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4 out of 5

by Tim

The first Portal was revolutionary, by far one of my favorite games of all time.  Will Portal 2 live up to it?  Or will it be another clone in the world of sequels?      

Portal 2 takes the story in Portal and multiplies it, giving you a longer and interesting storyline… but watering it down at the same time.  A new character is introduced as soon as the game starts, Wheatley… a circular robot voiced by the hilarious Stephen Merchant.  Wheatley is your ticket out of the facility for good; he is there to help you get out of the facility that is falling apart.  In his speedy attempt to save you, he accidently brings GLaDOS back to life.  For those of you who didn’t play the first game… first off, shame on you!  Second, GLaDOS was the overseer of the facility.  She walked with you throughout each level to critique and grade your ever move… until she tried to kill you in the final level.  And in the very last sequence of the first game, you destroyed GLaDOS and put an end to her hilarious banter. Ellen McLain reprises her role as GLaDOS as she is awakened by Wheatley in the opening scenes.  Shortly after awakening the monster, GLaDOS puts you back into the facility to continue the training she was putting you through in the first game.  From that point on, the game is very similar to the first… you go from room to room… creating one portal and exiting another.       

My only complaint about most of the game is that it was too easy, I was hoping for more of a challenge from the first half of the game.  Of course each level gets a little more challenging, but it wasn’t challenging enough until the last couple hours.  The last couple hours of the game were much more difficult than the first five hours.  Added elements such as white, blue and orange ooze like substances made the latter levels more difficult.  The white substance would paint the walls white, making every surface a “portable” surface.  The blue blob created a jumpable surface, and the orange gave you super speed while you walked across it.  You are introduced to these elements one at a time, but eventually you will need all three to advance in the game.  One of my favorite new elements was the light bridge.  The light bridge was a beam of light that allowed you to walk on it, this light bridge would go through one portal and out the other… making it a bridge across the map.  All of these new elements were a welcomed addition to the game!       

Humor plays a big part in Portal 2, most of the lines delivered by Ellen McLain (GLaDOS) and Stephen Merchant (Wheatley) were hilarious… you definitely need to turn your speakers up for this game!  Although there was an hour or so where both characters aren’t seen, and instead of their hilarious banter you get “Cave Johnson” (voiced by J.K. Simmons) – these scenes weren’t nearly as funny, and often seemed forced.  I love J.K. Simmons, but I just didn’t find most of his material funny in this game.       

The multiplayer was amazing, but you better have a friend that is good with Portal, or else you could be there for a while.       

I have read and seen many reviews of this game, and honestly I don’t agree with everything they say about it.  5 out of 5?  Really?  This is a perfect game?   I think by giving it more of a story-line and making it longer… they diluted it to death.  They tried to give us a sixty dollar game when I would have welcomed a twenty dollar game.  The easier levels could have been taken out – and at the same time it would cut down on some of the less humorous moments.       

The bottom line: still a great game… just not as good as the original.