Portal 2 is the funniest game I played in 2011. I could leave it there and it would probably be a good enough recommendation for a lot of people. Humor in games is hard to come by as it is, and when a game is really, truly, genuinely funny that’s something else altogether.
Portal 2 is more than a lesson in comedy though, it is a lesson on how to make a brilliant game. It is a lesson on how to come as close to perfection on every level imaginable in one masterpiece of entertainment. Portal 2 is my favorite game of 2011, and will be talked about for years to come when discussing how to craft a piece of art in this medium.
Being the successor to what is quite possibly the best game on this generation of consoles, Portal 2 had a lot to live up to. Portal ranks highly within my personal 10 or so favorite games I’ve ever played (and I’ve been playing games for a very long time). The second game builds upon the foundation of the original and takes the Portal formula to the limit. The acting is perfect, the writing is perfect, the puzzles are perfect, pretty much anything that is in this game is there because it was as good as it could possibly be and not one step below it.
The game is split very specifically into three acts, and each works just as well as the one before it. Each act is dedicated to a specific character for the most part, and each character act reveals a lot about the characters themselves.
The story unfolds to you as you accomplish the puzzles and move deeper and deeper into the Aperture Laboratories. Everything that you do in the game just feels so rewarding. You’re either feeling like a genius from solving the world’s most insane puzzle, or soaking in the new story details or hilarious writing you hear.
I’m usually worried when I hear a single player game that I love will be getting multiplayer, but this is one time I was actually anticipating it. I had full faith in Valve to make it a quality part of their product, and it turns out Portal 2 co-op was probably the most fun in any multiplayer game all year. Working together to solve an insane puzzle with your friends is one of the best cooperative experiences you’ll ever have. You won’t work together in any other game like you do in Portal. Some of the harder sequences almost become an art within themselves getting everything you’re doing down to split second timing, screaming at your friend the entire time. When it all comes together there isn’t anything else like it.
The ending of Portal 2 may be my favorite video game ending of all time. Everything just comes to a close so perfectly, if there was never another Portal game, I think I would be satisfied. From the beginning of Portal to the end of Portal 2, Valve has created the perfection video game series. It didn’t overstay its welcome, it got its best ideas out of the way, and it left us with nothing but happy memories. I realize Portal 3 could still potentially happen, but as it stands now, the Portal series is one of the most perfect franchises in existence. As I parted ways with a certain malevolent AI she gave me these words that I think are appropriate here. “It’s been fun. Don’t come back.”
Sooo…I kind of like Portal 2. A lot. Portal 2 is my Game of the Year for 2011, and I’m really glad it is as good as it is. THANK YOU VALVE. I LOVE YOU FOREVER.
This is usually where I leave some kind of funny, clever, or snarky comment, but I’m not going to. I’m just going to tell you again to go play Portal. Go play Portal. Go play Portal. Now.
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