Five Reasons Why You NEED to Play Portal 2

Deploying smooth jazz in 3…



1.  GLaDOS and Wheatley –  I’d be hard pressed to find a duo of video game characters more interesting (and funny) than these two and both are voiced to perfection.  Ellen McLain reprises her role as the sadistic, rogue AI GLaDOS.   Yup.  That crazy robot bitch is back and she’s bitter (well…you DID murder her, after all).  Some of the verbal jabs she takes at you throughout your “testing” are harsh and hilarious.

Stephen Merchant (known for his work The Office and Extras) provides the voice for Wheatley, a goofy sidekick robot who tries to assist you when you wake up in the bowels of the Aperture Laboratories test facilities.  Merchant does a masterful job and I’m positive his performance will be up for quite a few awards when it’s all said and done with.

2.  Comedy Gold - Did I mention that this game is funny?  It is.  And not just funny “haha” either.

But what’s so funny about being kidnapped (twice!) and forced to run through a gauntlet of evil experiments meant to kill you?  Nothing, of course.  Fat jokes?  Nope.  Not really.  How about the one about how you were adopted and your birth parents are better off being without you?  Not funny, right?  WRONG!  It’s incredibly funny.

Valve does a great job of keeping the laughs coming without becoming too cheesy.   There are many reasons why it works, but it’s mostly because these jokes are b0rn from tragedy.  And like someone said, “Comedy equals tragedy plus time.”

3.  New Testing Elements - Lets face it.  In the original Portal, there was really only one way to solve a puzzle.  Step one – place blue portal here.  Step two – place orange portal there.  Step Three – Flip a switch that does something or other.  Step Four – Victory!  Well, maybe a little more complex than that, but you didn’t really do much else when it was all said and done with.

If Portal 2 didn’t expand beyond those basic gameplay elements, things would become very boring.  Luckily for us, the fine scientists at Aperture have been hard at work creating plenty of  new toys to play with.

Gizmos like the Hard Light Bridges, Thermal Discouragement Beams, and Gels add a whole new level of complexity to the puzzles.  Valve does a smart thing here and introduces new elements one at a time.  After a few introductory levels, they spring the really tough tests on you, requiring you to use everything you’ve learned.

4.  Cute and Cuddly Co-op Play - Well cute and cuddly may not be the correct words that I’m looking for, but it sounded good and I needed a witty beginning for this part.

Gimme a hug!

Fans of the original Portal bitched, and moaned, and bitched some more about the lack of co-op play in the original.  So what did Valve do?  They delivered with a full-fledged standalone campaign that is just as cool (if not better) than the single player experience.

The puzzles are definitely harder, but much more rewarding.  Voice communication is almost a must, but they’ve included tools to get you by in case you can’t chat for some reason.  For instance, if you need to time a jump or push a couple of buttons together at the same time, you can trigger a timer that initiates a three second countdown.  If you need your partner to place a portal in a particular place, you can mark it for them.  It does make life a lot easier.

I had the pleasure of running through a good chunk of these levels with our friend Eric and it was a blast.

5. It’s a perfect sequel in nearly every way - It’s Wrath of Khan.  It’s Empire Strikes Back.  There’s not a whole lot more I can tell you without delving into spoiler territory (and I’ve been told that I’ll have my balls chopped off if I did that).  Portal 2 does what a sequel is supposed to do, it takes the crack that gamers got addicted to the first time around and refines it into a fine rock that you want to smoke again and again.*

The only gripe that I have is that once it was over with, I wanted GLaDOS to throw me back into the laboratory so I could continue her twisted experiments.  I’m a more than willing test subject.

*Channel Massive does not support the use of crack or any other drug.  Drugs are bad.   Mmmmmkay?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Be On the Show! Email Us
Podcast RSS
Blog RSS
Current Poll

How often do you play MMOs?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Blog Categories
Fave Blogs