A fantastic game with fantastic voice acting and story, but...
Portal 2 has been a greatly anticipated follow up to Valve's sleeper hit Portal (see Orange Box). Its a First Person Shooter Puzzle game, and yes that might sound confusing but since 90% of people reading this don't need any explanation in to what portal or portal 2 are I'm just going to leave it at that. Go read a wiki.
Let's get right to the meat.
Graphics: The world (or building?) and characters in P2 are fantastic, with one huge negative, the main character can be seen thru a little portal trickery and intentionally at the start of the game. Seeing the PC's horrifically bad design and animations pretty much ruined the game in a way. All I could think about the rest of the game (which isn't much at all, more on that in a bit) is that "wow this game looks good, so what the hell were they thinking making the animations for the main character horrible beyond belief?".
Game play/Level Design: The controls work about as well as any shooter, and the level design is good. Granted if you haven't had any previous portal experience or you are just not much of a problem solver you may find some of the levels frustrating or tricky. Myself however (I haven't played the first portal since its release with orange box) found myself blasting through every level with ease, read way too much ease. Yawn. Still very fun, but no challenge at all.
Replay/Value: Normally I would rate this last but I'm going to save the best for last so I don't seem like too much of a hater, word. I bet your thinking damn a 5 is bad wtf pissed this guy off so much. It's Thursday at 5:03pm, less than 24 hours after getting portal. About 6 hours played (including some crashes to desktop that I had to replay halfway through some levels). Now I'm really not mad about the money for myself, I can afford it. Everyone else however should be outraged. One of the main hype points of this game was that it was going to be substantially larger, single player included, well that's just plain lying to your face. Also for me there is no real replay since the levels were so easy to begin with that it's just sad. 6 hours. I'm done until I decide to play through again in a year or two. Ha.
Ok on to the good stuff
Story: The story arc and writing is witty, funny, and often hilarious. How many games make you laugh out loud? For me it's a short list. I think I smirked a few times at Brutal Legend. The story has everything a wonderful tale needs from a funny opening to a midway plot twist to a satisfying ending. It's not cliché like everything else out there, its fresh and its very well written and acted.
Sound: Portal 2 has not only wonderful sound effects and a stellar soundtrack but it has amazing A/B class actors for all the characters that give real performances to a surprisingly well written storyline. Probably only the second or third time in my 20+ years of gaming have I thought about trying to buy the soundtrack to a video game.
This is worth repeating.
The story, and sound in Portal 2 make it must play, the cost and the length make it really hard want to purchase. It is a perfect rental or something to buy used or a year from now in the bargain bin. It's a super short ride but its quite fun while it lasts.
•Looks mostly very good
•Plays well, puzzles are way too simple compared to even the original.
•Well written, very funny
•Amazing sound effects and top notch voice acting