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Reflections on Portal 2

April 30, 2011

I’ve been playing Portal 2 and my first impression is ‘wow’. (I’m playing on PS3) Its a great puzzle game based around a really simple premise and it works, fantastically. Most of the really great games are based around a simple gameplay premise and then just vary the players interaction with that premise by degrees. If you’ve not played Portal (1 or 2) the idea is that you are in a room and have to open a door to exit. However either/or getting to the door is hard or opening it requires tasks to be completed. To aid you, you have a portal gun, which allows you to place two wormhole ends in different places on the level that either/or means you can then jump between them or pass objects though them. Here’s how it looks:

So the game has the basic gameplay mechanic all sewn up. So what else makes this a great game? When not only is it a great mechanic, but its perfectly implemented. So the graphics are great, the setting is interesting, the narrative is fun – and when you hit all of these targets – it means game gold.

Then there are the final elements that ice the cake. First is the humour in the game. It’s a lot of fun to play, and this is enhanced by the klutzy mini-robot voiced by Stephen Merchant and the sadistic yet bureaucratic controlling AI who runs the levels. Then there is the game in 2-player co-op which is more levels that are ace fun. (On PS3 you can play split-screen or online, so I’ve added the game to my list of amazing co-op games for PS3.)

Postal 2 – Instabuy!

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