Review: Portal 2 (PS3)

By Wayne Webb

Recently when I’ve been anticipating a game, the reality was always more disappointing than the expectation. Not so with Portal 2, this game is exactly what I wanted, needed and brought more that I hadn’t thought of.

Portal was a challenging little side-adventure that came with the Half Life 2 multi pack “The Orange Box” – I’m not sure that it was anticipated that it would put the Half Life 2 pack to shame and be one of the most innovative and laterally thought out games in recent years.

Just like the original you wake up in the bowels of an underground testing centre and you are put through a series of tests to encourage you to escape. You have a portal gun that opens a dimensional door in blue (entry) and then orange (exit), and so you can open a portal nearby, aim at the other end of the room and create an exit. Walk through it and you save yourself the journey. The tests get progressively harder and require some truly circuitous thought to find the solution to each level.

A computer with serious passive-aggressive (which later becomes actively aggressive) tendencies is guiding and goading you through your adventures. In the new edition you get an alternating guide in the form of the original “computer” sounding female voice and the comic sound of Stephen Merchant (writer/director and actor from the Office and Extras). The alternating personalities and the ongoing plot twists bring more depth and a chance for Portal’s truly funny and yet dark humour.

Portal 2 changes gears and introduces new elements. Lasers are still there, but now there are also light bridges and moving light tunnels to add to the physics challenges that try to get you from here to there (generally the exit of a level).  As you transit out of the expected testing rooms, back into the corridors of the facility, you soon open up into massively spaced levels that rise (or fall) to towering heights and challenge you once again to think on your feet for the odd-ball solution.

This game also has a multiplayer option with a different set of extra levels that require two people together to solve the puzzle. The only drawback in this is convincing your partner that you know what they should be doing rather than them doing it their way. I am truly impressed by Portal 2.

Pros: Fun, challenging, different, hilarious and innovative. New game modes and expansive levels.
Cons: None

5 Out of 5 Shacks