Portal Review – A Gamer’s Prospective

Even though Portal was first released 12 years ago (October, 2007), I still hadn’t attempted the puzzle platform game that swept the nation. I mentioned portal and its sequel, Portal 2, in my Top 10 PC Games Under $20 review, so I thought I will have to try this game out before adding it to my list (don’t worry, I plan on writing a Witcher 3 review as well).

Ambiance

The wit and humor of this game is right up my alley: it’s dark, disturbing, and AWESOME! GLaDOS’ narrative was great to listen to, to the point that I would stop playing and just listen to what quirky and dark snippets she would say. The whole game is set in Aperture Laboratories, technologically advanced experimental science lab where many dangerous devices (most not friendly) were developed. It is here that the portal gun was born and tested.

Gameplay Length: 2-4 hours

Now, this is the most underwhelming part of this game. 2-4 hours to complete is not a lot of time to get invested into the game? I started playing it one morning, and before I knew it, the game was over….But on the plus side, it made me want to jump right into Portal 2 to get more levels and see where the story will continue! The bonus levels extended this a bit, but still not by as much as I would have hoped.

Replayability

I will give Portal the thumbs up for replayability, even though the game is relatively short. You can play the game for speed running, slow it down and listen to GLaDOS and her “I’m-trying-but-not-trying to kill you” narrative, or look for other Easter Eggs hidden throughout the game. There are quite a few level creations and mods by the Portal community that you can test your puzzle solving skills in as well, leading to even more replayability.

Overall

Overall, the game was fun: GLaDOS was entertaining to listen to, her part was very well written. The puzzles weren’t too challenging that you would give up after a few minutes, but were challenging enough to test my patience (especially the bonus levels). I think in total for the base game there were about 19 levels, the first few being relatively easy and more of a tutorial than anything. The last level was the longest…SPOILER ALERT! After you “complete” the mission and think you are done, you actually aren’t – The game has you go through some vents and back walkways and such as an escape attempt, until you inadvertently end up face to face with GLaDOS, where you have to defeat her to escape. I thought this was well done, but at the same time, seemed to drag on for a bit too long – maybe cutting it down by 1/4 would have been sufficient, and adding in another couple levels before that would be beneficial. For under $2 now on the Steam Summer Sale for both Portal and Portal 2, it is for sure worth picking these games up for the narrative alone!

Let me know what you thought of the game in the comments below!

-ProspectiveGamer

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