Joseph Hallenbeck
May 02, 2012

Portal 2: A Rave Review

Filed under: Literary Criticism

Okay, Portal 2! What could be said about Portal 2 that wouldn’t already be known by anyone who stumbles upon this blog?

Portal 2 is amazing? That’s a given since this is a product of Valve we are talking about here. Valve just does a very good job on it’s games and Portal 2 is no different. This is a product that has been polished until not one little error remained. Every line of dialog is a pleasant suprise, every puzzle an innovative joy and I am only sad that it is so short.

For those who may have been laying beneath a rock – Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle game built using Valve’s Source engine, that is the same engine responsible for the likes of Team Fortress, Left 4 Dead, and Half-Life 2. Except instead of focusing on run-and-gun gameplay, Portal uses the first-person perspective for an entirely different take. Your gun shoots portals. Left click and it sets an entrance on a wall. Right click anywhere else and you create a doorway that will take you from one space to the next.

It’s like playing in an M.C. Escher painting and the challenge is simply being able to visualize the problem of moving between point A and point B. At first this is rather simple. Shoot a portal on a wall, put another one somewhere else and hop through. But the puzzles become increasingly challenging as the game progresses requiring a great deal of creativity upon the player’s part to simply navigate the levels.

And as a companion to your trials you get a collection of some of the most delightful, twisted characters that I have seen in a game before: GlaDOS, Wheatley, and Cave Johnson exist to torment, mock, and serve up a kind of science-experiment-gone-wrong scenario as Chell (our protagonist) delves into the bowels of Aperture Science to uncover where it all began.

If I am beaming about the game it is because it is just that much fun. It has been a long while since I hit a game that I just could not put down and Portal 2 is definitely hard to put down.

"Portal 2: A Rave Review" by Joseph Hallenbeck is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Support this and future posts on