Portal 2

(This piece was published in Synthesis’ Misc Debris section, on the page that follows album reviews).

Portal 2

Valve

Videogame

Well, here is the game I have been waiting months for.  If you played the first Portal (which I hope you did), then you may know what to expect.  GLaDOS is back and she wants revenge, and joining her are a colorful cast of characters, including a less-than-intelligent AI core and some perfectly hilarious voice over from J.K. Simmons.  If you haven’t played the first Portal, then you are in for a treat.  It is a game designed with your basic first person shooter game play, but with a twist.  Instead of machine guns and death rays, you’ve got yourself armed with a portal gun.  Using that portal gun you create entrance and exit portals to open a portal on one wall, as well as another, and as you walk through you exit the first portal over to wherever the second was placed.  As you traverse you use these techniques to complete a series of more and more difficult test chambers.  It’s really a puzzle game and hardly a shooter.  New to the game are a whole slew of different features that allow for a wider variety of puzzles and more mind-bending fun.  We’ve got propulsion and repulsion gels that allow you to bounce as though you are on a blue trampoline and run at Olympic speed (respectively), excursion funnels and laser beams, all of which add a new degree of complexity to each test chamber’s design.  Did I mention there is co-op?  Cause there is.  Everything about this game is awesome.

Released: 4/19/2011

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