Portal 2 Review

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEXT
 

I don't get why people hate this game. Been playing since 2 AM and I love it. I don't think I'm even halfway through. I'm gonna go crash for now though. Must sleep.

I close my eyes and all I see are portals...

Portal: single-handedly bastardizing the meaning of "science" for an entire generation. Did you really have to yell "science" after every time you said "science?" It was kind of funny the first time but then got really obnoxious.

Sassafrass:

danpascooch:

I know they're different people, and it's not affecting my decisions to play or buy the game.

All I said was that the Escapist as a whole is demonstrating time and time again that their reviews are not trustworthy, I don't see how anything you've posted conflicts with that statement.

Well, if that's the case, I appear to have missed your point by a country mile. I guess I'm just not seeing how this hints at the Escapist's reviews being untrust-worthy in any way, shape or form.

Well let's see, reviews are supposed to be an accurate evaluation of the quality of a game.

Average Dragon Age II Critic Score: 79
Escapist Dragon Age II Critic Score: 100

Average Portal II Critic Score: 94
Escapist Portal II Critic Score: 80

So either the Escapist reviews are untrustworthy, or everyone else is. Which seems more likely? I want a reviewer that gives me an accurate measure of a game's worth, and solid reasoning behind it, that's why I go with Game Informer. The mark of a good review source is that it deviates a bit from the average with good reasoning behind it, the mark of a bad review source is when it wildly leaps 15 to 20 percent in random directions, with conclusions that weren't supported by logic or examples anywhere in the review.

Russ Pitts said in his conclusion (the "bottom line"): "The levels just plain aren't as challenging" But nowhere in the actual review gives an example, or a reason he feels this way, hell, he doesn't even mention it at all it just slips in to the conclusion at the end like a 6th grader who doesn't know how to write the conclusion of an essay.

And don't even get me started on this excerpt:

"The levels may not seem as devious or as interesting (perhaps owing to familiarity with the underlying portal mechanic), but the [b]puzzles and environments are sufficiently varied and [b]interesting"

So the levels don't seem interesting, but the puzzles and environments are interesting? What the fuck?

I don't have anything personal against Russ Pitts, but the Escapist is spreading itself too thin, they already have Yahtzee for (sort of) reviews, they either need to hire someone solely for reviews, or just stick with Yahtzee, but this whole "cycle a staff member into a review every so often" just causes them to look unprofessional and schizophrenic in their opinions.

danpascooch:

Well let's see, reviews are supposed to be an accurate evaluation of the quality of a game.

Average Dragon Age II Critic Score: 79
Escapist Dragon Age II Critic Score: 100

Average Portal II Critic Score: 94
Escapist Portal II Critic Score: 80

So either the Escapist reviews are untrustworthy, or everyone else is. Which seems more likely? I want a reviewer that gives me an accurate measure of a game's worth, and solid reasoning behind it, that's why I go with Game Informer. The mark of a good review source is that it deviates a bit from the average with good reasoning behind it, the mark of a bad review source is when it wildly leaps 15 to 20 percent in random directions, with conclusions that weren't supported by logic or examples anywhere in the review.

...What?

Seriously, you're taking an overall average, taken from many reviews and then comparing it to one review score and then using that as leverage to say the Escapist reviews are untrustworthy. ...I'm just going to walk away and leave you to think that they are untrustworthy then.

Surprised about the loading time complaints. Sure they were after every level, so about every 5-10 minutes, but they only took like 10 seconds. Then again I was playing the PC version not the 360.

I will agree that some of the levels are just a lot easier, but that could be due to the fact I did a lot of the challenge modes in the first game.

