REViEWERS DETAiLS
Review by The Advocator
Based on 13 Hours of Playing

System
Platform PC
- Intel i7-860 CPU
- Gigabyte P55A-UD5 Motherboard
- 4GB (DDR3) 1600 Patriot Viper2 RAM
- ATI Radeon 1GB 5770 Video Card
- Seasonic M12D 850watt PSU
- Thermaltake V9 Case
- Corsair HD50 Water cooling
- Zalman ZM-MFC3 Controller
- 3 x 120mm Thermaltake ISGC Fans
      (thermal dynamic bearing)
- 1 x 230mm Fan
- 24" BenQ V2400eco LED Monitor
- Logitech G9 Mouse (3200dpi)
- Windows 7 Ultimate (32bit) OS

Created On : 23rd of April, 2011
Modified On : 23rd of April, 2011
 
RATiNG
This GAME Scored:
Graphics
  9/10
Game Play
  9/10
Game Design
  9/10
Plot/Story
10/10
Level Design
  9/10
SFX
10/10
Music
10/10
Config
10/10
Navigation
10/10
Secrets / Rewards
  3/10

FINAL RATING
91.75 %
A
( 9.2 / 10 )
 
POSSiBLE iMPROVEMENTS
Here is a list of some key areas that this GAME could be improved.

  • Give the option for a skill level setting
  • Or provide alternate solving solutions (easy / hard) with reward for hard
  • Allow an open portal to be closed
  • When opening a portal could the orientation be chosen? So you could choose if you exit the portal upside down or not?
 
 

Adventure - First person puzzle

A Realistic Review of PORTAL 2

VALVE
Portal 2
( Portal2 )
Valve have always made interesting games, and Portal 2 is certainly continuing that trend. This game presents you with a first person perspective and challenges you with a game that is totally based on puzzles. The graphics are excellent, the challenges are all quite interesting and a couple had me thinking for a few minutes. There is no combat involved in this game at all, but that certainly doesn't detract from its enjoyment factor.

A very enjoyable game and includes some excellent dialogue that's chocked full of comedy and wit. Infact this game has the best wit I've encountered and had me laughing on numerous occasions.

Replayability: Possible to replay but unlikely as the puzzle solutions are now known.

CONCLUSiON
Very enjoyable, however there is no skill setting and many of the puzzles didn't present enough of a challenge. I completed the game much sooner than I had anticipated. I certainly didn't rush through it and I had no intention of trying to finish it as fast as I could.

It would have been nice if some puzzles had multiple solutions, so you could choose to either take the easy solution, or challenge yourself and try for the harder solution, and then offer a reward (or another level).

The story is unique and the cut sequences are interesting enough that you'll not want to skip them.

VALVE Portal 2 Portal2
AVAILABLE PiCTURES
Click on thumbnail to view that image. It may initially take a second or two before it is displayed

PiCTURE DESCRiPTiON
 



A More Indepth Analysis of each Section.
Click on each "Tab" to read about that section.

Graphics
Game Play
Game Design
Plot/Story
Level Design
SFX
Music
Config
Navigation
Secrets / Rewards

(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Graphics

The Good

Very good with each level being very well detailed and including some excellent shadow effects.

Each level is either a progression from the last, or an interum level that doesn't actually look like a level, however the whole game feels very consistent and each level complements the immersion that the game offers.

First Person View only.

The Bad

In a few small instances you're placed in the dark and the only light source is the robot companion, however it doesn't keep up with you so you're often left stumbling in the dark.

Being a First Person View only you're vision does feel quite limited at times as you can't see what is available in the next room, or on a high platform. This will result in the fact that you will die a few times while you work out exactly what you have to do to solve the puzzle. Many levels include areas resulting in death. Such as water and bottomless pits.




(This Section equates to 20% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Game Play

The Good

This game relies purely on scripting. You accomplish a specific task and something happens. This is absolutely fine and what you would expect for a puzzle based game. The game still throws in a few small unexpected twists and turns which keeps the game fresh between levels, and some levels don't even look like a level.

Each level provides you with features that you must use in order to complete the test. These are all very interesting and unique and will allow you to circumvent large obstructions and give you the ability to jump large distances.

The range of unique things you can do in the game is great. I won't explain any of them here because it's more interesting to discover them when you play the game. You can re-route objects, lasers and other items through any portal that you open. This is very cool fun.

The primary thing you will be doing is opening portals that will allow you to move from one section to another section instantly. This is a cool idea.

One thing that is worth pointing out, is that there is no falling damage. Woohoo. This means you can fall from great distances and not die. Infact many of the puzzles require that you can do this in order to complete the challenge.

The Bad

There is not much prompting in the game which is good, however sometimes you're just left wondering what you have to do as there is no clear path. This is primarily in the behind the scenes sections. Even though this is mentioned in the bad it is only a small issue because you will work it out.

Creating portals can result in a conundrum because you will be able to look at yourself entering or existing the other portal through the portal. Looks kind of weird, especially when you do that and find out you're a girl.

