If you conduct yourself in the world of gaming, you’ve probably heard of the cult classic Portal and its web of delicious, cake-y lies. If you haven’t, I am saddened by the absence of such genius in your life, and will permit you a second of light reading to catch up on what you’re missing. Valve’s short but legendary indie game will live on as a timeless puzzle classic.
Thankfully, there are not one, but TWO Portal games to be had in your gaming library. Portal 2 followed suit in 2011 with a much longer and more fleshed out game than its predecessor. While still a unique puzzle-platformer with brilliant writing to boot, Portal 2 includes additional gameplay elements in the form of colorful paints that effect the physics of the surfaces they’re placed on; blue, for more bounce, orange for speed, and white for portal-ability. And… CO-OP!
While the pacing of the single player campaign does get sluggish in the middle, the script and voice-acting continue to be stellar, with new bumbling sidekick Wheatley to counter the sinister and ingenious GLaDOS. Fantastic writing aside, some of your best Portal moments will stem from joining co-op mode to take on GLaDOS’ puzzles with a friend.
Voice communication is a must (and possible via Steam, albeit somewhat clunky) but intuitive and useful in-game commands are also included to promote communication and teamwork. (Also, gestures… Robot hugs and high-fives are a personal favorite of mine). Whether you’re rolling with laughter or reaching through the monitor to strangle your partner for vaporizing you with a laser for the twentieth time, you will definitely take memories away from Portal 2’s cooperative mode.
The Portal series includes two must-have classics for any gamer’s library. You can pick up Portal 1 ($1.99 : 80% off), Portal 2 ($3.99 : 80% off), or both in the Portal Bundle ($4.99 : 80% off) on sale now on Steam! (Or a Portal 2 two-pack to play with a friend for $6.99!)
For details on release dates and other related info, head to Portal 2’s game page.