A decade after its release, playing with portals is still as fun as ever. Portal 2 takes everything that was great about the brief first-person puzzle game from Valve’s Orange Box and builds upon it substantially. The basics of Portal rely on the portal gun, which lets the user project two portals on surfaces like walls, floors, ceilings, allowing you to pass through from one to the other as if they were simply doorways. Following the events of Portal, series heroine Chell has to escape an Aperture Science facility yet again, while learning of the company’s sometimes hilarious, but always intriguing, history from its founder, Cave Johnson.
There are all kinds of fresh takes on the portal gun gameplay messing with gravity, inertia, dopey sentient gun turret target systems, and much more. Goopy liquids called Gels can be used to paint the test facilities, with each color of the substance allowing Chell to bounce, move faster, or place portals on surfaces not normally meant to hold them. Portal 2 also features an entirely separate cooperative campaign where two players take the roles of robots named ATLAS and P-body. Co-op requires just as much creative problem solving, timing, and coordination as the single-player levels but asks it of both players. Are you looking to start “thinking with portals?” The best ways to experience this puzzle classic on modern hardware is on Xbox Series X/S and Xbox One X via backward compatibility or the ever-reliable PC version. | Our Review