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Portal 2

Developer / Publisher: Valve Corporation
19 April 2011
Portal 2 - cover art
Glitchwave rating
4.29 / 5.0
0.5
5.0
 
 
5,047 Ratings / 10 Reviews
#23 All-time
#2 for 2011
Many years after "Portal," Chell reawakens at Aperture Science and tries to stop GLADoS once again with the help of Wheatley, who has his own plans for the historical facility.
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zero cutscenes, puzzles that can only be realized by video game, Storytelling by gamer's interaction, attractive characters, etc... How can it not be one of the greatest video games of all time?
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doral 2022-05-04T16:50:11Z
2022-05-04T16:50:11Z
5.0
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Valve’s titles to each of their respective IP’s never seem to get it quite right on their first go. Either that, or they’re the video game company that benefits the greatest from the inherent second wind of a sequel. The first Team Fortress was merely a tech demo of an employee’s lark of an idea seemingly fabricated up in a day, but Team Fortress 2 was a generation-defining multiplayer FPS whose rabid cult following still keeps the game relevant to this day. Half Life was a monumental achievement for the FPS genre and influenced so many successors that aped its pioneering properties. Yet, no one speaks of it unless it's in relation to the sequel, a game often declared to be on the Mount Rushmore of video games. Left 4 Dead 2 wasn’t leaps of quality over the first one, but the marginal amount of improvements it made over its predecessor eclipses it all the same. Gabe Newell and his team at Valve have no concept of a “sophomore slump”, or they are so familiar with the term to the extent where they exercise everything in their power to avoid it. The last of their major IPs not to be graced with a sequel was Portal, the game that arguably needed a sequel more than any other Valve IP. The first Portal was funny, inspired, creepy, and breathed new life into what I thought was the then recently deceased 3D platformer genre with puzzle-latent ingenuity. Everyone was praising Portal for all of these admirable qualities, but the short-length and minimalism had me unconvinced of its overall quality. All Portal needed was more content to elevate its status in my mind, and what better way to go about doing this than with a sequel cranked out by the most exceptional sequel makers in the industry? Portal 2 was a logical step in fleshing out the first game’s core attributes, and the game succeeded in this almost entirely.

Familiarity is a natural aspect of a sequel that wavers in terms of necessity. It’s important to expand upon the gameplay, mechanics, and some sense of artistic direction, but developers often overshoot. They unnecessarily extend the arcs of the narrative, setting, and characters that were not open for continuation for the sake of banking on familiarity. Portal 2 is guilty of oversaturation, but I came to a point of clemency after some consideration. Aperture Laboratories was destroyed after the climactic events of the first game, so the facility wouldn’t be active unless they got a construction crew with beaver-like crafting abilities to restore it in a short period of time. However, is there anywhere as claustrophobic and sterile as Aperture Laboratories to use something like the portal gun? With this technology, the sky's the limit, but the vast potential wouldn’t make for an invigorating puzzle platformer game. Portal takes place in the same lonely laboratory as the first game, but now the player gets to revel in the destruction they’ve created. Appropriately, the clever, titanium-heeled Chell returns as the main protagonist, for she is the sole person who could relish with the player in what they’ve done. The second go around the compressed enclosure of Aperture starts similarly to the first game. Instead of a glass room with nothing but the bare necessities of a living space, Chell finds herself in a more spacious hotel room. Another voice echoes from somewhere outside of the room, signaling that it’s once again time for the player to test their mettle in the courses of what remains of Aperture. Suddenly, half of the hotel room is obliterated, exposing the perilous heights the hotel is situated on. A British-sounding, spherical droid anxiously beckons the player to escape Aperture with him through the broad fissure created in the hotel room. The opening lulls the player with that sense of familiarity, but subverts their expectations with a more bombastic set-up. It gives the impression that Portal 2 is a high-octane beast that deviates from its minimal predecessor.

Soon enough, we learn that this is merely a half-truth. While Portal 2 does offer far more than circuitous tests using the portal gun, extended sections of the game are dedicated to numbered courses where the puzzles get progressively more difficult like in the first game. The difference is in the way that Portal 2 paces itself. My biggest grievance regarding the first game was its uneven pacing. Valve split a short game into two thematically different parts: the test chambers and the arduous trek up to GLaDOS. Due to the game’s short length, the test chambers felt like an elongated tutorial to prepare the player for the second act. The most awkward aspect of Portal 1’s transition is that the second half is the same duration as the tutorial section of the first half. The overall experience felt crammed as a result, not giving the game enough legroom. Portal 2’s pacing is more erratic, but all ten of its sections are as long as either half of the first game. Lengthening the game is an obvious method of offering more content, and Portal 2 certainly satisfied me in doing this. Chapters involving both the test chambers and untethered platforming endeavors are interspersed throughout Portal 2’s playtime. Doubling the playtime and shifting the layout and focus of the puzzles every so often may have proved to be a bloated experience, but the strength of the narrative holds the mold of Portal 2’s progression.