There's one room where you have 3 lasers and 3 switches to hit with them on the other side of the wall. I had it figured out within 15 seconds, easily. It seemed like they thought it would be harder than that. There were some rooms that really stumped me for a while though.

danpascooch:

Average Dragon Age II Critic Score: 79
Escapist Dragon Age II Critic Score: 100

Average Portal II Critic Score: 94
Escapist Portal II Critic Score: 80

This is a common problem for those of us who don't score on 10 or 100 scales. We didn't give Dragon Age II 100 nor did we give Portal II a 80, those are merely the aggregates conversions. We gave them a 5 and 4 stars out of 5 respectively. You can see what these scores mean here. You're comparing a set of data points that's intentionally giving wider marks to one that I feel is needlessly complex. I'd love for someone to point out to me what the quantifiable mechanic, feature or difference that equates to a game receiving a 92 instead of a 90. For instance, when I recommend something to my friends I tell them if I think it's great, that I still had fun with it or to skip it. Anything more is really not helping me to recommend it, and ultimately that's what we are trying to do here recommend games, not adjust our average scoring on metacritic.

(Developer Valve "updated" the game last year, adding a new ending in which Chell is dragged back toward the underground science lab immediately after emerging victorious.)

Is this actually complaining about updating the game to make the sequel fit better? What, did Valve ruin it's "purity" or something?

Oh for the love of Pete people!

The "SCIENCE!" thing is the review is from this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IlHgbOWj4o

ZiggyE:
You use the term 'indie' a lot when describing Portal.

Portal isn't an indie game nor a 'pseudo-indie' game. In fact it was made by one of the largest studios in the PC market.

Which, as it so happens, is an indie developer themselves.

Indie, or independent, means that the developers are not run or published by any game publisher like Activision or EA. Valve most certainly fits the bill.

You don't think of Valve or Bungie as typical indie developers per se, but they most certainly are. And in Valve's case, it shows.

Blah, Russ...I see constant complaints on this review about the quality of it (i.e. not mentioning the co-op enough), and shouting memes doesn't make you funny. Just...stop trying so hard >.<

I liked this review, but the 'science, SCIENCE!' thing irritated the hell out of me.

danpascooch:

Sassafrass:

danpascooch:

I know they're different people, and it's not affecting my decisions to play or buy the game.

All I said was that the Escapist as a whole is demonstrating time and time again that their reviews are not trustworthy, I don't see how anything you've posted conflicts with that statement.

Well, if that's the case, I appear to have missed your point by a country mile. I guess I'm just not seeing how this hints at the Escapist's reviews being untrust-worthy in any way, shape or form.

Well let's see, reviews are supposed to be an accurate evaluation of the quality of a game.

Average Dragon Age II Critic Score: 79
Escapist Dragon Age II Critic Score: 100

Average Portal II Critic Score: 94
Escapist Portal II Critic Score: 80

So either the Escapist reviews are untrustworthy, or everyone else is. Which seems more likely? I want a reviewer that gives me an accurate measure of a game's worth, and solid reasoning behind it, that's why I go with Game Informer. The mark of a good review source is that it deviates a bit from the average with good reasoning behind it, the mark of a bad review source is when it wildly leaps 15 to 20 percent in random directions, with conclusions that weren't supported by logic or examples anywhere in the review.

Russ Pitts said in his conclusion (the "bottom line"): "The levels just plain aren't as challenging" But nowhere in the actual review gives an example, or a reason he feels this way, hell, he doesn't even mention it at all it just slips in to the conclusion at the end like a 6th grader who doesn't know how to write the conclusion of an essay.

And don't even get me started on this excerpt:

"The levels may not seem as devious or as interesting (perhaps owing to familiarity with the underlying portal mechanic), but the [b]puzzles and environments are sufficiently varied and [b]interesting"

So the levels don't seem interesting, but the puzzles and environments are interesting? What the fuck?

I don't have anything personal against Russ Pitts, but the Escapist is spreading itself too thin, they already have Yahtzee for (sort of) reviews, they either need to hire someone solely for reviews, or just stick with Yahtzee, but this whole "cycle a staff member into a review every so often" just causes them to look unprofessional and schizophrenic in their opinions.

Yahtzee does not do reviews, and never has. He is an entertainer and a critic, but not a reviewer, as he will tell you himself. Reviews have ALWAYS been by members of the staff (or occasionally by paid freelancers). That's part of our job description, as you'd find at pretty much any other game site on the internet.

