Portal 2 and the Process of Becoming a Favorite
My list of the greatest games of all time (in MY opinion…) was published here not too long ago, but it seems that I’ll soon have to amend it to include the absolutely brilliant Portal 2. Why it’s taken me so long to embrace this incredible game is a mystery to me, but my tastes are undoubtedly more refined since adding it to my palette. I’m not sure where exactly it will fit in my list or if it will crack the top ten or not, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that this has been an amazing and at time unparalleled gaming experience.
Here are just a few reasons why Portal 2 rocks so much ass:
- GLaDOS – This so-called Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System serves as the series antagonist and, through all of her evil ways, she just might be the funniest game character that I’ve ever encountered. She torments players constantly and, in one of many efforts to shake the protagonist, will constantly poke fun at everything; from her perceived weight to the fact that her family simply doesn’t exist anymore. To call her a maniacal bitch feels like a massive understatement, but there is something about her that I absolutely can’t get enough of.
- The mechanics – The process of solving puzzles by creating portals may seem a little on the silly or boring side – as it did to me initially – but, believe me, this game handles its signature gimmick beautifully. As someone with an education in software development, I can sometimes imagine how a game works under the hood and how its various functions come together to form the experience. The portals? I haven’t a sweet freaking clue and, oddly enough, I find it riveting. Games with far more simple functions often feel buggy and haphazardly constructed in comparison and, after spending so much time in Portal’s universe, even slight bugs are becoming unforgivable. My programming hat is off to you, Valve.
- The co-op – I’m really struggling to think of a better cooperative gameplay experience than what is on offer here. My friend and I sat through almost the entire campaign in one playthrough and laughed our fool heads off the entire time. The way that they’ve necessitated team work but allowed for complete dick-overs results in some gut-bustingly hilarious scenarios. In one instance, I felt the need to be a jerk and remove a very helpful Portal from my partner’s path, dooming him to repeatedly smashing into the ceiling above. I laughed until it hurt. I couldn’t believe how much fun I was having and loved the way my brain was genuinely put to work like that. God I love this experience.
- The aesthetics – You wouldn’t think that a dilapidated testing facility would make for such a fun, diverse setting, but Valve pulls it off beautifully. From the destroyed corridors of its hub to the deceptively designed testing chambers, this is clearly a masterwork from a devoted development team. I often bitch about games that recycle settings to churn out annual sequels but, in this case, I’m craving more Portal no matter the cost. Recycle all you want, guys!
I really don’t think I could sing this game enough praises. You really just have to play it to believe it. If you haven’t already, you desperately need to get your hands on Portal 2. It sits at the tempting $20 mark on Steam and, if memory serves me, it’s about $30 on consoles. So pick your poison and get ready for one of the best games ever developed. Don’t get stuck in your ways like I did and ignore this deserving gem.