Portal - The Orange Box
Rated Teen for Mild Violence and Blood
Portal is probably one of those games that lead people to create even better games in the style of play created, it extends the puzzle genre in yet another way. Through creating portals, the player can go and achieve the impossible. The impossible, in this game, is needed for survival. By using the ASHPD (Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device), the player can create portals which connect. These portals lead a player to a different location within the same dimension while conserving the energy through portals. The effects are mind-boggling, and situations intense, and the equation of all parts magnificent.
The game puts Chell, the protagonist, in a relaxation chamber. She is lead by a feminine computer voice, known as GLaDOS, to do a series of tests for the good of mankind. Chell does not have the ASHPD at first however. Throughout the beginning levels, the game introduces the protagonist to new ideas, such as the conservation of energy through portals, the actual idea of portals, and how to manipulate buttons with a Weighted Storage Cube.
This is Chell, the protagonist of the game. Also featured in the picture: Portals.
The most interesting of all about the game is the Portal Gun (ASHPD). The Portal Gun allows you to think with portals. For some, this is a hard concept, for some (mainly the science fiction nuts), it is fairly easy to comprehend. Portal A leads to Portal B, Portal A conserves energy through Portal B, The bottom of Portal A is the bottom of Portal B. Manipulating the portals while using them is mandatory in the game. Understanding exactly where you need to be to solve the puzzle is a must. When Chell enters a new level, she enters a new challenge. Each test room is a giant puzzle where you need to know what is going on around you.
Some test rooms can alter the situation. Sometimes rooms can have a floor full of poisonous liquid which you can not touch. If you fall into the poison, death will be your only friend. Other times there are sentry guns positioned in key locations. The puzzles can often be immense and mind boggling. A game to truly immerse yourself in for several hours. Unfortunately, before you know it, the game is done. Completed. Finished. It ends in such a good note, but leaves a wanting for more.
Itís hard to fully describe the game because of how different it puts a take on First Person Puzzle games. I have not played such a game before in my life as a gamer, and I am extremely excited that Valve took a step in the right direction for the genre.
Much is required to be rewarded cake.
The music sets the mood for the tasks ahead. From slow quiet tones, to upbeat energetic songs. It really enhances the game, if something bad happens, you might hear an upbeat urgent music selection. If something is being explained, or some background music is playing, you may hear a quiet, slow, and peaceful selection.
Perhaps the crowning moment of the music selection of the game is the song titled ďStill AliveĒ. It features GLaDOS singing, paired with happy background music. Jokes are made within the song, such as references to games being released on time and Black Mesa. Often, the music is lost in the game. I found myself so involved in the game, I wouldnít even notice the music, even as good as it was. The importance of the mission was to great to take my mind away from it. The great downfall was just how much the game overshadowed itís own music.
The graphics do exactly what they are set out to do. They set an atmosphere of an incomplete test lab. At the beginning, you find white walls, windows for where the researchers would sit, fairly simple room. As the game goes on, you will start seeing that the lab isnít as complete as you would think. Parts of the wall stick out showing some interior of the lab. Incomplete ceilings and floors also start to show with pipes and grating. The visuals of the game tell a story, a thousand words per frame. While the graphics itself is not revolutionary, they further the innovative experience of Portal. It sets the mood for the game, impressing the gamer in a different way.
If you are a proficient puzzle solver, this game will be short. The time span of the game is roughly three to four hours to beat. The great thing about it, however, is the extra content. There are advanced versions of levels which you have already beat to conquer. These levels will have floors which are poisoned, boxes missing, and platforms nonexistent. It changes the level in a way that doesnít change itís core, but it changes itís difficulty. Another mode is the Challenge mode. In the challenge mode, there is a small selection of maps from the game which you can go back and beat for achievement. It will challenge you to complete the map under a certain number of portals, footsteps, and length of time.
Portal is a game where you will need to think out of the box. Understanding the gameís complexities is a must in order to continue to test the Portal Gun for GLaDOS. Every success brings you to the promised reward of cake. Remember that only the reward matters. To get the cake, you must complete the tasks GLaDOS sets before you. The puzzles will amaze you, the music will glorify your ears, and the graphics will bring you to a world of unstable control.
Now youíre thinking with portals.