The original Portal was a breath of fresh air for all gamers, as it offered wonderful gameplay, lots of humor and style. All while being quite limited to only a few hours of gameplay and with minimalistic visuals. After much anticipation, the sequel is here, and it delivers across the board for any Portal fan — any videogame fan, period. Not only does it offer great puzzles, lots of humor, but also sports a wonderful story and characters.
Portal 2 has the same ground principles as Portal 1, you’re still armed with your trusty Portal gun, where you create entrances and exits to Portals in order to solve puzzles. Portal 2 ups the ante by introducing several new gameplay features, including gels that propel you, light bridges, tractor beams, jump pads and lots of other stuff. The puzzles are far more intricate this time, and are still based around the same principle: open the door to exit the level. Usually this is done by transporting companion cubes to activate a switch etc. And while the puzzles are a lot more intricate and complex, they never feel impossible, and you can usually beat any level with a few tries and some creative thinking. And you’ll be doing a lot creative thinking in Portal 2.
There’s also multiplayer in Portal 2, with co-op gameplay. Here, you play as two bots, and you have to work together to solve the puzzles and get through the levels. Teamwork in Portal 2 co-op is a must, and you won’t solve a single puzzle without working together. Since this can be a little tricky if you can’t talk to the person (Portal 2 supports VOIP), there are a set of tools you can easily access in order to communicate with each other — a great touch many games seem to be forgetting these days when it comes to co-op.
Visually, the game looks an order of magnitude better than Portal 1. But Portal 2′s visuals still don’t fully stack up with the recent shooters like Crysis 2. What the visuals in Portal 2 do, is create an amazing atmosphere, with wonderful lighting effects, shadows, and art design. There is a lot more details and style in the world, and despite still using the aging Source engine, it manages to be just enough for a game like Portal 2.
Overall, Portal 2 is the must have sequel to Portal, it offers everything the previous game had, only a lot bigger, better, and with a ton of new features (like co-op). It’s our first must buy game of 2011.
Amazing gameplay and puzzles
Never feels frustrating or impossible
Lots of humor
Great atmosphere and story
Cp-op is a blast
Somewhat dated visuals
Too many loading times
Overall score: 9/10