As Justin said, we don't grade on a 100 point scale. We have 5 rankings, and only 5 - we don't even do half-stars. What's more, is that game critique is an inherently subjective form. I mean, there's certainly a point where you can agree that a game is well made or poorly made (we can all agree that Assassin's Creed 2 is better than Stalin vs. Martians), but as reviewers and gamers we all have things that interest us or grab us more than others.

Something that Greg Tito, as someone who has been playing table top games for over a decade, really loved in Dragon Age 2 might be something that another reviewer thought was horrible. Something that Russ Pitts didn't like in Portal 2 might have been something that another reviewer thought was fantastic. They're different scores, given by different people, though we at The Escapist stand by them every time.

That does not mean that we all have a consensus on every score we publish, of course. It's not uncommon for us to talk about the scores we're giving before the review is finished, and we might disagree. Susan gave Assassin's Creed 2 a 4-star rating, and I'd have easily given it a 5. Similarly, I'd have personally given Portal 2 a 5, but I tried playing the original Dragon Age and got bored within 30 minutes, so I'd have never rated it highly.

Metacritic is not the end-all-be-all of game reviews. It is a collection of subjective opinions that it attempts to assign objective scores, and that's why a lot of game journalists and game makers alike have a problem with it.

i dont get what you mean by long loading titles, it takes less then 15 secs to load

Gralian:
I... didn't get what the yelling of 'science!' and occasional high-pitched voice was about.

Anyway i'm sure it's a great 'memetic' game and everything with novel puzzles and memorable moments, but one problem i really have with portal - nay, puzzle games in general - is that the re-playability is non-existent. Once you find out the solution to each room, there's... not really much more to it. It might be novel to run through it once or twice, but there's really no gameplay involved beyond trying to solve the puzzle in each room. This coupled with the pitifully short campaign (around 6 hours, wasn't it? And even that is being generous according to some reports about the campaign's length) really makes this a hard sell. Almost a cash in, in some respects, as the original portal was short but the low cost (or free in some cases) made it worth the purchase, as you're not likely to pick it up again beyond the odd one or two times you want to show off to your mates or for a mini nostalgia trip through your favourite test chambers. The fact it was brief and lacked re-playability was offset by the low cost, which is clearly not the case here as we're expected to pay 35 ($50 for yanks?) for this product. To me, it's clearly trying to ride on the success of its predecessor by clever use of memetic phrases like "the cake is a lie" and in making GLaDOS herself a sort of 'meme'. It's like the world's most devious marketing ploy. DLC dressed up as a full retail package.

Please actually play the game before making remarks claiming that it is "DLC dressed up as a full retail package." -.-

I found the single player to be around 10 hours for me, with the Co-op clocking in around 8. 18 hours defiantly justifies a full retail purchase for me, and at the very least it is NOT what you quoted it above to be.

Crowser:

at the very least it is NOT what you quoted it above to be.

I won't argue with you on the aspect of length, as i said before, i haven't played it or finished it and i'm not qualified to comment on that. However, i think my point regarding replayability still stands. You can't ignore that just because you don't mind re-running the same puzzles five times over due to fanboyism. (i'm sorry if that comes off as derogatory, i couldn't think of a better way to express it)

It doesn't matter how amazing the game is if there's nothing to bring you back after you've seen and done everything. It's not like, say, a shooter where the enemy AI is constantly thinking and reacting to you and thus presents a challenge (regardless of how minor) simply because you've seen all the tricks and you know all the puzzles. The whole game is based around a concept of "here is a room with a puzzle, solve it". As someone else before me said, it's like taking a test while staring at the answer sheet. The gameplay of it is virtually non-existant, beyond figuring out the answers to puzzles, and while co-op is a nice addition there's no real online component. Or rather, no online competitive component which is what keeps a lot of games alive, beyond the odd co-op focused title like Left 4 Dead, but the exception is made due to the unpredictable AI element i mentioned earlier. This still provides competition, only it is against the AI, not other players. Portal is not about competition, which is a mortal blow to its replaybility. I find it amazing people overlook this entirely.

