No one has rated this review as helpful yet
0.0 hrs last two weeks / 14.0 hrs on record (14.0 hrs at review time)
Posted: Jan 23, 2016 @ 10:55am
Updated: Feb 3, 2016 @ 6:23pm


Summary of my spoiler-free review of Story Mode:
- EXCELLENT map design
- Good puzzles but some have obvious flaws
- Good music, but not on it's own
- Okay writing (sometimes great, sometimes forced)
- Decent voice acting
I recommend this game to everyone who enjoyed Portal 2 - the shortcommings are nit-picks and won't detract from the experience too much. Additionally, many of my complaints are fixed in the advanced series.

Play as Mel as you explore old aperture before being cryosleep'd into a time period between Portal 1 and 2. The map design is outsatnding, there is eyecandy and subtle humor everywhere and a lot of areas to look at and explore, all throughout the game. The quality of the maps are on par with Portal 2 if not better, making this feel like it could have been a true Portal 1.5. However, some of the other aspects aren't on par - some of the puzzle designs have some obvious exploits that let you skip massive parts of the puzzle easily, and other puzzles have testing elements that I found completely unneccesary, as if they were red herrings (intended to not be used) which doesn't make much sense. The difficulty of the puzzles is on par with Portal 2, maybe slightly harder, which was a little dissappointing to me, HOWEVER most of the puzzles were very enjoyable because they were fizzler puzzles. For those that don't know, fizzler puzzles are very enjoyable (at least for me). One of the new testing elements is a fizzler that also kills you, so it's like a laser wall that doesn't alow objects other words, it's a piece of glass that can be turned off, which already exists in Portal 2 (that jump suit you're wearing looks stupid). Something cool though is the use of water to put out fires, though it feels like a gimmick. The music isn't as energetic as Portal 2, it's actually more along the lines of Portal 1 as it is eerie and mysterious while also being very robotic. I wouldn't listen to it outside the context of this game but it felt appropriate and is well made. Finally, the dialog/writing - some of the jokes are very funny, but most of the time it feels like they are trying to repeat existing jokes from Portal 2, mostly the ones that became memes. It felt forced and it wasn't done very well in my opinion. Also unusual is that a character at first says GLaDOS's name, but then every time later they say "HER" instead. It feels weird, as if the character I was with was suddenly swapped out with Wheatley. There's even a copy of the neurotoxin hacking scene from Portal 2, except that instead of thinking with portals, you just press a button. As for voice acting, the Cave Johnson actor didn't feel very natural to me - not because it didn't sound like Cave Johnson, but because of the meme repitition I mentioned earlier. It felt like I was listening to a remix of Cave Johnson quotes. The other characters in the game are done well, though, and I felt like they were really there. If you liked Portal 2, then you should definitely play this game as you will enjoy it too. My criticisms are nit-picks and despite them the game is still great and it's clear a lot of effort went into every aspect.

If you want to watch my Let's Play of this game for more in-depth commentary, I will be adding videos to this playlist:
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