Monday, November 7, 2011

Playing with Portal 2

For the past few weeks I've been working my way through Portal 2 on Xbox.  I'm really enjoying the elements of story and puzzle-solving, so I thought I'd share a bit of my experience so far here.

Since I normally find it hard to fit hours of time in front of the TV into my busy schedule, I end up going through games pretty slowly.  I've never finished Mass Effect 2, and my pace at Portal 2 is about one chapter per every 1.5 weeks.  I also had an initial setback having downloaded the game for PC and hit the Data Execution Prevention problem, which eventually made it impossible to play.  I like the game on Xbox much better anyway; I find the controls much easier to use than a keyboard/mouse combination.

For some reason I don't really enjoy solitary gaming either, so in the past I've spent more time playing board and card games with friends rather than playing video games.  I'm not a huge FPS fan (I'm not coordinated enough to run, shoot, and look around at the same time, although I'm great at doing one or even two of these actions at once, and I also don't like the feeling of being snuck up on).  The nice thing about Portal 2 is that (at least so far) it doesn't really have the traditional FPS elements.  It also has a very entertaining cooperative mode that lets you play with a friend and truly work together to solve puzzles.  I also like that the puzzles you solve in cooperative mode aren't straight copies of the single-player mode puzzles, but rather the experience is completely designed to be most appropriate for the mode you choose to play in.

Another element to this game that I think help keeps players engaged, and that is the clever writing, particularly the lines delivered by GLaDOS, such as: "Sorry about the mess. I've really let the place go since you killed me. By the way, thanks for that.".  If you like puzzles, problem-solving, crazy physics, and most of all dark humour/sarcasm delivered by an affectionate robotic voice, you'll probably enjoy Portal 2!  Give it a try and let me know your thoughts!


Gail Carmichael said...

Haha, I know your pain of not getting through games that fast. I think I started Portal 1 like a year and a half ago, and still have not finished. I pick it up every few months, play for an evening, then forget about it. One reason is that I don't like playing games alone, either. I often watch Andrew play as a result. He doesn't seem to like watching me, so I end up not playing much. ;)

Kate said...

That's funny - I wonder if the solitary gaming is a barrier for many people? Portal 2 is actually holding my attention better than other games, but I still only play a few levels at a time.

Kate said...

Have you guys tried the cooperative mode on Portal 2? It's truly cooperative in that there is a split screen but each person on their own side has to perform tasks that help the other person. I've never seen a game quite like that and it's pretty neat.