Seriously? Was spoiling the acts 1, 2 and 3 really needed? I mean, I was expecting a boss fight, a first, second and third act, but there was no point in spoiling what these acts entailed. Now I'm going to have this niggling thought in my head telling me whats coming next. It's like saying the whole "Atlas is Fontaine" thing everyone spoiled. At least he didn't spoil the co-op.

And too bad you didn't enjoy the game, I can't wait to play it.

SCIENCE!

I'd so love to get this, but don't have the money:( Ah well, I bought Dragon Age:Origins for 20, so that'll keep me going for a while.

What an honestly tremendous game, by the end it almost had me in tears because I cared so much for the characters. Absolutely superb, games are art and Roger Ebert can eat his heart out.

Such a levelheaded review. Refreshing.

Sober Thal:

Russ Pitts:
Portal 2 Review

The indie darling returns in a AAA sequel, but is it still good enough for science?

Read Full Article

Three times the originals length is vague. How long is the single player?

EDIT: Seriously, swear on your companion cube the single player is over 8 hours long. Please??

It took me six hours.

Seriously, OP, did you have to incidentally show the strategies for so many of the Act 3 difficult puzzles? Or Wheatley's viewing screen? You were spoilering like mad here.

EDIT: One thousandth post!

image

Wow... the review complained about loading times and played it on the Xbox 360. Playing it on the PC will give you almost no loading time at all, and the PC I played it on isn't great.

what's up with everyone calling the arg, it's Portal. And I think it is a shame that they didn't have advanced chambers or challenge maps =(

I think you spoiled a bit in the Act 3 scenes. Also, I have no idea what you're talking about that this game's puzzles are easier. Did your brain somehow get turned upside-down?

Slycne:

danpascooch:

Average Dragon Age II Critic Score: 79
Escapist Dragon Age II Critic Score: 100

Average Portal II Critic Score: 94
Escapist Portal II Critic Score: 80

This is a common problem for those of us who don't score on 10 or 100 scales. We didn't give Dragon Age II 100 nor did we give Portal II a 80, those are merely the aggregates conversions. We gave them a 5 and 4 stars out of 5 respectively. You can see what these scores mean here. You're comparing a set of data points that's intentionally giving wider marks to one that I feel is needlessly complex. I'd love for someone to point out to me what the quantifiable mechanic, feature or difference that equates to a game receiving a 92 instead of a 90. For instance, when I recommend something to my friends I tell them if I think it's great, that I still had fun with it or to skip it. Anything more is really not helping me to recommend it, and ultimately that's what we are trying to do here recommend games, not adjust our average scoring on metacritic.

And this is why I was opposed to it when you guys started starring your reviews. I know it's old hat now, but you really made a mistake.

Compare this review with John Walkers WiT on RPS and you'll notice, I think, that the discussion is more focussed on the actual content of the review on RPS than here where people latch on the stars.

Also, 360 version: for shame! At least do the PS3 one and let people know how the Steam integration works. Or get a bloody review copy like RPS.

cubikill:
Thank you for the review, for science!
This is about what i expected, great but not amazing, i will still be picking this up, for science!

its better than you think, the reviewer, was, well, less than qualified to review the game, he completely glossed over the story, and didn't pay attention, (which is easily seen by him saying you would forget you even played the single player after wards and him not understanding that the events of portal two take place 9 years after portal one, and the reason the whole place is in shambles is both explained, and obvious, first off glados (which is said glad-ose not glad-auss) is a sleep, not able to maintain the facility, second,

I wouldn't play this on the 360 either, the worst platform for play, Pc is the best for this game, and Ps3, the second best.

In the video he says "Also in Act 1 you'll meet the excursion funnel".
Umm, excursion funnels are the last element introduced in the game. In-fact it's in Chapter 8, which is nowhere near Act 1. This review was the worst I have ever seen. This is why I only trust Metacritic, because it combines critic scores so you have many opinions instead of just one. The current Metacritic score for this game is 96 out of 100, and after playing it thoroughly I would say that is definitely a score that Portal 2 deserves.

