Distributor-Valve Corporation (online),Electronic Arts (retail)
Artist-Jeremy Bennett,Randy Lundeen (art directors)
Writer-Erik Wolpaw,Jay Pinkerton,Chet Faliszek
Composer-Mike Morasky,Jonathan Coulton ("Want You Gone"),The National ("Exile Vilify")
Engine-Source (Build 4710, 6 October 2011)
Version-188.8.131.52 (24 October 2011)
Platform-Microsoft Windows,Mac OS X,PlayStation 3,Xbox 360
NA April 19, 2011
PAL April 21, 2011
April 19, 2011
Media/distribution-Optical disc, digital distribution
Like its predecessor, Portal 2 primarily comprises a series of puzzles that must be solved by teleporting the player's character and simple objects using the "portal gun", a device that can create inter-spatial portals between two flat planes. The game's physics allow momentum to be retained through these portals, which must be used creatively to maneuver through the game's challenges. In addition to retaining most of the original Portal's gameplay elements, the sequel added new features, including tractor beams, laser redirection, bridges made of light, and paint-like gels that impart special properties to surfaces. These gels were created by the team from the Independent Games Festival-winning DigiPen student project Tag: The Power of Paint.
Within the single player campaign, the player returns as the human Chell, having awakened from stasis after many years. Chell must navigate the now-dilapidated Aperture Science Enrichment Center and its test chambers with the portal gun while the facility is rebuilt by the reactivated GLaDOS, an artificially intelligent computer that appeared in Portal. The storyline is longer than that of Portal's and introduced new characters, including the A.I. Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Merchant, and recordings of the deceased Aperture Science CEO Cave Johnson, voiced by J. K. Simmons. Ellen McLain reprised the role of GLaDOS. Jonathan Coulton and The National produced one song each for the game. Portal 2 also includes a two-player co-operative mode, in which the robotic player-characters Atlas and P-Body are each given a portal gun and are required to work together to solve test chambers specifically designed to require cooperation. Valve provided post-release support for the game, including additional downloadable content and a simplified map editor to allow players to create and share test chambers with others.
Though many reviewers were initially concerned about the difficulty of expanding Portal into a full sequel, critics universally praised Portal 2. The game's writing, pacing, and dark humor were highlighted as stand-out elements, with critics applauding the voice work of McLain, Merchant, and Simmons. Reviews also highlighted the new gameplay elements, the game's challenging but surmountable learning curve, and the additional co-operative mode. Numerous gaming journalists ranked Portal 2 among the top games of 2011, including several naming it their Game of the Year.
The initial levels provide a tutorial on general movement controls and how to interact with the environment. Afterwards, the player is required to solve puzzles using the "portal gun", formally the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, which can create two portals connecting two distant surfaces. Only some surfaces can accept portals; these are depicted as matte white, continuous, and flat. As in Portal, characters can use these portals to move unconventionally between rooms, or to "fling" objects or themselves across a distance. Unlike in Portal, outlines of placed portals are visible through walls and other obstacles for easy location.
New game elements include Thermal Discouragement Beams (lasers replacing the energy balls from Portal), Excursion Funnels (tractor beams), and Hard Light Bridges, all of which can be transmitted through portals.The new Aerial Faith Plates launch the player or objects through the air, and sometimes into portals. The turrets from Portal return, and players must disable them or avoid their line of sight. The Weighted Storage Cube has been redesigned, and there are new types: Redirection Cubes, which have prismatic lenses that redirect laser beams, and spherical Edgeless Safety Cubes, which made a brief appearance in one of Portal's advanced chambers.The heart-decorated Weighted Companion Cube reappears briefly.Early demonstrations included Pneumatic Diversity Vents, shown to transport objects and transfer suction power through portals, but these do not appear in the final game because the technology was not ready in time.All of these game elements either open locked doors, or aid or hamper the character from physically reaching the exit.
Portal 2 also introduces paint-like gels that impart certain properties to a surface or object coated with them. Gels are dispensed from pipes and can be transported through portals.Orange Propulsion Gel boosts the player's speed as they cross a surface, blue Repulsion Gel allows them to bounce from a surface,and white Conversion Gel allows many surfaces to accept portals.Some surfaces, such as grilles, cannot be coated with a gel. Water can block or wash away gels, returning the surface or object to its normal state.
The game includes a two-player co-operative mode in addition to the single player mode.Two players can play at the same console with a split screen, or at their own computers or consoles; Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, and PlayStation 3 users can play with each other regardless of platform. Both player-characters are robots who control separate portal guns and can use the other character's portals as necessary.Each player's portals are of a different color scheme, one in blue and purple and the other in orange and red, to distinguish between the two sets.An initial "calibration" chamber separates the characters to teach the players to use the communication tools and portals. Most later chambers are less structured and require players to use both sets of portals for laser or funnel redirection, launches, and other maneuvers.The game provides voice communication between players, and online players have the ability to temporarily enter a split-screen view to help coordinate actions.Players can "ping" to draw the other player's attention to walls or objects, start countdown timers for synchronized actions, and perform joint "gestures" such as waving or hugging.The game tracks which chambers each player has completed and allows players to replay chambers they have completed with new partners.
According to Valve, each of the two campaigns (single-player and co-operative) is 2 to 2.5 times as long as the campaign in Portal, with the overall game five times as long.Erik Wolpaw, Portal 2's lead writer, estimates each campaign is about six hours long.Portal 2 contains in-game commentary from the game developers, writers, and artists, as in previous Valve games. The commentary, accessible after completing the game once, appears on node icons scattered through the chambers.
The Portal series shares a universe with the Half-Life series. Portal takes place after Half-Life but before Half-Life 2,and Portal 2 is set "a long time after" its predecessor.
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS-
* CPU: Intel P IV @ 3 GHz or Dual core 2 GHz or AMD64X2 (or higher)
* RAM: 1GB XP or 2GB Vista/7
* HDD: 7.5 GB free disk space
* Graphics: 128 MB Graphics Memory with pixel shader 2.0
* Sound Card: DirectX 9 Compatible
* DirectX: Version 9.0c
Supported Graphics Cards: ATI Radeon X800 or higher / NVIDIA GeForce 7600 or higher / Intel HD Graphics 2000 or higher
Portal 2 continues to challenge the player through numerous platforming and physics-based puzzles using the portal gun.
The game will include a two-player co-operative mode in addition to the single player mode.