Portal the Second
In my continuing quest to be relevant and stay on cutting edge of the gaming medium, I finally played and completed Portal 2. Did I say cutting edge? I meant fashionably late. Now brace yourselves...
I liked Portal 2 better than the first Portal.
In some circles I could be burned at the stake for saying that. It's pretty much the same as telling someone that your religion is better than theirs, or that George isn't the best Beatle (because you know he is). Don't get me wrong, the first Portal is an incredibly good game, and was certainly a much more original and fresh experience, but I feel that the second game took what was great about the first game and made it better.
The big thing for me is the atmosphere. Portal 2 just had so much more of it than Portal; The dread that creeps up when you first return to GladOS' chamber, or the sense of discovery you see as you explore the ruins of old Aperture. Portal 2 just contains a lot more emotion and a much better, for lack of a better term, world. You see, everything in Portal 2 is more fleshed out. Aperture is more than just a series of sterile white rooms. It's a gigantic complex with an actual history and structure to it. There's more characters and the humour is spot on, as always.
Not to say that Portal 2 is perfect, mind you. It's a hell of a lot longer than Portal 1 (I finished at around 12 and a half hours, while the first game can be completed in around 4) but not paced as well. Portal was a tight, refined experience. There was nothing extraneous and everything was paced perfectly. The was no fluff and no padding, only the good stuff. Portal 2 isn't paced quite as well. There were a few parts that dragged on and overall I feel the game could've been an hour or two shorter and would have been better for it, although at the moment I can't think of which sections would have been the best to cut. For the most part I did enjoy the length, though. Portal, despite it's pacing, seemed like it ended too soon while Portal 2 gave you more to chew on.
And by God do I love Wheatley.
Posted on 06/06/13