So don't play it on a crap old gizmo like the xbox, it loads fast enough on the PC.
Plus she doesn't have bionic feet, she has jump boots on - pay attention.

Imho Portal 2 puzzles are a lot better than in the first one.

I have to agree about the "SCIENCE!" part, it almost made me stop watching this review, and every time I heard Russ say science i thought "Oh, here it comes". That said, I don't agree with some parts of the review. The game is awesome, I couldn't stop playing it, and the only part where it seemed it was dragging a little were the Cave Johnson areas, but it was fun nonetheless.

I'm quite happy I saw this review before I played the game because it checked my expectations a bit (even though I was only 'looking forward to' rather than 'ridiculously hyped for' this game). So when the game turned out to be tear-inducingly wonderful, it was a most pleasant surprise.

I'm not really not understanding all this 360 hate from both Russ and everyone else. The loading times are fine, 15 seconds tops. Frequent, but I can live with that. Yes the puzzles seem less tricky but as several of you have pointed out, we're used to the mechanics of it by now.

The music is fantastic, the game is brilliantly cinematic (end of Act 1 was AMAZING), the writing is great, it's hilarious and a lot of fun. I wasn't expecting much of a story but it was very good. The whole game had a great sense of 'bigness' and then there was the ending. There are no words. Overall I think it surpassed the original in every respect except one; 'Want You Gone' is not as memorable as 'Still Alive'.

At an estimate:
Co-Op - 5hrs (Overall fun but not as interesting/enjoyable as main game due to not having much of a story)
Single player - 10hrs or so for me.

OK-here's MY review:
I for one have completed single player and found it to be a superior game in every way to Portal 1.Unlike the first,the environments vary a lot-some quite draw droppingly gorgeous.LOVED the old Aperture Science labs of the 1950s-1970s with the offices reflecting some funny cultural quirks of each era.The only drawback is that in some dark and murky areas,with seas and night vistas,it can be REALLY hard to spot the Portal-worthy surfaces.But that is a minor quibble.
IMO,the puzzles are actually a teeny bit HARDER to solve.However,once you have the solution,there is a LOT less of those impossible twitchy point-click portalling moves and jumps that in Portal 1 you had to perform ten times after myriad Saves.These were the same jumps that for me made mod maps like Portal Prelude so horrible.For my money,knowing the solution and being stuck in one place for an hour because you don't have the reflexes of a 16 year old male hopped up on Red Bull is a godsend.(Those of us who got stuck on that horrible jump in Test 15 know what I mean.)I like a bit of a challenge in this area,but after dying ten times after placing the portal the teeniest bit from the exact spot because your mouse keys are a bit stiff, & you begin to despise trick shots & crouch jumping.
The added mechanics of gels,hard light bridges etc are great fun & you find yourself flying through the air a LOT more than last time.Again,once you've executed the move,there's a lot less of the falling to your death trying to hit your mark.I do miss a few of those jumps into portals from massive heights though,but perhaps they were a tad overused in the final 'behind the scenes' areas in Portal 1.
The story is much more fleshed out than in the first,but with enough ambiguity to still keep it interesting.Every character-from Glados down to the turrets and the cubes-has had extra dimensions added to their character.That little metal killing machines could be such fun is a testament to the thought Valve put into every element of the game.And Cave Johnson-Aperture's founder-voiced perfectly by JK Simmons-has to be one of the best game characters in years.If Ross Perot & Steve Jobs had a lovechild,he'd be it.He's fab & delivers some of the game's best lines.
And the humour! It's an absolute riot!So many quotable lines it's impossible to pick a fave,but as I said,Cave's rants are well up there.The voice acting is perfect.I had reservations about Merchant-as much as I enjoy his work-he always seems to play himself-but he's absolutely spot on here.McClain as Glados just keeps getting better and it's amazing how much shade & depth she adds to the character just through her voice alone.
An added bonus-McClain gets to use her operatic voice in one scene.I won't say where,but it's a moment that's quite wonderful.I had seen footage of McClain singing Mozart on Youtube,and she's a wonderful classical singer,so I'm glad folks who only know her 'Still Alive' voice get to hear it as well.She still uses her familiar pop vocal on the closing Coulton track,but it's nice to hear her 'other' voice as well.
And I dare to say-the ending is crazy,unpredictable,perfect & touching.So satisfying was the ending-I'm not even sure I want a third installment.(Well,sure I do,but you know what I mean.)It's a class ending.
So ignore the naysayers.It's a great game.And it isn't short if you take your time to do all the achievements & seek out the hidden areas.
I loved it.So there.
Oh,and as a woman it's a nice change to play a game where both protagonist & villian are female,& both roles are cool & non-stereotypical.(Even if Glados DOES make jibes at Chell's weight.The cow! ;-)
Oh,and there's even 2 Half Life references.What more do you want?

