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Average User Score: 8.9Apr 22, 2011Once again, I am blown away by what Valve has accomplished. I never thought a video game could make me feel the way I did the first time I'dOnce again, I am blown away by what Valve has accomplished. I never thought a video game could make me feel the way I did the first time I'd played Half-Life, but I was wrong. The first Portal was short and simple, a "beta" if you will for a new style of gameplay. Following the success of The Orange Box, (which included Portal, Team Fortress, and many other games,) Valve began working on a full blown sequel to the mind bending first person puzzle shooter that changed the way we played video games.
Now, admittedly, I was a bit skeptical and and slightly apathetic when I first heard about the announcement of Portal 2. Although I thoroughly enjoyed the first game, I was unsure of how Valve would be able to create a sequel with the same old mechanics from the first Portal. Honestly, I was expecting identical puzzles from the first time around, and not much of a story line. But I could not have been more wrong.
The first thing that gamers will notice about Portal 2 is it's incredible graphics. Valve has blown us away with its newest version of the magnificent Source engine once again. Sitting in my computer chair, I swear i could feel the butterflies in my stomach as I was being swung around by a crane in my dilapidated hotel room. The colors are brilliant, the textures are shinier and smoother than ever, the lighting and shadowing effects are amazing (and at one point, very eerie,) making Portal 2 instant eye candy right from the very first moments of gameplay.
Now, although I was taken aback by the beauty of the game, I was expecting top notch graphics from a developer such as Valve. What I was not expecting, however, was the incredibly compelling story line. Portal 2 features a narrative that could give Half-Life a run for its money. With mystery, action, suspense, and tons of hilarious, Monty Python-esque comedy, the only people that will not be fully entertained by Portal 2 are the people that havent played it... yet.
Gameplay is not the only thing that makes Portal 2 an instant classic. Valve has made history by integrating Steam onto consoles. Now, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Steam, here is a brief explanation. Steam is basically an online library which all of your video games are salved. Whereas back in the old days, when purchasing a game for pc, you would have to type in a serial key which would limit the game to being played only on the computer you installed it on, now you register you game with Steam, and you can now log into your account from any computer and play your games. Still with me? So now, Steam has reached out to consoles. What does that mean? For one, when I buy my PS3 version of Portal 2, I can also install it on my PC and my Mac and no additional charge, after of course registering my game with my Steam account. Also, I can save my game progress on Steam, so that I can start on my PS3, continue on my PC, and finish off the game on my Mac. Now, ready for the best part? Portal 2 is (I believe) the only online console game to be played on Steam servers as opposed to company specific networks, (such as XBOXLive for XBOX and PSN for Playstation.) What does that mean? Cross-server multiplayer. So now, PC, Mac, PS3, and XBOX owners who are friends can all play together, which is truly an innovation in the gaming industry.
Ever since Half-Life in 1998, Valve has delivered top notch games that would redefine gaming time and time again, while also changing the way we bought and maintained video games. Now, over a decade after its first release, Valve is still leading the path in the Video game industry, creating intelligent, exciting, high quality entertainment, and delivering them in a cheaper, easier way to gamers. Valve is proof, that quality is much better than quantity, and a little less profit for them does not mean watering down the product being sold. In my opinion, all developers, publishers, and entertainers of all forms should take a note or two on how Valve does business. Portal 2 - 10/10… Expand