Sequels to puzzle games tend to feel unnecessary because there is little to no discernibility from the previous titles. As much as whoever churns out the sequels to Tetris attempt to fool us with graphical overhauls and flashy dancehall visuals, none of this distracts from the fact that they’re still offering the same black and white, Russian-developed game from the mid-1980s. Portal 2’s mission is to expand upon the elements of the first game like any promising sequel would, and this includes the properties of the puzzles. Portal’s puzzles obviously involve more than connecting one color portal to another one on the other side of the room; otherwise, the puzzle aspect of the game would be diminished entirely. Portal 2 adds a myriad of tools to the puzzle sequences for the player to work around. Spring boards will make the player leap into the air if a sizable cliff isn’t available to jump off of. Light bridges also provide an alternative method of traversal, but the true genius behind these incandescently blue bridges is using them as shields to obscure the turret's line of fire. Lasers replace energy balls as rogue sources of electrical power, and the new “discouragement direction cubes” will often accompany their presence to direct the path of the red hot beams. Vortex beams will carry the player in a single direction with their own gravitational pull. My favorite of the new features are the colored gels. Globs of paint will either drip from the ceiling like a leaky faucet or gush out of broken pipes like a sieve. The paints come in three different colors all with their own attributes. Blue gel will bounce the player like a trampoline, running on a path of red gel will accelerate the player, and a splatter of white gel will allow the player to deposit a portal there regardless of the material the gel is coating. Incorporating each of these gels separately makes the puzzle solving process all the more dynamic, but the highlight section of this entire game in my opinion are the tests that implement all of them at once for one buoyant puzzle sequence. This level of quality also concerns puzzles that involve multiple uses of all of the other features, as their collective presence provides a multifaceted challenge that wasn’t present in the first game.

While puzzles are the crux of Portal’s core gameplay, the first game wouldn’t have garnered the same sort of praise and rabid internet following without its comedic tone and the vacant atmosphere. I’m happy to report that Portal 2 excels on the former of the two ingredients. I don’t know whether or not it’s due to the voicework of Stephen Merchant playing Wheatley, but Portal 2 has made me realize that the games have a very British sense of humor. Dialogue is consistently wry and also carries an aura of deliberate silliness behind its deadpan delivery like a Monty Python skit or an episode of Black Adder. This description applies to GLaDOS from the first game, but now she isn’t the only voice in the franchise. Wheatley’s manic manner of speaking that sounds like he wears every emotion on his sleeve is delivered exceptionally by Stephen Merchant, whose borderline improvised-sounding delivery gives so much expression and character to what is a featureless sphere with a wide, blue retina that blinks occasionally. His eccentric monologings with Chell never grow tiresome, but his banter with GLaDOS is especially entertaining. Attempting to best GLaDOS in a match of wits exposes him as a fool without GLaDOS rolling her eyes and sighing at him, but he’s more of a British definition of a comedic oaf than the crass, cloddish American trope of one. Every line spoken by J.K. Simmons as the former Aperture CEO Cave Johnson is pure gold, especially his angry, subversive line about a certain adage regarding lemons. The developers knew that they had to expand on Portal’s character roster beyond GLaDOS and the mute protagonist of Chell, and each new character is as quippy as she is.

Portal 2 is however lacking the same unnerving, cramped atmosphere of the first game. Until I played the first Portal again to review it, I hadn’t appreciated the subtle, yet effective way the game conveyed the harrowing malaise that permeated through the vacuous environment of the Enrichment Center. Danger felt eminent, and the player learned that the calm, albeit condescending voice of GLaDOS, was not to be trusted. Of course, Valve could not have achieved the same effect in a sequel considering the walls of Aperture had been figuratively and literally torn down, exposing the secret of GLaDOS and destroying the threat accordingly. Holding the same sequence of tests in a different laboratory with a different protagonist also wouldn’t have garnered the same effect. Valve had to slightly stray from the existential angle, but they found something as effective. Because the doors of ambiguity were demolished, Valve uses the sequel to expand on the lore of Aperture to unlock a new perspective on the scientific facility unseen from the prison-like walls of the Enrichment Center.