Frontastic:
Overall I think it surpassed the original in every respect except one; 'Want You Gone' is not as memorable as 'Still Alive'.
.

Agreed.It's not terrible by any means,but it lacks the magic of 'Still Alive.' Ironically,the fan love on Youtube seems to be for the operatic song that precedes it.(To minimize spoilers,I won't say who sings it,but it's IMO one of the highlights of the game)That tune has a similar magic,even if it is sung in Italian.Having subtitles on(& googling a translation so you get its relevence)so you can sing along is a blast.But Coulton was probably trying not to repeat himself & write the same song again.But it is growing on me.

This "review" makes me sad. Full of factual errors (act-3-only funnels listed as appearing in act 1? Really?), outright lies (5 second loading screens are not "long"), and (especially in the video format) massively spoilerific.

I expect better from you, Escapist. Please get your facts straight.

Anyway, don't be put off by anything this review says -- buy the game on PS3 or PC; it's awesome. Just make sure you take your time, the game is a lot better when you don't rush through it, and look and listen to everything around you.

AusGamer44:

Frontastic:
Overall I think it surpassed the original in every respect except one; 'Want You Gone' is not as memorable as 'Still Alive'.
.

Agreed.It's not terrible by any means,but it lacks the magic of 'Still Alive.' Ironically,the fan love on Youtube seems to be for the operatic song that precedes it.(To minimize spoilers,I won't say who sings it,but it's IMO one of the highlights of the game)That tune has a similar magic,even if it is sung in Italian.Having subtitles on(& googling a translation so you get its relevence)so you can sing along is a blast.But Coulton was probably trying not to repeat himself & write the same song again.But it is growing on me.

Oh no, it is still good. Coulton can do no wrong in my book. It still made me smile but Still Alive made me laugh. It was just lacking in the razor sharp, out-of-nowhere humour and the tune itself isn't as melancholic-ally pleasant.
The turret song is, really? Interesting. Didn't really do it for me but will give it another look with subtitles, sounds good.

traukanshaku:

To anyone saying that you play a crappier version or Portal 2 willingly because your computer "can't run it," holy shiat, if your computer can't run Source engine games, then either you haven't upgraded in ten years or you might want to look into clearing the crapware off of your store-bought PC to make it actually run like it's supposed to. Hell, my phone could probably run the Source engine.

Unless it's tf2, which will devour your comp in a hugely unoptimised mess of code, with excruciatingly bad multi-core support.

But yeah, from what I've heard of Portal 2 it runs magnificently on old hardware. In fact, everyone agrees it runs far far better than tf2, even comparing high settings in latter to medium in the former. Okay, a mild rant, but I really enjoy tf2, and the horrible fps drops and crashing just makes me sad face, that's all.

OT: Oh, and about the review: Clearly I just don't agree with Russ Pitts at all, on any game. As others have said, John walker over on RPS did a great review on it; He got his facts straight, and it's completely spoiler free. I'd recommend that one.

 Pages PREV 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here