Portal 2 Review: How Have You Been, You Monster?

Portal 2 has been out for about a week now, but I know there are a few of you guys sitting on the fence asking the question ‘So… SHOULD I get it?’ Hopefully we at HereBeGeeks can answer your question.

Portal 2 takes place more or less where Portal left off, with you waking up in Aperture after being dragged back by… probably the Aperture backup system. Again, you try to escape the Aperture facility, but quickly run into an old friend of yours, as well as delve into the sordid history of Aperture Science.

And with that starts an absolutely addictive run of puzzles. With lasers, turrets, bouncey plates, antigravity beams and a triumverate of coloured goop. I literally missed sleep the first few nights, with the ‘one more room’ mentality… just like a rat in a maze.

But perhaps the very strength of Portal 2 is its greatest weakness; I finished the single player game in three nights, and I know people who finished it within the day. While longer than Portal, the speed at which you chew through the puzzles and story might leave you begging for more at the end. And while the story and tension is TOP-NOTCH, there isn’t much replayability; it IS a puzzle game after all. If you’ve solved the puzzle once, you’re likely to solve it again. All that’s left are unlocking the achievements and looking out for Easter Eggs that you might have missed the first time around.

Then again, that’s where co-op comes in. The new extra thing in Portal 2, co-op is a series of puzzles impossible to solve without a buddy (on Steam, PSN and the like). And with 4 portals, there’s a LOT you can do. I’ve not had opportunity to check out co-op yet, but from what I can see, it’s going to be a lot of fun. Especially if you and your friend have a mike or are able to talk to each other in game.

So, is Portal 2 great? It indubitably is. Is it…. 50USD great? I’m not so sure about that. Fans of the first game will definitely love the second, and it is rife with moments of intense awesomeness, hilarity and sometimes even a little bit of creepiness. But as I mentioned, without the co-op, it seems pretty short. I’d say that if you have a buddy to test with, Portal 2 is a good buy. But if you don’t, and if you weren’t crazy enough to pre-order or buy it on the release date, and if you don’t have a Halflife 2 itch to scratch (god knows I do) you could probably afford to wait for it to drop 10 or 20 bucks.

Rating: 7/10 (or 8/10 with the co-op, and 10/10 if there was MORE)


Singapore’s resident Press Ganger, that is, the man to go to for Privateer Press’ WARMACHINE, and HORDES. Kakita also dabbles in Games Workshop’s WARHAMMER FANTASY and WARHAMMER 40K lines.

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