It’s more of the same Portal goodness. You use a Portal gun to create portals (shocking) and those are used in turn to solve puzzles. In this review I will assume you have played the first Portal game, beacuse everyone should have played it!
Since the demise of GLaDoS in the first game, the testing centre has fallen apart a bit, so the environments alternate between the pristine testing centres to decrepit falling apart ones, with the occasional foray into the sub-structure. Plants have also started reclaiming the land and provide some colour to the white, grey and brown world. You also visit an extremely old part of the testing centre so are provided with some 20s nostalgia there.
There is no true combat in portal, the closest thing to it would be avoiding the gun turrets which you do by utilising portals to drop them, knock them over or make them shoot each other. They still have the creepy voices so cool from the first game. Without spoilers all I would mention is that you meet a guide robot, voiced by Stephen Merchant who does a wonderful job of combining madness and humour.
The puzzles are on the whole fairly easy to grasp although there are a few tricky ones. Where it gets hardest is in the sub-structure where you aren’t entirely sure where you need to go. This is made tricker with one of the new elements, fluid which you transport through portals to make surfaces slipslide-like, or trampoline like or even able to support portals.
Another two new elements are a hard light bridge and an Excursion Funnel (like a two way tractor beam) both of which you can again pass through portals, and it is used for a multitude of purposes. Most obviously for getting from one place to another but also to get to wherever the bridge started or for blocking laser beams or gun turret fire.
A big additional to Portal 2 is the co-op mode, almost as long as the single player. There are plenty of puzzles to get through here and the fact that you now can have a total of four portals (two from each player) allows a much greater scope for complexity. Of course you have the both of you to try and work out the solution to the puzzle and you’ll find you need it.
It would be hard to top the first Portal and although good, this game doesn’t quite get there. There are new mechanics, Stephen Merchant is really good in his role and the co-op campaign is great fun, but Portal one was one of the best games ever and Portal 2, although a good and worthwhile game, is still firmly in its shadow.