Review: Portal

System: Windows
Score: 4/5 4 (Good)

Portal is simply a lot of fun. Really, what more needs to be said?

Well, that it's amazingly short. The main game takes about two hours to complete. Afterwards there are additional achievements that can be completed, but they are basically sections of the main game redone to be harder.

The game concept is amazingly simple. You play a test subject in Aperture Science's Enrichment Center who is running through a test of the Aperture Science Portal Gun (or whatever it's actually called). The test - a series of puzzles involving portals - is administered by a computer named GlaDOS. During the game you get the Portal Gun, a device that allows you to open a blue and an orange portal on non-metallic flat surfaces.

The puzzles all involve the use of portals. A simple example would be placing a cube onto a switch. Instead of cliché "pushing blocks around" the cube might be placed by opening a portal in the ceiling over the button and then opening the other portal below the cube, causing it to fall onto the button.

What makes Portal special, though, is GlaDOS, the somewhat insane computer that guides you through the Aperture Science Enrichment Center's course, offering helpful advice on how to use portals, and interesting tidbits like the fact that the Portal Gun is "more valuable than the vital organs and combined incomes of everyone in <<subject hometown here>>."

Comments

I'm making a note here:
HUGE SUCCESS!!!

Everyone's gripe about Portal is that it's too short. Which is true. More would have been nice. But at only a couple of hours (Actually I think I beat it in around 80 minutes) it never starts to get old. That's tricky to do - there's usually a few puzzles in games that are just frustrating to pull off. I never got terribly frustrated in Portal; it had no tricks that were easy to figure out but nearly impossible to pull off. That, I think, is what makes Portal great. That and GLaDOS.

Now all we need is a Portal map editor...

I never got terribly frustrated in Portal; it had no tricks that were easy to figure out but nearly impossible to pull off.

Wait until you try the challenge maps... I remember one where it was fairly obvious how it could be completed, but actually doing it involved jumping precisely without screwing up, which was annoyingly difficult to do thanks to the traditional "where are my feet?" problem that no first-person game has ever seemed to try and resolve.