Saturday, May 23, 2020

Eric Vs. 365 - Day 328 - Portal: Still Alive

The original Portal is still one of the most pleasant out of nowhere surprises I've ever had in gaming. I didn't know anything about it until I played it on The Orange Box on Xbox 360 and experiencing it for the first time is still something I look back on fondly even though I honestly forget about almost every other game I play. It was a perfect combination of presentation, gameplay, and great puzzles that then flips on its head and suddenly you're fighting for you life to escape. It's just so damn good. Read more and watch gameplay here.

The thing that continues to impress me about Portal is the fact that everyone can play the same puzzles but come to different solutions. That is the brilliance of the core concept that there can definitely be a "right" way to do a puzzle, but there are dozens of other ways to finish them as well. Selfishly, it also kind of separates the actual smart and clever people from the self-righteous dumbasses and watching YouTubers struggle with obvious stuff because they're actually dumb as dog shit is a guilty pleasure of mine. 

Originally I was going to also play Portal 2 for this Eric Vs. 365 project, since it was my 2011 Game of the Year and all, but I'm not going to. It's actually a lot harder to just pick a chunk of that game to play and record because the puzzles and gameplay mechanics really ramp up over the course of the game and I genuinely forget how everything works, so jumping into the middle or something didn't work out too well. 

I still want to say, though, that as impressive as Portal 1 is, Portal 2 is even more so. It took the basic concept and actually turned it into a whole game instead of just a series of test chambers. The humor was ratcheted up to 11 and is still great. The new mechanics are great. Freaking co-op in Portal 2 is phenomenal. 

I'd love a Portal 3, but we all know Valve doesn't know how to count to 3.