Note: Against the will of the gaming overlords I played Portal 2 first and just finished up Portal 1 today. Therefore I will talk about Portal 2 first, and then Portal 1.
Being my first game to play with portals, I found it quite thrilling. Flinging myself here, skirting across orange ooze there, I had a ball. However the second game seemed to be trying too hard. The parts of the game with the automated “tester” guy, thing, whatever and with GLaDOS in control were quite enjoyable. The tests were challenging but I wasn’t sitting there for long periods of time trying to figure things out. However, once Wheatley took charge of the show things became dull. The tests went downhill and the game wasn’t so amusing (even the hermit cubes could not make up for this dull period). Mind you these tests were supposedly GLaDOS’ tests modified slightly by Wheatley and yet they were lacking. The length of the game was pretty depressing as well. Barring Wheatley’s redesigned GLaDOS puzzles, I loved the puzzles. I wanted more of them.
However, when you move over to the multiplayer it was quite an enjoyable experience. GLaDOS would chime in, trying to pit you against your co-op partner, and I would just giggle at her only soon to fall into the abyss because my friend failed to place a portal correctly. Let’s just say he gained GLaDOS’ favor whilst I plotted my revenge. But in all seriousness, the co-op mode did have its downfalls. The single player play through had more use of the “gels” than did the co-op mode. I loved skirting across the propulsion gel and ricocheting back and forth between two walls of repulsion gel. But alas, those good times were short lived. The co-op mode didn’t even make use of the white portal gel. Again this mode of gameplay was brief, more so than the single player mode. You didn’t even get to test the humans!
Overall the game was phenomenal; but due to shortness and lack of certain elements it was not worth the price that gamers had to pay for it.
I began Portal 1 eagerly waiting for a swarm of GLaDOS’ insults. But none came, at least not until the boss fight with her at the end of the game. I was disappointed with this game. It was lacking a lot. Where there was sub-standard content in Portal 2, Portal 1 lacked content. There wasn’t really any sort of plot or background. I assume the Valve had their reasons so I won’t fault them for that. The game was enjoyable to an extent, but for a beginning game to a series it was sub-standard.
I do have to say that Portal 2 did improve upon Portal 1, but neither game was pushed to their potential. This concept of using portals in puzzles can be so much more. Hopefully Valve opens up more so that the real potential of Portal can come flowing full force through the faucet.