Portal: Game Review

Mikey 4 comments
Portal: Game Review

There is no game quite like Portal. It's a first person puzzle solving game, but when you describe it to people you are met with confused yet intrigued expressions. The only way to explain Portal is to play it, or to watch some of the video footage below.

Admittedly Portal is a game I honestly thought was going to be a little beyond me. The media that is available makes it look insanely complex in some parts. And that's not far from the truth, but luckily you are eased into the game with some very basic puzzles which slowly increase in complexity, up until a point where you have to sit back and start planning.

So here is my written description. You control an unknown subject, 'armed' with the 'Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device' that allows you to rip a hole in the space time continuum (a portal) , and then walk or jump through it.

The left mouse button lets you launch a blue portal and the right creates an orange one. You can then walk through either to come out the other side. This allows you to bypass danger or get to places on the map that would otherwise be impossible. It sounds easy, and it is at first but as mentioned it gets insanely difficult later on.

Urging you on through your journey is a computer generated female voice with a genuine sense of humour that had me laughing out loud on many occasions. The only motivation she does provide however is the promise of cake should you make it all the way to the end. Although she also casts a lot of doubt at your abilities only to reverse her opinion the moment you succeed in solving a puzzle.

Graphically the game is very good, as it uses the Source Engine although in some areas it is a little sparse. This is good for people who may only have medium spec machines, as the Source Engine is still able to perform reasonably well even on older DirectX 8 hardware.

The game is short, but then for 20 (over Steam) bucks it's well worth the money. I would estimate only a few hours of play until you complete it, and less if you happen to hold a physics degree :-)

It's certainly game of the year material, or at least most original game of the year material. I give it 4 stars out of 5.

The official Valve Portal video is below, and my own screen shots appear underneath that.

Portal Portal Portal Portal Portal Portal

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Joe Marco

Saturday 12th January 2008 | 01:22 PM

did you ever play 'Pitfall' on the ol' Atari system? I always wanted to be that dude.

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Sunday 13th January 2008 | 02:09 AM


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Sunday 13th January 2008 | 12:34 PM

Lamingtons! Good spotting Gilly. I will never look at this game the same light again - thanks! LOL. It's a good thing they don't have little white speckles in them.

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Monday 14th January 2008 | 09:28 AM

Yet another reason to buy the Orange Box. I haven't spent as much time with Portal as I should, but it's definitely a mind-bending game.

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