|Genre: Puzzle & Trivia|
|Min OS X: 10.6|
The cooperative game allows some gestures and interactions between the two players. Players can put a mark on an area, in an attempt to get their partner to understand what is needed next. The two robots make a bunch of squeaks and squawks when gesturing or trying to communicate with each other. If you are really good at using the text box and your partner manages to actually read it, this can also help.
If you find someone that you work well with, you can add them to your Steam friends list making it easier to find and play with them again. I didnít find any way to pre-qualify a random partner, like looking at their in game achievements to see if they have played a lot or a very little. I think it would be a lot more fun with someone you know and whom you can speak with. If you are a big fan of cooperative playing, you might enjoy this aspect of Portal 2.
The cooperative game also includes entertaining interactions with GLaDOS, who does speak and who works to drive the two players apart, using comments that implies one of the players is smart (intelligent, able to solve puzzles and so forth) and the other isnít! She seems to get quite annoyed when the players interact in a positive way. As with the single player mode, this gives the cooperative game a story line and makes it entertaining as well as fun.
There are some achievements you can acquire as you play the game as well. It doesnít add a lot to the game, but it does give you an indication of what you have accomplished. The Steam interface lists the last achievement you have accomplished and shows how many of the 50 possible for Portal 2, that you have accomplished. There is a button to press that shows the full list, with those you have completed shown first followed by those you haven't.
I was really impressed with the graphics and imagery used in Portal 2. It feels like one is really there. While the early test chambers are stark and to the point (as would be expected from such a facility), the later areas and those outside the test chambers and inside the older facility are shabby, worn/rusty, and look like an abandoned facility. All of the spaces are very well designed and fun to interact with. There are even a few hidden areas you might locate if you search around a bit. While the secret areas arenít related to the puzzles, they do add detail and depth to the game. I found the audio bites in this game to be very entertaining. GLaDOS is truly evil and will go to great lengths to annoy the main character! The sounds bites in the older facility make one wonder what this project was all about. Itís all delightful and adds so much to making the game very very entertaining.
While reading other players' comments about Portal 2 on the Internet, I heard some had issues with performance. However, I did not have any issues with game play. I did have a couple of issues with the Steam interface. When you install Portal 2 from Steam, you have two ways to access the game, directly or through the Steam interface. Once, when trying to start the game directly, I got a bizarre message not related to the fact an update was needed. I then went in through the Steam interface and found the game needed an update. Another time, going in through the Steam interface, Portal 2 needed an update, which was automatically started. The Steam interface didnít prevent me from starting Portal 2 even though it was being updated. Startup process continued until it eventually crashed.
Portal 2 is a lot of fun and very entertaining. I think this release will be one of the hottest titles to be released this year. I found it to be as much, and often a lot more fun, then many of the games I have had an opportunity to try. The puzzles are thought provoking and the interactions and story line are very entertaining. The cooperative aspect of Portal 2 lets you play with friends and has a story all its own. The graphics in this game are frankly stunning! I highly recommend spending your precious gaming cash on this game. It is well worth the price and will provide hours of entertaining game play.
Pros:ē Great Voice Acting
ē Compelling Storyline
ē Well Designed Areas
Cons:ē Can Be Difficult To Find Good Random Partners In Co-Op
ē Occasional Steam Interface Glitches