The witticisms, portal mischief, and unique puzzles are back, but this time there is more. If you loved the first Portal, you will love Portal 2.
What makes Portal 2 a masterpiece is how much it draws from Half-Life 2. For about a third of the game you are on your own in a world that is silent and abandoned. There is no limiting AI overmind to stop you. It is a world that has lost its significance a long time ago, and it arouses the excitement of the hunt, even a feeling of freedom and rebellion that can be traced back to dodging the incinerator in Portal. As you climb your way through this world, you have no idea what new disasters await you on your way to the top and at your destination. Your potato friend will be as cynical as ever, of course. This upward trek is awesome.
There are several captivating sequences that caused me to exclaim in joy and amazement of having played a part in causing them. The dialog and voice acting are superb and often made me laugh in surprise as Portal did. The music and sounds of the game are impressive, and there is a new dynamic element to them that adds very nicely to the whole experience. The game felt about three times longer than Portal, my experience clocking in at just over seven hours including several breaks and the credits. I will be playing through it at least once more to uncover all of the secrets and extras that I missed on my first run.
Many of the puzzles are too simplistic and easy to finish. There were only two instances that forced me to take a step back and think carefully about the outcomes of the test to "get it". That said, they were never frustrating, and most of the puzzles were a delight to solve because they integrated so well with the setting and story. Please note that I have not yet tried out the co-op gameplay.
Portal 2 is an engaging experience that should be experienced by anyone who loves games.