Portal 2 – Bring a Friend

If you loved Portal, you'll have double the fun in Portal 2.

Portal 2 is a first-person puzzle-platform developed by Valve Corporation. It’s the sequel to the incredible Portal (2007) and was released in April 18th, 2011 for PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3.

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The game keeps Portal’s original gameplay elements but adds some new features, including:

  • Tractor beams
  • Laser redirection
  • Bridges made of light
  • Paint-like ‘gels’ that accelerate the player’s speed, allowing to jump higher and put portals on any surface
  • Adds a cooperative campaign

Players take on the role of Chell once again in the single-player campaign, as one of two robots–Atlas or P-body–in the cooperative campaign, or as a simple humanoid icon in community-developed puzzles. The game includes a two-player cooperative mode. Both player-characters are robots that can control separate portal guns and can use each other’s portal. The color scheme is different for each character, one is blue and purple, the other orange and red.

 A calibration chamber separates the characters to teach the players how to use the communication tools and portals. The game provides voice communication between players. Players can “ping” to draw the other player’s attention to walls or objects, start countdown timers for synchronized actions and perform gestures (I’ll get into that in a few). The game also tracks which chambers each player has completed and allows for replay of chambers with new players.

Chell and Wheately

In the single-player campaign you are Chell once again who awakes in a stasis chamber that looks similar to a motel room. An announcer’s voice guides her through a cognitive test before she’s put right back to sleep. When she awakens again, many years have passed by and the Aperture Science facility has become neglected and overgrown. 

Wheatley, a personality core, moves the room which is located in one of hundreds of shipping containers in the warehouse. The pair attempt to escape via the test chambers and in the process, accidentally reactivate the dormant GLaDOS who then separates Chell from Wheately and rebuilds the laboratory.

Wheately from Portal 2

I won’t continue on about the single-player campaign as it would spoil what happens. I will tell you that you must find ways to advance on by using your brain and the portal gun. I will also tell you that it’s amazing, funny and that I loved it. Be careful on how you maneuver through the portals though, hazards are bound to be around and occur, not to mention getting yourself dizzy .

The cooperative campaign… I want to say this first, I LOVED the cooperative campaign! I had such a blast. 

It takes place after the single-player campaign, so the story has some ties to it but you’re not required to play it if you don’t want to. I recommend that you do.

Player characters, Atlas and P-body, are robots who navigate through sets of test chambers together with their own fully functional portal gun. After completing a test chamber, the robots are disassembled and then reassembled at the next chamber. After completing a set, they return to a central hub. The puzzles in each set focus on a particular testing element or puzzle-solving technique. GLaDOS is excited about her non-human test subjects but she eventually stops being enthusiastic when the two robots cannot truly die. Again I won’t tell you what happens towards the end so it’s not spoiled for you.

Playing the cooperative campaign is tons of fun thanks to Atlas and P-body. As I had stated earlier, the robots can perform gestures, meaning they can interact with each other and this is where it’s hilarious. Both robots can hi-five, dance, wave, hug and even play the game rock-paper-scissors! There are achievements for performing these gestures too. You can have a lot of fun with these two and what’s even funnier is the dialogue you get from GLaDOS while messing around.

Atlas and P-body here are playing rock-paper-scissors

Playing in the test chamber together in cooperative mode can be tricky as you have to get through as a team and use one another for tasks, so you really have to think about what you’re doing. If you’re not on a split-screen on the same console, this becomes even harder online.

I absolutely loved the writing done for Portal 2. Writers Jay Pinkerton, Eric Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek won the Best Narrative award for Portal 2 at the 2012 Game Developers Conference. The writers saw Aperture Science as a character in of itself and that “it’s a science company that’s gone mad with science.”

The voice cast is wonderful. Ellen McLain returns as the voice of GLaDOS. Actor J.K. Simmons voices Aperture Science Creator Cave Johnson and actor Stephen Merchant voices Wheately the personality core.

If you haven’t played this amazing game, I strongly recommend that you do and don’t forget to bring a friend.

Portal 2 – Bring a Friend
If you loved Portal, you'll have double the fun in Portal 2.

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Venisia Gonzalez
Venisia is a public relations professional, video game industry contractor, published author, freelance entertainment journalist, copy editor, a co-organizer of the Latinx Games Festival, and a member of the Latinx in Gaming and the Puerto Rico Game Developers (PRGD) community. Her passion is video games. She loves the adrenaline rush from a multiplayer match and understands the frustrations of a brand-new raid. Venisia finds immense value in gaming especially in the realm of mental health.