Tuesday, 17 May 2011

[Update] Test Chamber Completed

I'm not going to lie...I very rarely complete videogames.
I sometimes refer to myself as a magpie of the gaming world. I start playing a new game, get into it, enjoying it...but then whats this?! Oooooohhh! A new game!

Needless to say this is usually an endless cycle, playing lots of games but never fully finishing one. That cycle was broken tonight by Portal 2. (Don't worry, I'm not going to throw out any spoilers during the rest of this article so you should keep reading, seriously, you should).

The original Portal for me was the best part of The Orange Box, and currently stands as one of an elite few games that I've completed so the announcement of a new Portal game was music to my ears! It was a day one purchased, and this evening I finally finished up the single-player side of the story.

OK, so some of you maybe thinking 'wait a minute, he's only done half the game!', and yes, I guess your correct. Your probably also thinking Portal 2 isn't as long as other popular videogames. Alright, so that's true too, but I don't really care.

So why the urge to finish this game? Obviously I enjoyed the original, so that encouraged me to buy it on its release day. From the get-go the humour of Portal 2 hits you with the inclusion of a little robot called Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Merchant. The game holds true to its sarcastic sense of humour which GLaDOS introduced in this first title. In fact, although Portal 2 doesn't have the largest cast of characters in the world you've got to give kudos to Valve for the voice talent they signed up. Stephen Merchant does a stand up job, as does J.K Simmons who voices Cave Johnson later in the game. Ellen McLaine returns as the voice of GLaDOS.

The puzzles use concepts and ideas from its predecessor, choosing to introduce new elements such as 3 different types of gel later in the game which have various effects and must be used in specific ways to make it through the new test chambers. While some puzzles are quite straightforward...others require more than a few moments to think about how the heck your going to progress with any sanity left.

The plot twists and turns in a couple of places, and after managing to not hear about them from work friends/customers/Facebook/Twitter made the story much more enjoyable. It delves deeper into the story of GLaDOS and Aperture Science the further you progress in Portal 2, answering some questions while offering up new ones. As tempted as I am to point out a couple of interesting moments, I shall resist, but I will say make sure you take time out between each section to check out the posters and hidden places dotted throughout.

Completing Portal 2 has revitalized me into wanting to finish other games that I own, although the reality is I'll probably fall back into my cycle. When I finished Bioshock I had the same feeling, but have failed to 'fully' complete a game since. Sometimes I've come incredibly close (so close in fact, I don't have a clue why I just didn't finish it off), while others faltered much earlier. I loved Bioshock, but didn't finish Bioshock 2, which is further testament to Portal 2 for keeping me engaged as much as the original.

It's not very often I get to see the credits at the end of a game so I feel like I've truly unlocked more than 20G worth of achievement points in managing to do so, and after that ending cutscene it made me a little sad that I'd come to the end of what the game offers single player-wise...

...good job I've still got Co-Op to get through then!

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