From the first sequence when half of the hotel caves in, the player sees more of Aperture from a literal standpoint. Portal does not incorporate fall damage, but the wide chasm that signifies the massive size of the facility and the fruitlessness of escaping it is a constant hazard in Portal 2. The ground supporting the weight of the player will oftentimes be the flimsy steel rail platforms. The player will explore vast areas outside the Enrichment Center like the turret manufacturing plant and the outside borders that serve as memoriam of Aperture’s CEO Cave Johnson. We learn in this section that Aperture was in an apocalyptic state of ruin before Chell defeated GLaDOS in the first game. The company was founded to compete with the scientific achievements of Black Mesa (yes, the same one from Half Life), but several foolish business decisions caused its downfall. One of these blunders resulted in Cave Johnson poisoning himself and wishing for his secretary to carry on Aperture's business via inserting her brain in an artificial intelligence apparatus. GLaDOS has a moment of clarity and realizes that she used to be Carolyn, and that she’s been conducting these tests on unfortunate subjects like Chell to prolong Aperture’s legacy. Due to the confined scope in the first game, we assume that Aperture is a force to be reckoned with, but more information given to us reveals that we should somewhat pity Aperture and GLaDOS’s everlasting efforts to preserve it.

We also assume from the first game that GLaDOS is a cold, calculating sociopath with an irrevocable role as a villain. Once Chell fails to exterminate her permanently with Wheatley and she subjects more tests on her, we infer that Portal will be another excursion in defeating the mechanical monster. During one of the tests, Wheatley destroys the foundation of another one of Aperture’s walls as they both make their way down to GLaDOS’s lair. Because of some sabotage efforts, Wheatley usurps GLaDOS’s power and takes over the facility. GLaDOS informs us that Wheatley was designed as a parasitic tumor meant to dilute her urge to kill, and that his presence as the core will eventually destroy Aperture with an explosion. Wheatley isn’t doing all this maliciously, but rather from his insecurities and ignorance about the impact of his actions. Even so, Chell and GLaDOS in an inconvenient potato form must stop Wheatley before his hubris gets the best of everyone. After failing to stump Chell in a series of tests he created, Wheatley tries his best to kill her in an attempt to stop her from dethroning him. Encountering Wheatley in his lair results in an exhilarating battle against the clock while neurotoxins slowly seep into the room. Fighting Wheatley is a lot like the GLaDOS fight at the end of the first game, only with the added gel features to spruce it up. The five minute time limit proves to be too tight and in a last second attempt to stop Wheatley, Chell shoots the portal gun exceedingly past any parameters it has ever been shot before: the moon. Space’s gravitational pull sucks Wheatley into the empty void of space as he regrets his actions leading up to that point while floating aimlessly. Wheatley’s boss fight does not have the same weight as the duel with GLaDOS, but the resolution to Portal 2’s falling action involving GLaDOS is substantial enough. GLaDOS seems healthy and good-natured after stopping the threat of Wheatley, and she sheds the grudge she was harboring against Chell. As a token of her warm feeling of friendship, she releases Chell from Aperture and even belches up the singed companion cube from the first game as a bonus. Anyone who played the first game would be outraged at being friends with GLaDOS, but the organic time spent with her by your side in Portal 2 results in a bittersweet and conclusive ending.


Portal 2 was under extreme pressure before the game was released. Video game sequels have less of a checkered history than film sequels due to different aspects, so no one expected Portal 2 to fail. However, Portal 2 was under the connotations of a “Valve quality sequel” with soaring expectations that it also had to be one of the greatest games of all time. Portal 2’s result was not perfect as it couldn’t exude the same cold, nihilistic tone like the first game because the mystery of Aperture Laboratories was already spoiled. Fortunately, video games have other aspects to develop other than narrative and tone like a film. Portal 2 left no stone unturned in fixing every little nitpick I had with the first game. The puzzles are more intricate with new features and the game’s content is long enough to exude the sense of a full, finished project. All the while, Valve tapped into Portal’s lore and managed to give more intrigue to its world and characters even though I figured they didn’t need it. Expecting a game to be spotless is ludicrous, but Portal 2 leaves with a sensation that the first game didn’t: utter satisfaction.
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Erockthestrange 2018-05-06T23:13:51Z
2018-05-06T23:13:51Z
8.5
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fun game
The best game I have ever played. The best puzzles I have ever solved. The best soundtrack of a game ever. The best gameplay I have ever played. The best antagonist of a game ever. The best villains. The best world-building. The best plot. The best plot twist. The best plot progression. The best characterizations (down to the turrets). The best setting. The best atmosphere. The best backstories. The best ending.


