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SummaryI'm not sure why everyone likes this game, but I don't.
The GoodThe idea is interesting, and innovative, I guess.
The game doesn't appear to have any bugs.
The BadPretty much everything else.
The Bottom LineThere is just so much hype about Portal, about Half life, about Valve in general... Honestly, I never understood what's so special about them. I'll admit I've never played half life 2, I've only played the first one, so I won't comment on how good the HL2 games are, but HL1 is apparently considered to be the best FPS ever, and to be fair when I played it, I found it to be incredibly boring and uninspired, and simply not fun. The same applies to Portal. I'm not trolling at all, I'm just stating my own opinion because I think both of these games are really bad.
Portal is, as the name implies, just that: you use your portal gun to open portals so you can get to other places or you can make plasma spheres or boxes go to other places and so on. That's all it is. It is the exact same thing over and over, just in a different sauce, for two hours. If you've played 5 minutes of it, it means you already played the whole game. How does this quality as a first person shooter anyway if there is absolutely *nothing* to shoot at?
There is 0 replay value because the game is extremely linear so if the first run is boring, the second run is pretty much twice as boring. Sure, the puzzles may be well thought out, but get this: Whenever you find puzzles in action games you'll notice that the setting and the way to solve each of them is different so for example when you see puzzles in (just a random example) Ratchet & Clank 2 you'll notice that most of them are completely different (you need different weapons/gadgets etc to solve them), and that's exactly what makes them interesting. But here, all you have to do is literally figure out where to place your portal, over and over again. And it just goes on, and On, and ON. Until the game finally ends. The fact it is short is probably the best part of it, in fact. This game isn't any more interesting than Tetris. Another thing that is incredibly annoying is that not only the gameplay is repetitive, but so is the overall atmosphere and setting. It's just the same techbase (that, as another reviewer said, looks like a dentist's waiting room. I understand this was meant to be "sterile" but it almost hurts my eyes) from beginning to end. Like seriously: I'm working on a mod for doom, and I'm trying to make each level different from each other, so I'm making first a base, then an ice canyon, then some volcano, then a level in space, and so on. No one would like it if it was just 30 levels of techbases. I mean seriously, couldn't they come up with something better?
According to some, this game is just great because apparently it "does its only concept well" and it "rewards the player with satisfaction once the puzzles are figured out". But is this true? Well, not entirely. First off, it IS true that it does its only concept well, but it is just using the portal gun to get to the next room. So while the concept works and is executed somewhat well, that's ALL that there is in the entire game. This game just doesn't *do* enough to be considered the best game ever, because this is about as entertaining as Tetris or any puzzle game of that kind. Except that it's 3D, really. So why does everyone love this game so much? I don't know, I guess I need to accept the fact no one has played enough good games, and since this is by the same company that made Half Life (which is even worse than this), I guess it automatically rocks, right? Hmpf.
As for the satisfaction part, I didn't find any satisfaction in finishing the puzzles, which while they aren't extra complicated or anything they also aren't *fun*. So it takes me 2 minutes to figure out a puzzle, and I make it to the next room. Okay... Now where is the satisfaction in that? Honestly, where it is? The puzzles aren't that mind blowing. If the portals were just *one* part of the puzzles, then this game would be worth the praise it gets, but no, of course not, they are the only thing that make up this game (which, by the way, is nothing more than an experiment). Again, look at games like Ratchet & Clank to see how you make good puzzles in a *good* game. And if you want a puzzle game done right, then check out Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus. You can't go wrong with that game.
Now, if they gave the portal gun to Gordon Freeman, that would've been... kind of cool, but I guess Valve doesn't know how to make games that don't suck. At least, that's the impression I got by playing Half life 1 and Portal, two of the most overrated games in history. Also I didn't find this game to be funny at all, in fact I found the robot voice to be extremely annoying.