Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Played Lately: Portal 2

  • There will be no spoilers in this post and I will not allow them in the comments. I just want to share my impressions so far without spoiling the game for you.

  • Have you played Portal yet? If not, go play Portal. Right now. Don't even read this post. You might have read the memes or heard the song, but that is all nothing without the context. So go and don't come back until you have.

  • I'm assuming the rest of you aren't Cheaty McCheaterpants, so let's talk Portal 2. So far, about halfway through, it is amazing. It is everything you remember from the first game, but with more polish and greater detail than before. It is the iconic form of a game sequel: everything you loved about the prior game, but bigger, better, and with something new that you didn't realize was even missing from the first game. The environments are bigger and more intricate, the characters are more interesting, and the puzzles are move varied.

  • Valve gets a lot of credit for storytelling through environment. I finally, with Portal 2, understand what everyone means. Instead of littering text or audio logs through their levels, the environment itself tell you the story. Sure, there are characters that talk to you (the classic silent protagonist), but if that is all you are paying attention too, you will miss out on some of the most interesting parts of the game.

  • I had forgotten how much the puzzles drive me crazy. Since the environments here can be so much bigger, it is harder to get my head around them. So many times it helps to step away for a while (to change a diaper, for instance) and come back more rested. But when you do figure out the trick, it feels so great, and so insane, that it all worked.

  • I'm done. At this point, anything I could talk about is a spoiler. Instead of writing this, I want to get back to the game and finish it. And you should too, Cheaty McCheaterpants.

© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.


  1. Word on the street is that portal II is even better than the first one, and Portal is one of my all timer favorite games. I'm really looking forward to it. Glad to hear you are digging it.

  2. Thanks again for gifting me Portal. I still haven't found the time to play it, but I'm still so happy I have it now; it's been on my list of games to buy since...forever. I look forward to sinking my teeth into it!

  3. I loved loved loved Portal. Which is odd really because I tend to get frustrated and ragequit when playing puzzle games and platformer games. I haven't played Portal 2 yet, I'm going to wait until I get some freetime in my play schedule and amazingly Rift is still dominating my attention. Even so, it's been amazingly easy to avoid spoiler talk. I'm surprised/relieved there hasn't been more of that on blogs and Twitter.

  4. @ Yeebo - Really digging it. I may even try out the co-op some time.

    @ MMOGC - Happy to do so. I ended up with an extra copy from my preorder and I saw you didn't have one. Give it a try!

    @ Blue Kae - I am the same way, but Portal ramps up the difficulty just right, I feel. I did get frustrated a couple times with Portal 2, but it just took stepping away and coming back with fresh eyes to figure out the solution.