aKiller's Portal (PC)
| [January 14, 2008 10:40:42 PM]
After an extensive second round play of Portal the game's complexity in both story and difficulty significantly increased. The last couple of puzzles of the supposed nineteen are slightly more time consuming and require more thinking before using the portal gun. The small turret robots add the enemy aspect to these levels as well as clever dark humor such as "I don't blame you" as they are knocked off by a slight push. Timing when and where to make your portals are part of the increased difficulty in the later levels. Then you pass the last level and you get to have cake, which is actually, death!
So having never played this game before, reaching the fire pit of death at the end of the level was an extreme turning point in the somewhat calm puzzle play. Navigating through the last level was definitely the funnest and most challenging part of the game. The you feel of escape and rule-breaking is quite a rewarding experience. The end to the game was mildly challenging and had a somewhat ambiguous ending. I have heard that this game is supposed to tie into the Half-Life games, but having never played those games it is hard for a new player to identify with the ending.
Portal is an impressively innovative game from the use of the portal gun being the only "weapon" and tool you use through the whole game. Being a short game, having only a couple of hours of main gameplay, Portal provides an easy to pick up and extremely fun way of playing. With simple controls and no solid storyline it is easy for anybody to start traveling through the game. In addition to an easy pick up, just messing around with the physics of the game can lead to fun distracting activities (such as the mentioned endless falling).
The conflict in this game mainly rises from the computer that seems to always be talking to you with a flat-line dark humor that is hard not to enjoy. Hidden areas throughout the game invoke a suspicion as to what exactly it is that you are doing. Finding blood written messages and a deep emotional expression for the companion cube, specially in the last level, make you paranoid as to the whole experiment you seem to have been part of. The use of space in the levels exploit the paranoia you will feel. A clean, scientific, testing lab instantly gives you the disturbing feeling of a lab rat.
With the completion of the game there are 6 bonus levels that allow you to choose from a heightened difficulty or limited time, footsteps, or portals. These extra levels lend themselves to a rewarding feeling if completed, but do not add much replay value. It is a definite worthwhile game with an extremely unique concept of gameplay. After playing this I will look into the other Orange Box games and hopefully find a connection as well as more great games.
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| [January 14, 2008 02:21:30 AM]
Portal is a first-person 3D puzzle PC Game where the only weapon available is a Portal creator. Goals and objectives are straight forward: get to the exit and survive. A creeping computer voice tells the player what to do. Avoiding turrets and using momentum to get across levels add complexity to each level.
This game begins with a common introduction of not knowing where you are and not knowing what to do. The surrounding lab area causes and unfamiliar and almost cold feeling to the area you are in. The only characters that ever appear in the game (other than yourself) are a camera, the occasional turret robots, and the all-faithful companion cubes. The first levels are not too complicated and just require getting used to the portal system. The portal gun at this point only allows the creation of the blue entry portal
The controls on the game are easy to get used to; having only motion controls to worry about, it is easy to fully concentrate on portal making with the ease of either mouse button. Getting used to the physics of the game increases the challenge due to the nature of speed through the portals. As the game puts it "speedy thing comes in, speedy thing comes out," which perfectly describes as some levels require gaining speed from high areas to access the other side of the level.
At a certain point, you acquire another part of the Portal gun which allows you to create the orange exit point. Having control over both portals is extremely fun and allows you to kill a lot of time by endlessly falling with a portal on the ceiling and a portal on the floor. The Companion cubes add to the emotions felt due to them being the only thing you safely interact with. Having heard little about the game and the cube, I felt more attached to the Portal gun than the companion cube. Having completed more than half of what seems to be 19 levels, the gameplay length seems short. Only time will tell how this game ends up and whether the cake really is a "lie".
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jan 14th, 2008 at 22:41:12.
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aKiller's Portal (PC)
Current Status: Playing
GameLog started on: Sunday 13 January, 2008