Kythin’s Rating: 5/5
I just finished playing one of the most entertaining and innovative games I have played in a long time, possibly since Ocarina of Time. The whole game only takes about three hours to complete, but it plays out like an extremely well put together comedy/sci-fi movie. The sometimes black humor scattered throughout, mostly given as voice prompts by the governing computer system in the facility, add a light hearted aspect to the feeling of being isolated and alone in a weird testing environment.
The new game mechanic that is the whole point of the game, i.e. the portal gun, is one of those “It’s so simple, why hasn’t this been done before” ideas that just… well it just works, and it works really well. Basically you shoot a wall with the left mouse button, then you shoot another wall with the right mouse button, and you can run between the portals you’ve created. You can even use it for scouting out high or low places, or looking around corners, because you can see through the portals like they’re streaming video from the other end.
It’s also incredibly fun to make portals that make you perpetually fall, or better yet watch inanimate objects fall (like your weighted companion cube <3 ).
The portals you create are so smoothly programmed that you can tear the universe new space holes while falling or flying through the air. You can’t actually fly though, because that would be silly. You can however fall into one side of a portal and come flying out the other – persistent momentum through portals – or in layman terms: speedy thing go in, speedy thing come out.
The game travels along at your own pace, limited only by your own ability to solve the puzzles presented to you. Surprise surprise, most of the puzzles require you to figure out where to put a portal in order to get to a platform, or hit a switch, or direct a rocket, etc. Sometimes the puzzles in the room force you to think quickly as well, but most of the time you have all the time you want to sort it out – as long as you don’t get hit by machine gun fire, or fall in a pit of sewage.
All in all the gameplay is polished and smooth and extremely entertaining. The portal gun is a great new mechanic that I’m sure will be used again in the near future. The somewhat dark humour included made the whole game fun and lighthearted even when staring down the barrel of a rocket launching floating eyeball… thing.
Get it and have a go, it’s worth it: The Orange Box and Portal