Black Holes and Cheerios

Portal 2
Developer: Valve
Publisher: Valve
Genre: Puzzle
Release Date: 04/19/2011

If you never played Portal in 2007 then you missed out on one of the most mind-bending and humorous games from that era. In fact if you didn’t play the first portal you should probably stop reading this review and go play it before playing Portal 2 because you’ll be missing out on a lot of the humor in the second game. The second game is even more crazy and funny than the first game.

Portal 2 takes place some time after the first game. The Aperture Science Center is in shambles. Along the way you’ll meet a new character, Wheatley, a bumbling AI who tries to help you escape. But as you soon find out he ends up doing more harm than good. Through the course of the game you’ll meet old friends, make new ones, and even find things out about Aperture Science that you never thought you would.

The gameplay is similar to the first game. You use the power of portals to get through test chambers. However, the solutions to these chambers have drastically changed. In the first game you mainly just used portals to move blocks and energy balls. In the sequel you’ll use various substances and energy matter to help change the surface of the world to help you escape. There are now co-op stages with it’s own separate storyline and also user made levels through the steam workshop to keep things fresh.
The graphics are improved over the first game. The first portal was never that demanding and neither is this game, but it is nice to look at . The game runs smooth and all the effects look good.

The main appeal of this game is the humor and the puzzles and the game delivers on this front. There are a lot of in jokes based on the first game so those who who have not played the first game would not get the jokes but I still think they would laugh. The voice acting in the game is great which helps drive the humor home. The puzzles are more challenging than ever, the developers throw a whole new bag of tricks at you. Rarely did I get stumped, but towards the end it did take me some time to think of what to do.

If you enjoyed the first portal there is no reason you would not enjoy the sequel. The sequel improves on the first game in every way. It looks better, is more challenging and funnier than it’s predecessor. If you’re new to the series you probably won’t get as much as enjoyment out of someone who played the first game but you will still probably be able to enjoy this game a great deal.

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