About Portal 2
Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle-platform video game developed and published by Valve Corporation. The sequel to the 2007 video game Portal was announced on March 5th, 2010 and released on April 19th, 2011. It was released by Valve through Steam for Microsoft Windows and Mac OS X, while the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and retail Windows/OS X versions of the game are distributed by Electronic Arts. Portal 2 also includes a two-player co-operative mode, in which the robotic player-characters Atlas and P-Body are each given a portal gun and are required to work together to solve test chambers specifically designed to require cooperation.
Game PlayLike Portal, Portal 2 primarily comprises a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player's character and simple objects using the "portal gun", a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes. The game's physics allow momentum to be retained through these portals, which must be used creatively to maneuvre through the game's challenges. Most gameplay elements of the original Portal were retained in the sequel, and more were added to Portal 2, including tractor beams, laser redirection, bridges made of light, and paint-like gels that impart special properties to objects they cover.
Within the single player campaign, the player returns as the human Chell, having awakened from stasis after many years. Chell must navigate the now-dilapidated Aperture Science Enrichment Center and its test chambers with the portal gun while the facility is rebuilt by the reactivated GLaDOS, an artificially intelligent computer that first appeared in Portal. The storyline is longer than that of Portal's and introduces new characters, including the A.I. Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Merchant, and recordings of the deceased Aperture Science CEO Cave Johnson, voiced by J. K. Simmons. Ellen McLain reprised the role of GLaDOS. Jonathan Coulton and The National produced one song each for the game.
ReceptionThough many reviewers were initially concerned about the difficulty of expanding Portal into a full sequel, critics universally praised Portal 2. The game's writing, pacing, and black humour were highlighted as stand-out elements, with critics applauding the voice work of McLain, Merchant, and Simmons. Reviews also highlighted the new gameplay elements, the game's challenging but surmountable learning curve, and the additional co-operative mode. Numerous gaming journalists ranked Portal 2 among the top games of 2011, including several naming it their Game of the Year.
My ThoughtsIt was my boyfriend Shaun that introduced me to the Portal franchise. I attempted to work my way through Portal on his computer but found that my logic and problem-solving skills were not up to scratch so I never finished it. When Portal 2 came out I watched Shaun play bits and pieces of it, and found it extremely entertaining. In 2011 I downloaded Steam, and Shaun bought me both Portal AND Portal 2 to play on it. I then completed both games by myself (with perhaps a little help from walkthroughs etc) and Shaun and I completed the co-operative game in Portal 2, which was great fun. I prefer the sequel to its predecessor, not only because it's a longer game and has a bigger plot, but because the dialogue is extremely funny. It's very clever how everything comes together, how you work your way up through the old facility and listen to Cave Johnson's monologues, and team up with GLaDOS (the potato!) to defeat Wheatley. One of my favourite parts of the game is when you 'rescue' the Oracle (or Different) Turret; it's adorable and I always feel bad when I have to kill it in the Emancipation Grill :(
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Space Core: I'm in space.
Wheatley: I know you are, mate! Yep, we're both in space.
Space Core: SPAAAAACE!