Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Played Lately: Portal 2

  • Once again, this post and the following comments is a spoiler-free zone. I may be past the point where spoiler affect me, but I know not everyone has finished the game. So for now, let's keep this a safe place for all readers.

  • Friday night, sometime after midnight, I finally reached the end of Portal 2. Like the first game, it was an amazing, cathartic experience. The ending was wonderful and wonderous. I enjoyed it so much that I immediately went back to the main menu and started again. Only this time I played with the developer commentary on. And now I want to play it again.

  • It took me three days to work through all the puzzles the first time. The second time, even while listening to the commentary, I finished it in a night. Like the first game, it changes the entire tone of the game when you aren't beating your head on your desk working out the puzzles. Subsequent trips are more about technical execution and thoroughly exploring the environment. There is so much to look at and listen too that is easy to overlook the first time. And since you already know the puzzles, you can challenge yourself to finish them better and faster.

  • Quotes keep coming up that Portal 2 makes you feel smart for figuring out the puzzles. I think it is deeper, though. Playing though the game and manipulating the environment gave me a sense of empowerment that few games can match. Usually, the extent of your interactions are shooting dudes and occasionally chasing down a dialogue tree. Here you are changing the world to fit your needs. With your portal gun, you are no longer constrained by the reality as we normally experience it. It really makes you feel like your abilities are only constrained by your imagination.

  • Again, I'm not going to spoil anything, but the end of this game is amazing. From the final boss confrontation to the denouement to the end credits, I love it unreservedly. If you thought the end of Portal was great, play this game. Play the game anyway. It is so worth it.

  • As it stands now, I have already started my Top Five Video Games list for 2011 and Portal 2 is at the top. Everyone else better step up because those last four positions will be going fast.

  • I may have to post some spoiler talk here one of these days. I promise there will be plenty of warning.

© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.

1 comment:

  1. I am pretty much foaming to play portal II. I would already have bought it but I have a guest in town this weekend and wouldn't be able to play.