Volume 1, Number 13 - April 26, 2011

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Gregory Castillo
Gregory Castillo
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Entertainment Entertainment

Puzzles, Platforms & Portals

By Gregory Castillo

When you hear the all too familiar voice of a psychotic, sarcastic super computer villain: “Hello, it’s been a long time,” you know Portal 2 has finally arrived.

The follow-up to 2007’s critically-acclaimed first-person, platforming puzzler Portal, the highly anticipated Portal 2 replicates and significantly improves on the original experience.  

You play as Chell, the mysterious female protagonist, woken up suddenly by a quirky, silly robot named Wheatly during a test conducted by Aperture Laboratories. Players are soon reacquainted with GLaDOS, the antagonist from the first game before all hell breaks loose.

The game play is familiar, following the simple principles that made the original Portal a massive success. Players solve complicated puzzles with the aide of the portal gun, a device that allows you create three-dimensional entrance and exit warp holes to travel around the map; solving challenging, platforming and physics based levels.

The fan favorite companion cube is back, and so is the humor and writing that made the story of the original fun and engaging. Brand new elements help you go faster, farther and get you where you need to be; solving both new and classic tasks.

A big addition to Portal 2 is the inclusion of a co-op game play mode. It allows a second player to join in the fun and take on more massive levels and puzzles only solvable with teamwork. The mode is completely separate from the solo-campaign, while enjoying the same trademark fast, witty dialogue of the series with a friend.

Graphics are improved from the original, which certainly helps add to the clean and crisp presentation of a catastrophic in-game world.

Like the original, the single player campaign isn’t that long, topping at about eight to nine hours maximum for most. That, along with paying for down-loadable content, seem to be the only downfalls of Portal 2.

All in all, Portal 2 delivers on what was expected, offering more of what we wanted and delivering an experience that most definitely takes the cake (pun intended).

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