Posted: July 18, 2014
I remember when I first played Portal 2. It was the christmas of 2011, when I got myself the Portal bundle for just 5€, and that opened my eyes: the perfect game. I loved every second of it. So when I first heard of this mod, I was pretty excited: portal 2, but with a new story and a new gameplay. That could work. But it didn't. Let's see why.
This game started to bother me even before I pressed the "play" button: 5€ for a mod? A MOD? Not a standalone title? I mean, you need Portal 2 to play it, so its clearly a mod. And its into the Portal universe, so its a mod. But 5€. Oh well, some people spent time on it, so I guess its kinda fair. But that was me talking before I finished this game.
As soon as I started, the first thing I notice are the well done animations. Some of them looks very good, and are completely new and not recycled from the Portal 2 game. But that's only for the first 20 minutes of the game, after that they just went "screw this" and started using models and stuff from the game.
The new models goes to "meh" to "is this Ricochet". The vending machine had the worst texture I've ever seen, and I was running this game on High settings. Why did I said the vending machine? We'll see later.
Same goes for the model of the Paint gun. It looks like some kid game you can get at BIG BUY for 5 dollars, all plasticky and with some gel in it that looks so ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ fake. Also, do you remember how was holding a Portal gun? When it shooted portals? How the animations tricked you thinking that you were in the game, shooting these portals? Well, this game can fail this task too by giving no shooting animations whatsoever to this terrible Paint gun, making it look like a DOS game from the early 90s. But that was the 90s. This is frikin' 2014.
In Portal 2 to solve a puzzle or kill a turret you had to think, to make a strategy. To use your brain. Here to kill down a turret its like a shooter: aim and boom, just shoot some blue gel at it and watch it bounce. Really had to use my brain there.
The puzzles are way too easy. Most of them doesn't even take too much time to solve, all the times goes to repeat the same thing over and over until you get to the platform you want because MOVING YOUR CHARACTER AROUND WITH THIS GEL ITS FRIKIN' IMPOSSIBLE. There was not a single moment in the game where I felt like I was controlling the character properly. She was just bouncing around and then straight into the water. Reload from the last checkpoint and start again. Terrific.
A little talk about the new turrets: they look.. terrible. I know they wanted to make them look like a 50s version of the turret, but those are just 2 pieces of metal with a tommy gun on it. They're so ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ugly and useless. But at least I give them credit for trying.
The story is probably the worst part. You wake up in the same way of Chell in Portal 2 (kind of) and you get yourself the Paint gun pretty soon. You don't know whats going on for most of the time. Just solve some test, and then keep going. Until you find yourself at the end, where you have to solve the last test to get some Orange juice (some rip-off of the cake from Portal 1) that they mention.. what? 2 times maybe? In portal 1 they mention the cake pretty much each room. In the end you really wanted that cake, even if you weren't hungry. They build some repetitive propaganda that made you want that ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ cake. Here they just mention this orange cola 2 or 3 times maybe. Oh yea, you're at the end, now you're gonna get it. I don't even care.
There's no narrative whatsoever. Everything its just random. No one or nothing explain to you what's
going on. Chapter 1 its boring and slow. Chapter 2 starts pretty fun, but then gets repetitive very soon, Chapter 3 its the same as chapter 2, without the final zone, the time trial puzzle. I swear it, if the game was gonna end it with that, I whould have feel accompliced. Really. But no, chapter 4, some rip-off of the Thruman show, with fake ambient zone. Relatively useless. Same goes for the 2 finals. Unsatisfactory as hell.
They also keep throwing at your face stages from Portal 2 like "hey, do you remember this part of Portal 2? It was really fun. Now watch that for the next couple of minute while you're being sucked into a tube that its leading to the next stage really slowly with no dialogue."
Yes, I know I'm playing a Portal game, I am Portal fan, I KNOW. THAT'S WHY I'M PLAYING THIS GAME. THANKS.
Another thing about Portal 2 was the speed and the fluency. Sure, you had to stop for a while into a test chamber, thinking your way out of it, but once you where done, you just had to take an elevator and get to another chamber. Here the pipe its sooo slooow and sometimes you have to do some bullcrap to get to the next test that its just boring. It only has one fast moment, that of course is the speed map. That was probably the only fun and memorable part of the game. The 50 second map. In a 3 hours game.
The characters, if we can call them that way, are blank. The protagonist, some retextured version of Chell with a mason-suit, has no personality. No backstory. No-nothing. She's just there.
Same goes for the Core, Nigel, if I remember it right. Yea, because they didn't bother to let you know the name of it until the end. He was probably one of the things that made me rage into the entire gameplay. He tried so bad to be the english funny guy from Portal 2, but he just fails. His voice is poor, the characterization is non-existent, his humor is terrible. Seriously, do you remember one of the main characteristics of Portal 2? The humor. It had so many funny moments with GLaDOS or Wheatley, and so many funny lines that wanted you to replay the game over and over just to see if you missed one. This guy, Nigel, doesn't work. He try way too hard to be kind, or try way too bad to be gentle. You don't really understand what the hell he's doing for the entire game. AND WHY THE HELL IS HE SHOWN IN RANDOM PLACES DURING THE COURSE OF THE GAME? Apparently they didn't have time to explain that, 'cause they never explain that to you.
And one last thing about Nigel's model. He's a Core, right, and what makes Cores different from each other? The color and shape of the eye. So what did they do? They took the Space Core, made the color a little bit more light orange and give it no expressions. I don't even have to add anything to this description.
I'll be quick on the gameplay section because this review is getting way too long. As already established, the character is really hard to control. So what can be even worst than this? Sometimes wall bounce doesn't seem to work. Great.
But heres a good thing after all this text of pure rage and delusion: they added some new gameplay mechanic, like red laser walls that will instantly kill you. That's good, but they had to screw it up. Because how did I find out that they would kill me? Walking right into it and get killed. You know, a little flying text that would say "hey, don't walk into that, or that will kill you!" would have been helpful. Instead we get the same message "press ctrl to stop bouncing" all the time whenever we bounce 2 or more times in a row on the blue gel. THANKS I ALREADY KNOW THAT SINCE ITS SOMETHING FROM PORTAL 2.
And after all this.. review, the only good thing I really liked from the game. The soundtrack is amazing and well stylized with the Portal universe, I will totally listen to that in the future. And also, the idea of a giant speaker during the puzzles is a very good one. Until you run into them and you get your ears blown away by the loud music.
Final Score: 2/10
It's intended for Portal fans. I'm a Portal fan, and I hate it. It's not even worth 2 cents, and it's totally not worth 5€. If the dev had so much time and knowledge of the source engine, they could have made a new different game, that whould have been way better than this garbage.