Holiday Revisit: Portal 2

As the holidays approach, Leviathyn is here to help you remember some of the great games of 2011 with some mini-reviews. Jot these titles down on your shopping list and enjoy some quality gaming. Happy holidays!

The time has come to test once again. For science. You monster.

Portal 2 is a masterpiece. It shouldn’t be all that interesting, considering it’s merely a puzzle game with warp portals and a silent protagonist named Chell. However, the puzzles are nothing short of brilliant. The story is one of the best of the year, adding quite a bit of lore to an already intriguing plot line. The voice acting could end up being the best of this generation. Even the co-op play is masterfully done. Portal 2 is the complete package, and if you missed it back in April, you should definitely get into it now.

Portal 1 was a short game, only about three hours. As such, I was a bit worried how Portal 2 would expand on such a small amount of game. Needless to say, my fears were quelled as soon as I started. The game will send you to the dilapidated remains of the original testing facility, through the history of Aperture Science itself, and finally to an ending that I feel is one of the best endings I’ve ever seen. Not because of a major plot twist, nor is it due to a final battle of epic proportions, but because of its simplicity and charm. You’ll be smiling all the way to the credits.

While the portal-based puzzles work similarly to the original game, Portal 2 throws some new elements into the mix. These include light bridges, “Excursion Funnels” (pillars of light that push the player in a certain direction), and various gels with different properties. The blue gel, Replusion, allows Chell to soar higher than usual after jumping on it. The orange gel, Propulsion, gives Chell super speed whenever she runs on it. Finally, the white gel, Conversion, allows any surface that it hits to be portaled, even if it couldn’t previously hold one. The creative ways that these gets are implemented into the puzzle-solving is nothing short of mind-blowing.

Though it came out wayyyyy back in April, Portal 2 is easily one of the top games of 2011. It would be a travesty if someone who couldn’t play it then forgot about it amongst the crazy holiday release schedule. If Portal 2 passed you by, make sure to catch up to it. It’s worth every second.

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