The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

The student news site of Los Altos High School in Los Altos, California

The Talon

Portal 2: Bound to be gaming’s next big hit

Portal 2, the highly anticipated, inter-spatial jumping puzzle game was released on Tuesday, April 19. With beautiful graphics (even on the lowest settings), easy controls and the extraordinarily awesome portal gun, Portal 2 has done a great job capturing the simplicity and puzzle-solving thrill that made Portal such a fun game.

This time for the single-player campaign, you are actually trying to escape Aperture Enrichment Center rather than just being a test guinea pig—no more promises of cake at the end. Though gameplay is essentially the same, you still run around with your portal gun figuring out how to solve your way to the next test chamber, some new obstacles, such as lasers and reflective cubes, have really added a new challenging touch to the game.

Also, the new features introduced in Portal 2, such as the use of special paint-like gels which are able to modify certain surfaces and boxes, are pretty fun.One gel repels you upward towards the ceiling, a second gel boosts your speed along the coated surface, while a third allows a portal to be created on any surface, allowing for some creative uses when coupled with the portal gun.

And too, the disparaging comments made by GLaDOS are just as amusing as how they were in Portal, and the floating personae core, Wheatley, with his British accent, is rather refreshing.

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While the singe-player campaign adds a new twist to the engaging storyline of Portal 1, the new co-operative multi-player game mode, though with no story elements, really touches upon the excitement of playing Portal with another.

Teamwork is an absolute necessity for the multi-player. The test chambers are actually designed for two people to work together, not just a test chamber meant for one person that two people play on. Having a mike to communicate is certainly helpful, but not required due to the excellent built-in systems provided by the game. Players can ping where they want their friend to shoot a portal, and there is a synchronized timer that accounts for lag.

Even when players are forced to split up, players can just simply press a button and be able to see where their friend is. Dying, a rarity in itself in Portal, is also not that big of a deal. Rather than having to reload from the last saved or some previous checkpoint, players who have died, whether it be from standing in the way of a laser for too long or just because your friend likes screwing with you and keeps stepping off the activation switch for you bridge, plunging you to your death, are just simply respawned.

The puzzles in the multi-player may not be as challenging as those in the single-player, but that also may be just because two minds working on a problem is better than one.

Solving these new puzzles, whether it be alone or with a friend, is a gratifying experience. Call me a sucker for self-confidence pick-me-ups, but the sense of accomplishment and appreciation of your own intelligence after successfully completing each level is quite uplifting.
Portal 2 is a great game that lives up to the vaunted legacy of Portal 1 and is sure to provide numerous hours of amusement.

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