Review: Portal 2

In this review of Portal 2, we’ll rate each aspect of gameplay on a scale of 1-10, then discuss our opinions of the game. *Disclaimer* We will not be covering Portal in this article, as we find Portal 2 to be more fun and entertaining. Just a quick disclaimer.

Gameplay: 9/10

Plot:8/10

Design/Characters: 7/10

Soundtrack: 9/10

Creativity: 10/10

Gameplay (9/10): Portal 2’s gameplay is fantastic and has better than some games made recently (*cough cough* No Man’s Sky *cough cough*). Portal 2’s gameplay ties into its creativity because the idea of shooting portals and progressing through puzzle rooms, or test chambers, while listening to an evil robot is clever and a new type of game. The genre of Puzzle/Story!

The co-op of Portal 2 is a bit lackluster compared to the main story. The co-op delivers the main idea of gameplay but doesn’t deliver the personality or creativity of the main story or gameplay. In co-op, one person plays as a robot named Atlas and the other person plays as a robot named P-Body. All you do in co-op is complete test chambers… that’s it, no escaping GLaDOS, no Running from Wheatley, no Boss Battles. Just testing. The co-op gameplay is a good sample of the portal series but I would only play it if you have a younger sister or brother who wants to play with you, otherwise just stick to the main story. One thing to mention is that this games has a crazy amount of replay ability, that is why portal still lives up to games today.

Plot (8/10): Portal 2’s plot went through many iterations, but the Valve team found the perfect balance of straight up puzzle solving and an engaging story that will make you want to keep playing to see what happens. The plot is mostly strict, but with a sense of replayability to access hidden areas or get achievements. Overall, this game’s plot is one of the most exciting and interesting plots I’ve seen in a game.

One downside (if you call it a downside) to Portal 2’s plot is that at times the gameplay over takes the plot. In most test chambers there is some element of story but the gameplay can distract some people because of its difficult and intriguing qualities. After playing through Portal 2 twice you being to notice the story more and that is one of the beauties of the Portal series, it’s very replayable.

Soundtrack (9/10): Most of the soundtrack is ambient music, however at certain point of tension or action the music ramps up like crazy getting your adrenaline rushing. Doing certain actions, such as using a Faith Plate to using Gels also triggers music. And of course, the end credits song.

…Here are some songs that we consider our favorites:

  1. There She Is
  2. I Saw a Deer Today
  3. Still Alive
  4. Want You Gone
  5. Turret Wife Serenade
  6. You Will Be Perfect
  7. Space Phase
  8. Some Assembly Required
  9. Subject Name Here
  10. The Part Where He Kills You
  11. Bombs For Throwing At You
  12. Cara Mia Addio
  13. You’re Not a Good Person
  14. Music of The Spheres 2 (Incendiary Lemons)

We recommend you listen to these on the soundtrack. They can be hard to hear in game. The music is really becomes a part of the game, and you don’t realize you’re listening to it until you hear the songs outside of the game.

Design/Characters (7/10): The characters in Portal 2 are not the game’s strong point but the few characters the game has are very memorable and still stand out among modern game characters. The game’s characters are very memorable, the major example of this would be Wheatley. Not to spoil anything but Wheatley ends up being a very memorable, funny, and great all around character. The other major characters, GLaDOS (glad-os) and Chell (shell), aren’t as in depth as Wheatley. For one, Chell doesn’t talk… the whole game, not once and GLaDOS acts more like a heartless robot than a character like Wheatley.

The game’s character design is… Well, what do you expect from two robots and a human which you rarely get to see. One of the game’s lowest points is its character design, Wheatley is basically a ball, GLADOS is some weird robot hanging from the roof (she also becomes a potato at some point), and Chell is a human. That is basically the design of the characters.

Creativity (10/10): The concept of portal is very unique and abstract in the way it is implemented is great. Portal 2 is one of the few games that uses the Puzzle/Story so the creativity is already showing from the very start of the game. The way you are introduced to aperture laboratories and Wheatly and how the game shows GLaDOS as an old computer but in reality that is false. The concepts and mechanics of the game really showcase Valve’s creativity here. The use of surface changing gels, for example, are an alternate way to make around and add a whole new dimension to the puzzles presented. The game throws you right into game play and story but in a comfortable way.

The creativity that Valve brings to the table with Portal 2 is incredible and has changed the way modern puzzle games look and play. The game uses the Source engine, the same engine that Portal and Half Life 2 use. However, Valve has brought an entirely new aesthetic to the series, making the use of an old engine really feel new. The use of “broken” and “abandoned” aesthetics for parts of the game really help the feel of the overall game.

Thank you for reading our Portal 2 review. We hope you try out Portal 2; we guarantee you will enjoy it.

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Elijah Lee

Author, Webmaster, Octopus Conservation Officer
I am a 7th grader devoted to technology, science and music. I write good things sometimes. Octopi are great.

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About the Author

Elijah Lee
I am a 7th grader devoted to technology, science and music. I write good things sometimes. Octopi are great.
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