Saturday, 14 February 2015

Deemed Tolerable by Me: Portal

So, I've decided that I will be doing reviews now. Could be of anything. Films, games, anything that a perfectly average pretentious geek would run into. Except Amnesia - not reviewing or touching Amnesia. Only criteria is that it has to have some sliver of a redeeming factor - so no Ride to Hell either.

Starting off yet again with one of my favourite if not the favourite game in my Steam library, Portal.

My first skirmish with Portal was brief - I saw it mentioned quickly in a record book and then never seen again. It, of course, being a Valve game, piqued my interest and before long it had me invested in its entire whopping 20 minute duration. Yet somehow, while it feels so easy to slate the game for having a running time about as long as a Twiglet, and don't sue me for saying that, I still adore this game - which kind of means all signs say I should have picked another game for the first in a "deemed tolerable" list. I think it's the joy of finishing the tests and finally getting the satisfaction which to some extents the player could crave. Portal 2 briefly touches upon this subject in its 8th or so chapter, "The Itch", in which {spoiler} becomes so increasingly desperate for satisfaction (scratching the "itch") that they ask you to do the test over and over again to make them feel the pseudo euphoria that sweeps them when you finish a test. This did not work for them by the way, which is probably why people stopped enjoying Call of Duty recently, and more topically the new Battlefield Hardline beta, AKA Battlefield: Chemical Brothers remix.

Back from tangent land, I think not only the way the tests feel when you complete them, the flow of the tests (save some of the last chapters, which flow about as well as me trying to rap) are really, really nice. It just clicks in a weird, lovely way. The momentum mechanics (Source Engine strikes again), the dialogue monologue, storyline and atmosphere all blend well together to form a lovely pile of cake and cubes, one of which is a lie. 

(No, I'm not even slightly sorry.)

(This better not be in Times New Roman for you.)

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