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Review: Portal 2 - PC, Xbox 360, PS3

by Steven Williamson on 21 April 2011, 10:07 4.75

Tags: Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), Action/Adventure

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All-new co-operative mode

Portal 2 isn’t just about puzzle solving of course. One of the highlights of the original game was the storyline; and this second installment continues the good work. We’re very wary about spoiling the story and even referring to the ending of Portal just in case anyone hasn’t played it, so we’re not going to go into specifics in this review. However, fans of the original shouldn’t be disappointed, apart from with the end song that doesn’t quite recreate the magic of Portal. Once again, you play as Chell, the Aperture Science Test Subject; and there’s far more character interaction than the first game and lots of dry humor and sarcasm to enjoy. The brilliant Stephen Merchant plays a blinder as Wheatley, the personality core, and his quick-witted humor complements the monotone voice and put-downs of GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System.) Even taking a leisurely ride in an elevator, or walking down a barren corridor, can be something to look forward to as the storyline amuses and teases in equal measure before unfolding into a satisfying conclusion.

When you've finally managed to complete the test chambers in the single player campaign, there's also a fantastic co-op mode to look forward to which introduces two droids, P-body and Atlas, who were constructed by GLaDOS as test subjects. The co-op mode can be played in split-screen or online and the beauty of the PlayStation 3 version is full STEAM integration, which allows you to jump online with PC players too. With the wrong team-mate, co-op can be utterly frustrating, but with communication and teamwork, it's one of the most satisfying co-op modes we've ever played. The fact that the test chambers are even more intricately designed and you now have four portals instead of two that you can punch into the environment makes progress incredibly tricky, but just as absorbing and satisfying as the single player. And, once again, Valve puts together some stunning and creative level design to ensure you're kept entertained throughout.

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