Saturday, January 12, 2008


I just finished Portal this morning and loved it. I don't know what I could say that hasn't already been said to heap praise upon this game. I finished it over two days, maybe 8-10 hours, so it's pretty short, but it's also mind-bendingly creative and very fun. Portal is one of the five games included with The Orange Box, which is out on PC and Xbox 360.

The basic game mechanic centers around the use of two types of "portals," each can be an entry or an exit, which are linked ... dimensionally, I suppose. As the player you learn how to control and place these portals to move objects, move yourself, and achieve various objectives. It's a deceptively simple concept that you come to realize is surprisingly versatile.

The setting is within a "test facility" where you are supposed to be learning about this new portal device. As you progress you find, through some often hilarious automated commentary, that all is not as it seems. The in-game environment is interesting and at higher levels it is quite challenging to achieve the required objectives. There's a ton of spatial reasoning and problem-solving skill required to achieve these objectives, and I just loved it.

If you've heard the buzz about this game, I'm telling you the buzz is justified. If you haven't heard the buzz, do yourself a favor and find out what rock you've been under and then check out this game. The Orange Box is a compilation and also includes Half-Life 2, Half-Life 2: Episode One, Half-Life 2: Episode Two, and Team Fortress 2, all of which have received high praise as previous separate releases.


Xymyl said...

It's too bad it sounds so interesting because I will likely never play or even see it.

I know nothing of modern gaming. I also can't remember how to play any card games.

Never really was much of a game player at all. I love visual puzzles though. I should have kept the xbox dev kit on my mac. But I was in a hurry to use it as a real mac. So I have to pretend I don't like games... actually, I do like games, I just don't care for fun.

E-Doo said...

Orange Box is next in my Gamefly queue. I'm going to try it out. I never really got into Team Fortress or Half Life. It should be interesting.