Micro Review: Portal

January 14, 2011


Many games in recent years have unsuccessfully tried to build themselves around a single gameplay element. Fracture allowed you to raise or lower terrain and Timeshift allowed manipulation of time. Valve, being the clever boffins that they are, succeeded. Half Life 2 saw the fantastic “Gravity Gun” (or “Zero-Point Energy Field Manipulator” if you prefer) which allowed us to pick up and throw any object from a distance. This brings me on to the greatest game of all time. Portal.

In Portal, you can use a gun which allows you to fire two portals on to nearly any surface and then instantly travel between the two. Fun can be had by endlessly falling and leaping about by gaining momentum and flinging yourself around a room. But behind

A classic puzzle room

And this is an easy puzzle...

this fun gimmick is a deep, albeit short, game full of complex puzzles to solve. Directing energy balls into docks, making leaps of faith over pools of acid and placing cubes onto the “1500 Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Supercolliding Super Button” is just a taste of what you’ll encounter while playing this game.

After countless playthroughs this ‘gimmick’ still hasn’t become old. However, it is definitely not the only selling point of the game. The atmosphere is at its very finest and GlaDOS is possibly the funniest villain in videogame history. I’m off to eat some cake as I eagerly await Portal 2.




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