as Chell to explore and interact with the environments and use the portal gun to try to solve puzzles and make it through each level, which can be used in different ways, from simply going to different platforms to finding ways to launch yourself, helping you get to different parts of each level. It sounds simple, pretty much what the first game introduced, but it also introduces a few new mechanics to keep things interesting. As you play through the game, you find new objects that help you make it through the game as well. There's lasers (or Thermal Discouragement Beams), tractor beams (or Excursion Funnels) and Hard Light Bridges, as well as 3 different types of gels - the orange Propulsion Gel that allows you to speed up across sections, the Repulsion Gels that allow you to bounce and increase your jump and the Conversion gel that allows you to place portals on surfaces you usually wouldn't be able to put on. All of these are used throughout the game, and you use them to figure out ways to advance through the game. With these new mechanics in mind, the first-person puzzle gameplay is improved upon even more from the first game. Again, the portal gun is brought back and the mechanics are greatly expanded, and the puzzles here tend to be pretty challenging, especially as you go through the game. And to be honest here, it kind of hit me what makes the Portal games gameplay so great and challenging - it really depends on what perspective you're looking at. If you're stuck on one level, chances are it's because you might not exactly see the puzzle in the right way or in the right perspective. The puzzles throughout the game require a lot of good thinking as well as quick reaction times among other things to solve them. Sometimes you really need to explore the level to get an understanding of what you're supposed to do, but what also helps is the game's well-balanced with it's difficulty. Sometimes there's puzzles that are pretty obvious, other times you'll have to think a bit, as well as test a bit of trial-and-error. This is really what makes the Portal games fun and challenging to me, as they're good examples of puzzle games that require a lot of thinking but aren't just challenging due to poor design choices, and that's only improved further with this game, with it introducing new mechanics, helping it add more variety to the game, and the levels and puzzles are well-designed and well-crafted around all the new ideas and improved mechanics this game brings.
To add to the great gameplay is also the 2-player co-op mode. It continues the game from where it ended, but this time, you and a friend work together to get through another set of challenges this game puts out. This time, you have 2 portal guns and 2 sets of portals, and it as well requires a bit of thinking and communication to make it through, and once again, you and the other player have to work together, again using the mechanics of the game to make it through the levels. It's a pretty fun co-op mode to play with friends and gives you a way to continue playing even after you've beat the main part of the game.
Along with the gameplay, the plot is also improved even more from the first game and this time is more focused on it's story and character development than anything. Chell and GLaDOS are both brought back from the original game, but we also get an expanded cast with a few new characters, most notably Wheatley, a funny yet stupid core who at first tries to help you advance throughout the area, but in the end backstabs you by taking over the laboratory. GLaDOS, this time around, is given a lot of depth and development to her character, as throughout the game you learn a lot more about her backstory and really makes you feel how tragic her backstory actually is, with her essentially being a brain forced into a robot. We also learn a bit about the backstory of Aperature Labs, with that in mind and some of the other details we find out as the game progresses. The plot itself is well-paced and well-executed, by letting the story "unfold" as you play the game, and the writing is really clever. There's also a lot of good dialogue between the characters, with a lot of humor and gags being shared throughout the game. The voice acting is really good here, with Stephen Merchant playing Wheatley, J.K. Simmons playing Cave Johnson and Ellen McLain returning to play GLaDOS, and they all give the characters great voices, and I can just tell they had fun voicing in this game, plus the characters themselves have great personalities and are developed well.
The music of this game is also really good in it's own right. There's a lot of "techno" that fits in with the environments, not to mention the end song "Want You Gone" was extremely catchy. The visuals look good as well, by making the settings and environments pretty detailed, and it's pretty interesting what they can do with the Source engine. I feel like the only problem I personally really had with this game was the loading times. It might just be me and the fact that I'm a non-SSD peasant, but the game tended to take a few minutes to load on both computers I played this on. Other than that, there wasn't really much I disliked about this game.
Overall Opinions: Aside from Undertale, Super Mario World and Freedom Planet, I'd have to say Portal 2 is probably my fourth favorite game of all time. Well, either this or Sonic Generations, but the latter's another review for another time. But like I was saying, Portal 2 is overall a well-crafted and really fun game. The gameplay's great and contains a lot of improved mechanics from the original, the story is well-written, and overall the game is fun and presented well. If you haven't got this game yet, I'd recommend buying it, especially if you liked the original game. It doesn't really require that great of a PC to run well, and overall it's definitely worth getting.
Also, here's a little tip: When life gives you lemons.. don't make lemonade. Make life take the lemons back. GET MAD. I DON'T WANT YOUR DAMN LEMONS, WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THESE? Do you know who I am? I'm the man who's going to BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN.. WITH THE LEMONS. I'm going to invent a combustible lemon that BURNS YOUR HOUSE DOWN.