Portal 2 (PC/PlayStation 3/Xbox 360)
May 23, 2011
There aren't enough glowing phrases for Portal 2, the most hilarious and intelligent game in a long, long time. Picking up where the original left off, you're dumped right into the bowels of Aperture Science, and before long, you have found a portal gun and you're solving test rooms by shooting portals into the walls. If this all sounds confusing and somewhat boring, it's neither. Not by a long shot.
The graphics have improved exponentially since Portal, and the gamplay is smoother. The folks at Valve have built enough on-the-job training into the early levels that even veterans of Portal will enjoy the game from the start. Also helping is the phenomenal work from Stephen Merchant (half of the creative team behind the original Office) who voices a spherical robot that helps guide you through Aperture. If the early levels are a breeze (they are) then having Merchant's quips, and those of GLaDOS, who is rapidly rebuilding her Aperture empire as you try to maneuver through it.
The only slight concern is that Portal 2 takes a long time to get truly challenging, and even though the levels are still fun to pick apart and figure out, they don't take very long. In a game one wants to savor, this is not a strong suit.
With the promise of additional levels to be available before long, shoring up the game's one slight drawback, it would take a miracle for something to unseat Portal 2 as Game of the Year. (www.thinkwithportals.com)
Author rating: 9/10
Average reader rating: 9/10
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