Gaming: Portal 2

It took me ages to finish Portal (1), but Portal 2 was different – I moved through the games in high speed. Actually playing time was the same, but I played a bit more often then before 😉 More details below, but tl;dr: Nice extension of Portal, which feels a bit different. Graphics are great, but for my feeling the chambers are too easy and too short.


Image by user browen2o on the Steam Portal community center.

Portal 2, the successor of Portal, brings not only many new levels (test chambers) interspersed with funny running sequences and out of normal problems to solve, but adds also a set of new devices to solve the problems. But the basic mechanics are the same: Shoot portals to solve puzzles. The added devices are as follows (thanks to this blog):


They include light-rings that carry you over empty space, and also lift you up (first and second icon), light reflectors (forth), jumping and running color (9th and 10th), catapults (12th), light bands to walk on (lower left) and of course enough turrets and other devices that might find you smashed, shot, or drowned.

Things I liked at Portal 2:

  • Great background voices (the “helping” head, …)
  • More devices to use
  • Short chambers – easy to play in short bursts
  • Nice and funny

and what I didn’t like too much was

  • Too easy chambers – being able to solve most riddles without much trial and error and lots of break, most of the time on first run, left the feeling of not being fully challenged. If I compare it to Talos which I am now playing, it is much harder.
  • Short chambers – it feels more relaxed, more rest places. Even if they were there in Portal 1, too, but if there is a rest-place somewhere within a level it is for me of a different quality. (But see also the good part of it above!)

What I haven’t tried till now, unfortunately, is the cooperative mode. I need some partners, but my buddy is too many time zones away 🙁

All in all, a really great game, and I enjoyed it a lot.

10 Responses

  1. Ralf says:

    If you liked Portal and Portal 2, but found the latter too easy, I have some recommendations for you: There are (at least) two great fan mods, and both of them are much harder than the original.

    The first is “Portal: Predule” (), a Portal 1 mod.
    The second is “Portal Stories: Mel” (), a Portal 2 mod.
    Both are free if you own the main games. I enjoyed them a lot!

  2. Playing through it for the first time, how did you react to the “this is the part where …” bit? (Where the chapter title, dialogue, and achievement all come together.)

    • Hmmm, good question Josh. I found it quite funny, and a bit strange. Hard to say. But it didn’t disturb the game play for me. I actually didn’t listen too much to all the quibble quabble in the background.

  3. Sebastian Reichel says:


    1. The cooperative mode is IMHO a bit harder than Portal 2’s single player
    2. You may want to try Portal Stories: Mel (, which has been created by the community and is definitely harder than Portal 2.

    — Sebastian

    • Hi Sebastian,
      thanks, I will try to find someone to play the coop mode, and definitely check out the mods. I didn’t know about them, so I am happy that several people pointed me at them! Thanks.

  4. flop25 says:

    Really the campaign is a little bite disappointed indeed
    the coop is good because you have to re learn to think the puzzles, but still not challenging enough
    you should try the “Portal Stories: Mel ” Mod ! highly recommended

  5. Jo Shields says:

    Don’t forget that Portal 2 also integrates a level designer, and Valve’s “Steam Workshop” system for community content distribution – the upshot is there are 450,000 individual maps designed by regular players like yourself available to try, and you can do your own & share it if you feel up to the task of puzzle design

  6. Seegras says:

    And there is also another mod (might be standalone) called “Aperture Tag”, which also is a lot harder.

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