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Portal 2

21 April 2011
PC, Xbox 360, PS3

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Portal 2

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Portal 2 (2011)
Portal 2’s design is meticulously crafted to such a startling degree of sublime ingenuity that from the moment the returning protagonist – Chell – awakens from her century-or-so slumber, you’ll find yourself hurtled through one of the most bold, funny and darned challenging games ever produced.

The setup couldn’t be simpler: you’re handed a Portal Gun – a device which fires two portals onto surfaces, transporting the player through three-dimensional space as you walk through one hole and out the other. Used within the mysterious chambers of Aperture Laboratories, you solve a huge selection of brain-pummelling puzzles, all the time hilariously guided/goaded by resurrected android antagonistic GLaDOS (think HAL 9000 with a singing voice).

It’s a winning formula translated from the original and suitably expanded for the sequel, fuelling exploration and providing an unparalleled sense of accomplishment. Each puzzle exudes depth and nuance, tying in subtle notes about the larger narrative. And while Chell is the voiceless hero, Valve has taken measures to create an intricate backstory to GLaDOS, as well as delving deeper into the history of the scientific facility itself.

While the atypical action may dissuade some, the pacing is exquisite for a puzzle title, maintaining the thrilling flow of a first-person shooter by injecting several new gameplay appendages that nestle comfortably between the established fundamentals. The most stupendous of which are the three new gels: Repulsion Gel launches players into the air; Propulsion Gel increases speed; while Conversion Gel allows for portals to be placed on any surface it covers. They’re all irresistible in their complexity, proving as challenging to utilise as they are unrelentingly charming to simply toy with.

Yet, Portal 2’s biggest innovation is in its cooperative play. Undoubtedly a revolution in multiplayer; you take control of two spritely robots entrusted with a portal gun each. Naturally it heightens the difficulty (although a gradual learning curve is pleasingly implemented), but it also fuels the most actively collaborative gameplay we’ve come to experience. And as the multiplayer provides as many twists and turns to this hilarious tale as the solo campaign, every inch of Portal 2 feels significant. Simply, it’s the game of the year.

Reviewed by David Scarborough

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Portal 2
Empire Star Rating

welcome back monster

What makes portal 2 so unique, is it the puzzle design, the non violence, the scripting, the gameplay or could it be that everything comes together to form an experience that is unique in all of these categories. The answer is yes. Overall a one of a kind game that is unlike any other. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jericho117 at 01:51, 27 September 2013 | Report This Post

RE: Portal 2

Yeah, there's no doubt that Valve makes great games in this industry ... now if only they could improve on their tardiness. But, honestly, I wouldn't compromise quality just to get a lesser quality product from Valve. Sometimes it pays off to take their own sweet time and perfect the game or at least get close to it. ... More

Posted by hrdcrgamer at 03:36, 05 August 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Valve can do no wrong!

The original game was, for me when I played it, my game of the year, and this one is even better, more well rounded and interesting and incredibly funny. Also had an extra dimension with the co-op that me and a mate worked through together very enjoyably. Cannot wait for the free DLC when it comes. Valve take ages to make games but since almost everyone of them is a masterpiece then you can forgive them on their famed tardiness - keep it up guys!! ... More

Posted by Saltire at 06:10, 11 July 2011 | Report This Post

Valve can do no wrong!

The first game was impossible to fault and easily played through in a few hours, the second has taken everything that was great about the first game and then included more of it! The graphics, voice acting, plot and the gameplay have had me transfixed for days. The cooperative mode is another game entirely with seperate characters and challenges thrown in to add even more to a title that would have been good value with just the single player mode. The only problem I can see is that Valv... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tizer2000uk at 19:51, 24 April 2011 | Report This Post

So Much Fun

the game offers outstanding graphics, a great back-story and valves usual hilarious features. the main to robots are clearly a homage to the mario brothers and the game is packed full of mind-bending puzzles to leave you scratching your head. the game is an good sequel so good infact that the game could be a stand alone game and still get the 5-stars, well done valve i now wait in anticipation for team fortress 3 ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Jables55 at 13:55, 23 April 2011 | Report This Post

Portal 2

Game play is not very good, the tralier hypes it up, but the game is a let down :( ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by 3only at 12:19, 22 April 2011 | Report This Post


I loved the first Portal game, but was sad it ended so quickly...(well it was an add-on). This looks awesome, also it has Stephen Merchant as one of the personality spheres....Quality! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by tallaght24 at 10:06, 19 April 2011 | Report This Post

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