Using portals is great however it will also change your perspective. You will be turned around, rotated or inverted as you exit a portal, this can cause you disorientation especially if you need to do something (such as open another portal) the instant you leave the existing portal. You will often find yourself exiting the portal facing the wrong way, so you may find that a few sequences you will have to complete numerous times until you work out which direction you have to turn, the instant you exit the current portal.

It would be good if you could turn a portal off. Once you open a portal you can not close it. You can only relocate it somewhere else. It would have been nice that if you open a blue portal that you could click to open another blue portal where the current blue portal exists in order to turn it off.




(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Game Design

The Good

There are two types of level design. Each type offers you different features.

The Official Testing Chamber. Here is where you have the most amount of information available to you. Each chamber provides you with an information chart as to what options are available for you to use. In the chamber you will see markings to help you indicate what you need to do and where the exit is.

Behind the Scenes Sections. In many instances you will be taken behind the scenes of the facility where the testing is conducted and you need to navigate your way either to the next testing chamber, or to the next game sequence. These areas will offer you the most challenge because nothing is sign posted. There is rarely a clear exit marked, and if there is, it is usually almost out of your vision, so you have to progress part way into the level before it becomes visible. I found these sections of the game very enjoyable.

There is no in game map, no journal, no pda, no inventory and no ability to upgrade your character, or the portal gun. Not that any of these items are really needed in this style of game.

SAVING

You can save anytime you want and it is honored. It is not a checkpoint saving game, however it does autosave numerous times for you, such as each time you complete a task, or each time you enter a new level.

The Bad

There is not much prompting in the game which is good, however sometimes you're just left wondering what you have to do as there is no clear path. This is primarily in the behind the scenes sections. Even though this is mentioned in the bad it is only a small issue because you will work it out.



(This Section equates to 12.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Plot/Story

The Good

A very interesting and unique concept that was a pleasure to follow. You are also able to understand what is going on and why. There is enough dialogue throughout the game to keep you informed and for once the plot / story isn't all obfuscated with red herrings, implausible sequences or forcing you into completing objectives that you have no clear understanding of. (this seems to be the premise for most modern FPS games these days.)

The Bad

At the start of the game the robot mentions that it has thousands of humans to manage, however it chooses to only interact with you? Only a small issue though. Maybe i misunderstood something in the introductory sequence.

The dialogue from the robot is funny, witty and generally interesting to listen to, however some times the robot is talking while you can continue to walk to another room, making the dialogue virtually impossible to hear. This caused me to backtrack to where the robot was until it completed whatever task it was trying to complete, so I could hear all the dialogue, then I moved forward to complete my task. Only a small issue, but none the less when the dialogue is this interesting and clearly they have spent quite a bit of effort making it, that it is a shame if you miss out on some of it.




(This Section equates to 15% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Level Design

The Good

Very good. Each level is unique, but consistent enough with each other to keep continuity with the whole game and to keep the immersion factor high. There is enough diversity in each level to hold your interest and the challenges each section offer are all good fun to complete.

You have no weapons, however you can redirect other things in certain levels to allow you to damage the environment.

The Bad

My only issue I had was that many of the levels were not challenging enough. I know this is a hard issue to balance correctly and doing a google search clearly demonstrates that many people are "stuck" on a specific level. One post I read the player was stuck for 40minutes on a level and couldn't work out what to do before giving up and hunting for a walk through???

Maybe what the game could have done was allow multiple solutions to the puzzle. Highlight this in the test chamber introduction screen so that you can choose the easy or the hard option. Example: they could offer a player two cubes on easy mode, and only one on hard mode, making you work out a solution that has to reuse a cube.

Then if you solve the puzzle using the hard solution, be offered another puzzle as a reward. That way, the harder you play the more reward you get.




(This Section equates to 10% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about SFX

The Good

All excellent and complementary to the game.
The Bad

none



(This Section equates to 5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Music

The Good

At first thought, was Oh dear this is going to be very annoying, thankfully the game dropped that jazz music and for the rest of the game it was all very good. Even the music/song that was rolling through with the credits was cool.
The Bad

none



(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Config

The Good

No problems at all. The game configuration screens are excellent and the ingame prompts for what key you have assigned to that task were excellent.

The game even offers you additional configuration options for handling the mouse and cursor acceleration

The Bad

none



(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Navigation

The Good

No problems at all. The game is very easy to navigate and consistent throughout. you can get to the menu very quickly and a single enter key can skip the intro sequence if you wish.
The Bad

none



(This Section equates to 2.5% of the total score. ) This Section is Rated at ()
Comments about Secrets / Rewards

The Good

Well if you don't like exploration or collecting items then this is good. I guess...

*update* Apparently there are additional areas that you can explore, which initially I didn't consider to contain a reward, other than you may experience some additional dialogue

The Bad

None were found. There is no reward for exploration, there are no objects which you can collect.

There were a few funny signs around the place, but I didn't consider that enough to warrant a higher score.



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This Review was Last Modified on : 23rd of April, 2011