I’ll be the first to admit, that quite honestly I didn’t pay much attention to the story within Portal. At the start of the game you’re released into a bunch of tests and I would assume you’re some sort of medical experiment. I didn’t find the story particularly engaging; nor would I have expected to, since I would classify Portal as a puzzle game. The GLaDOS computer-thing, is the way the story is moved forwards. It continues to mock you, telling the player that it’s unlikely it will be able to get past this next challenge that’s been setup for you. Comments like this can either lead to infuriate you, when you hit a difficult part of the game or push you on to defeat it
The one thing I find about sound, is the fact that if the ambient sound is good- then you’re unlikely to notice it. It should just blend in and enhance the video/graphics that you are seeing. When you stop playing because something doesn’t sound quite right; thats when you notice the ambient sound. For this point alone, I will say that the ambient sound Portal has in the game is excellent. The games sound effects are also pretty awesome. I really enjoy the sound of the “portal gun” however the voice of GLaDOS can get pretty annoying if playing the game for any considerable amount of time; but heck- if you don’t like it, turn your speakers off. 🙂
If we’re being realistic and look at the game for what it is, the graphics are damn good. It’s a puzzle game. Anybody expecting anything more than what you get in the box, is being just a little naive. There is certainly no ground-breaking, award-winning graphics in this game. Heck- the majority of the time you’re walking around in a similar looking room to the last room you were in, with a few minor adjustments or instruments in, to make the puzzle harder.
The gameplay aspect of Portal is what hooks most people in. The games fun teasing of you as you work you’re way through the puzzles is irritating but oddly really motivates you as the player to stay in-game until you’ve finished the next puzzle. The game has that “I’ll logout once I’ve done this next puzzle” feeling, which can keep you occupied for hours until you finally complete the game and wonder where all your time went.
The re-playability in Portal is almost next to Zero however. Once completing the game, I doubt anybody went back for a second or third shot and completing the puzzles they had already mastered. Valve could possible counteract this with the possibility of adding DLC content on a weekly/monthly basis.
Other than the main story/campaign, Valve also included a “challenge mode” which could keep hold of a really interested user or a “completionist’s” attention. For someone like me- it’s just a cheap, quick way of adding a little more playability to your game. It certainly didn’t keep my attention, but then again I never managed to complete the campaign mode, so it never was going to keep me in-game for longer than I was.
If you like a good challenge, Portal is the game for you. If you’re not really into puzzle games, please don’t get conned into playing Portal by those who would have you think its a First Person Shooter- because it’s not. One of the most fun things I found myself doing in the game, was playing around with the gun and trying to get jump further through it than the last time. Infact I spent most of the game doing this.. I wonder why I never managed to complete it.. 🙂
Ry’s Portal Score: 70%
Sannas’ Portal Score: 95%