Portal 2 - game review
If in 2007 someone told me that the Portal would be so successful that a dozen or so months later the crowds of fans would expect its continuation as much as Gordon Freeman's new adventures, I would quote such a statement with a smile of pity. When The Orange Box set was to see the light of day, I did not know anyone who would bet on this product, on the contrary - it was treated as potentially the weakest element of the whole package. And here Portal played a prank - not only the players, but also its creators, who did not believe in the success of this very interesting project. Of course, wrongly, as we now clearly see.
In 2011, the Portal is a real brand, based on a solid foundation and compared with other large Valve titles. He is a guarantee of great fun, as well as a breath of freshness in the ossified electronic entertainment industry, which the developers of independent games are constantly stopping from eating their own tail. The second installment of the cycle perfectly fits this trend, although it cannot be called independent. It's a title made for big money, but at the same time so interesting and original that we can talk about a completely new quality. Really.
The plot of the game is established right after the events we witnessed in the first part. Our mentee - Chell - after destroying GlaDOS, gets out of the Aperture Science center, but after the final skirmish he loses consciousness. A moment later, an unconscious woman is dragged by a unidentified robot to one of the rest rooms at the institute and put to bed. Doug Rattmann comes into action here. The sensuous scientist who survived the massacre in the research complex turns on the life support system in the apartment where the girl was placed.
Many years pass, maybe a dozen or so or several dozen. Chell gets back on his feet after a long sleep and observes with horror that the world around her has changed beyond recognition. The once cozy room is shaken with dingy, and the formerly well-maintained research facility is now overgrown by stately representatives of the local flora. At the request of a robot who arrived at the same time, the woman escapes from the crumbling trap apartment and begins the arduous journey through the ruined complex.
The Second Portal successfully develops the concept of the original. The game boils down mainly to overcoming subsequent test chambers, where specific challenges await Chell. Finding a way out of a given location is not always easy - it is not uncommon to have a solid headgear before you can come up with the idea of how to deal with the problem. The matter is not facilitated by the specific construction of individual arenas, which forces you to find this one, right solution. Before the premiere, I quietly hoped that this time the authors would give players a little more freedom and allow them to pass some tests in several different ways, but none of that. Everything is old.
The "two" is much longer than its memorable predecessor, so you can immediately drop the veil of silence on the fingerless bullshit of four-hour gameplay. You need eight to ten hours to complete the campaign - it all depends on how well you manage the next stages. There are about fifty test chambers alone, and there are also looser fragments when we just traverse subsequent parts of the facility and overcome obstacles. Portal 2 skillfully raises the difficulty level, so the player is not immediately thrown into deep water. First, we learn how to use a portal gun, then more devices are added to the chambers that complicate getting to the exit. At the end of the struggle, most of the previously learned gadgets appear simultaneously, so you need to skillfully use all acquired knowledge. The puzzles themselves are not very difficult somehow (up to the level of single challenges from the "ones"), but they are also not very simple. There is an opinion on the Internet that the second part is much easier than the original, but I can not agree with it. Yes, the "portal" veteran has a simplified task in the sequel, but only at the beginning - later, when new toys enter the action, challenges do not always include a finger in a place where the back loses its noble name.
The cooperative mode has been designed extremely carefully, not only in terms of challenges but also communication between players. Each robot has at its disposal several simple commands (symbolized by clear icons), thanks to which it can indicate to a companion what to do in a given place. Of course, graphic hints will never replace traditional forms of communication (especially the voice one), but I admit that they worked great during the game.
The whole game is filled with a huge portion of humor. Although there are only a few NPCs in the campaign, their lyrics can knock you down in a few moments. Even in the last scene, which is incidentally sad, the authors allowed themselves to include a certain humorous accent ( "Spaaaace!" ). In general, I am full of admiration for the work of the authors of the script - you can see that they feel confident in the portal reality, which also translated into a very high quality of the story. And until recently it seemed that the Portal are only riddles with a substitute for the story - "two" proves that it is completely different.
Portal 2 is an almost perfect game. Almost, because you can't call it perfect. Above all, the old technology is used, which, although it guarantees relatively low hardware requirements, does not provide the appropriate dose of visual pleasure. Kind of portal style does not need graphic fireworks, but some things sting the eyes (low-quality textures, poor detail environment), especially when we step outside sterile test chambers. I am also annoyed by Source's unresolved problem for six years, namely frequent loading. The Second Portal loads almost every new location, which is why the loading screen is observed here very often. The lack of boards in the hardcore version can also be seen as a disadvantage - if someone would really like to put their brains on really solidly, they are forced to wait for any mods. The editor is reportedly on his way.