James was kind enough to gift me Portal 2 earlier this week and seven hours of game time later I had the single player finished.[1] I thought the game took a good while to get going, with GLaDOS not seeming her old self for a good while, and I thought the beginning was really dull, and GLaDOS’s challenges were boring, but then it gets good with the forbidden testing and Wheatley’s testing, especially once you had Wheatley and GLaDOS playing off each other, the latter from her potato.

There are some really fun sequences when you fall out of the test chamber system and the two traps GLaDOS sets up for you, and learning more about the history of Aperture Science deep underground was great; the three gel puzzles down there were really enjoyable.

Now to consider this game alongside the original Portal. The beginning really was a massive weakness for me in this respect because it was more of the same without the Portal feel you get from GLaDOS. I also felt that Wheatley was pretty cheesy, but he got a lot better. Upping the scale to include so much more of the facility and adding things like funnels made it into a worthwhile sequel in the end.

I didn’t really understand how Chell got inside again until I was told that they hacked the Portal ending to have her re-captured. I am really annoyed to hear this. Firstly, the ending had a great feel to it, which they didn’t quite get at the end of the second—probably because GLaDOS let you out—of “yeah now I’m out, but what next?” and there were hints of the HalfLife 2 ruined world situation, and you were rewarded by having played both. Having her re-captured seems like a really cheap way of doing a sequel at the cost of a great original ending.

Have started playing the co-op; lots of fun.

[1] I also finished off the StarCraft II campaign the same day, but I’ve said enough about that already.

comment X3HEADA8BUW33FUB

The altered ending is really not a “hack”- after all, the original ending had you blacking out. This gives you a few more seconds of consciousness. Watch it and evaluate.

Comment by jr512 Thu 25 Aug 2011 00:29:04 UTC