Friday, 22 April 2011

Portal 2

We all expected a tight script. The first game had a tight script. We all expected intelligent wit. After all, the first game was full of intelligent wit. I don’t want to sound repetitive here, but we all expected amazingly constructed puzzles inside a wonderfully atmospheric world, a game with ultra-tight mechanics that never crumbled under pressure. This is because Portal 1 had all of these features. See, Portal 2 had a pretty hard act to follow. The small, but perfectly formed Portal 1 captured the hearts of many for being so damn good. Portal 2 is outstandingly good and pretty much better in every possible way. If you want to know why, then go and get the orange box and play Portal 1.. was pretty good, huh!? Having read my first incredibly well constructed paragraph you are now aware that the sequel to that masterpiece you just played is even fucking better! I know.. I couldn’t believe it either.

Its longer and offers a glimpse into what the hell might have been going down over at the Aperture Science Laboratories. I’m not going to ruin anything about this special game. What I will talk about is the sound design. Nobody else seems to be talking about the sound design!? It is, without a doubt, the unsung hero of the game. Not the conversation, but the music and sound effects. From the booming of the environment that surrounds you, to the little vocal touches of the machinery, every moment of the game is accompanied with superb sound design. Then, there is the electronica that accompanies the games toys and mechanics. The simple glitch notes and synthesizer chords are a perfect ambience to the gameplay and atmosphere. But, as you near the conclusion of a puzzle, when you have multiple mechanics active and running in sync, then the audio comes alive with all of the audio layers working together to create stunning electronic sound-scapes.

Portal 2 is a game that offers an intelligent alternative to the violent face of videogaming. Its not going to be for everybody. But, for the people who do allow themselves to be drawn into Valve’s world will be offered a hugely entertaining experience.  

*I didn’t mention the co-op as I haven’t decided whom I want to play through it with yet. I’ll get back to you in the future

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