The greatest of all time
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LofLofLof 2022-03-10T07:59:45Z
2022-03-10T07:59:45Z
5.0
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My favorite game of all time. The humor, puzzles, voice acting, music... all of it is stellar. It's got so much heart. I've put so many hours into not just the main story, but also the level creator and two-person co-op mode. One of the best video game experiences you can have.
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Musicgenius113 2022-06-11T06:41:12Z
2022-06-11T06:41:12Z
5.0
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This is the most consistently amazing game I've ever played. I think it's flawless.
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spagoot 2022-05-02T20:54:42Z
2022-05-02T20:54:42Z
5.0
2
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Apesar de umas adições aqui e ali e um level design mais interessante em geral, o núcleo do gameplay desta sequência é essencialmente o mesmo do seu antecessor.

O trunfo, porém, está no texto, engraçado e (muito) bem atuado, com reviravoltas impactantes e um dos melhores finais de qualquer jogo.
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gabrielctps 2022-03-10T02:42:29Z
2022-03-10T02:42:29Z
4.5
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Catalog

oakmin Portal 2 2022-09-29T03:34:26Z
2022-09-29T03:34:26Z
4.5
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
mathiascreis Portal 2 2022-09-29T00:56:08Z
2022-09-29T00:56:08Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
DJSteph Portal 2 2022-09-29T00:11:27Z
2022-09-29T00:11:27Z
20
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
scannercrt Portal 2 2022-09-28T19:44:47Z
2022-09-28T19:44:47Z
4.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
HedonicStairStepper Portal 2 2022-09-28T16:44:17Z
2022-09-28T16:44:17Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
chriskelley Portal 2 2022-09-28T14:24:25Z
2022-09-28T14:24:25Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
PlutoBlizzari Portal 2 2022-09-28T01:47:47Z
2022-09-28T01:47:47Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
var_Emreis Portal 2 2022-09-27T20:32:22Z
2022-09-27T20:32:22Z
5.0
1
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
hearingtrumpet Portal 2 2022-09-27T17:23:40Z
2022-09-27T17:23:40Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Jamure Portal 2 2022-09-27T12:15:22Z
Mac / Windows / Linux/Unix
2022-09-27T12:15:22Z
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
handcannon Portal 2 2022-09-27T03:40:05Z
2022-09-27T03:40:05Z
3.5
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Userwake Portal 2 2022-09-26T23:50:11Z
2022-09-26T23:50:11Z
5.0
In collection Want to buy Used to own  
Player modes
1-2 players
Media
Download
Multiplayer modes
Cooperative
Multiplayer options
Online
Franchises
Also known as
  • ポータル 2
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  • Previous comments (70) Loading...
  • TheRealJimMorrison 2022-06-25 17:58:22.324881+00
    hide Flagged by users
    This post was flagged by users for potentially violating community rules. It will be reviewed by a community moderator soon.
    This post was flagged by users for potentially violating community rules. It will be reviewed by a community moderator soon.
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  • LofLofLof 2022-06-29 13:15:23.869332+00
    the way i started jumping on the ending
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  • lilyonthewater 2022-07-07 22:35:50.695406+00
    the ending cutscene had me in my feelings
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  • Magagonal 2022-07-22 02:41:12.189306+00
    A much longer (partly because it was more frustrating) & cinematic experience than what I was expecting. Can't say I wasn't extremely bored during the Cave Johnson levels & didn't feel like the energy pellets were better than mostly every new mechanic.

    Amazing ending though. I liked it a lot, but I'm gonna stick to preferring Portal 1 for now. My opinion will probably nuance with time.
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  • Molten_ 2022-07-30 06:04:02.920329+00
    the perfect sequel doesn't exi-
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  • Baller16 2022-08-05 07:48:24.017253+00
    The first game beats this and it the concept works better with a simple story, but this is still great.
    reply
    • Magagonal 2022-08-09 20:38:06.809197+00
      Agreed
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  • Tyraffe 2022-08-16 06:50:36.137677+00
    wheatley absolutely carries the game
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  • Raindrac 2022-08-25 23:58:47.278082+00
    Unbelievably good. Both the single player and multiplayer campaigns were excellent, and the level design impressive.
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