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Game Info:

Portal 2
Developed by: Valve
Published By: Valve
Available on: PC/Mac/PS3/Xbox 360
Genre: Puzzle
ESRB Rating: 10+
Single Player or Two Player Cooperative Play

System requirements:
Windows:
Windows XP or later
3.0 GHz Intel Pentium 4 or 2.0 GHz Dual Core Processor
1 GB of RAM on Windows XP or Windows 7 (2 GB on Windows Vista)
7.6 GB hard disk space
DirectX 9 graphics card with 128 MB RAM
Sound card DirectX 9.0c compatible

Mac OS X:
Mac OS X v10.6.7 or later
2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor
2 GB of RAM
7.6 GB hard disk space
ATI Radeon HD 2400 / NVIDIA GeForce 8600M / Intel HD Graphics 3000 or higher

After being trapped in cryosleep for decades, Chell, the defiant lab rat of the original Portal game, once again finds herself inside Aperture Science and is woken up by an unfamiliar robot named Wheatley. He will help you escape before the Aperture Science building collapses.  On your way out you’ll stumble upon your trusty portal gun which will help you escape the remains of many test chambers.  Like the previous Portal, you can make inter-connecting portals that allow you to travel between rooms and floors easily.

As you’re making your way out of the depths of Aperture Science you’ll be travelling through the beginnings of Aperture to modern day.  The décor changes as you work your way through the labyrinth.  There are offices with 70’s décor and main frames to the 80’s era with monochrome CRTs and desktop PCs.

Along your travels you’ll get to know Cave Johnson, the President of Aperture Science, through his pre-recorded messages and test findings.  The messages are pretty funny and make you wonder why people would willingly go through these “tests” for $60.  The humor in this game is top notch and there’s a funny new credits song after you beat the single player campaign.

The puzzles start off easy and get gradually harder.  Many of the same concepts are in place where you have to put weighted cubes on buttons to open the exit doors. When it comes to placing portals, there are times when you'll have to free fall and place a portal on the ground to gain enough velocity to make it across a wide cavern.   Some of the puzzles have multiple solutions but most can only be solved one way.

Highlights:

Strong Points: Longer single player campaign; new multiplayer game play.
Weak Points:
You’ll be called fat and insulted throughout the game.
Moral Warnings:
Mild language.

Exploration is rewarded and there are some funny achievements that you can earn by discovering some artifacts.  Both the single and multiplayer modes have achievements available.  While you can explore, there is not much environment interaction and makes this game feel rather "dated". There are plenty of tests this time around.  The original Portal game was fun but extremely short.  That’s not the case in the sequel.  The single player campaign took me twelve hours to beat.  Once you beat the single player campaign you can check out the multiplayer and the free downloadable content.

Some new additions to Portal 2 are the blue, white and orange goop.  The blue goop makes the surface it’s on super bouncy and allows you to jump far and high.  The orange goop makes the floors really fast giving you a burst of speed.  There are many puzzles that will be utilizing these paints and combing those two will get you pretty far in life.  Can’t place a portal?  The white goop can fix that by making surfaces paintable or allow portals to be placed on it.

Besides the new goop, there are light bridges and light beams that you can place to travel across deadly chasms of emptiness.  There’s also a new kind of cube that redirects laser beams. While the laser beams are not deadly, they can be used to trigger and unlock various sensors.

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 94%
Game Play: 19/20
Graphics: 8/10
Sound: 10/10
Stability: 5/5
Controls/Interface: 5/5

Morality Score - 89%
Violence: 7.5/10
Language:7/10
Sexual Content: 10/10
Occult/Supernatural: 10/10
Cultural/Ethical/Moral: 10/10

The multiplayer has some neat additions worth noting.  If you can’t decide on who gets to do what you can settle it in an old fashioned game of rock, paper, scissors.  Another helpful tool to communicate is the pointer.  Steam natively supports voice communication and it definitely comes in handy here.

The console versions of the game support split screen multiplayer. The Play Station 3 version can play against other steam players cross platform and save your progress on the steam cloud.  Also, the PS3 version of the game includes a steam key to use with your PC.  Sadly, Xbox 360 users only get to enjoy split screen multiplayer.

The multiplayer tests are fun and challenging.  The added game play time will vary depending on if you’re playing against an experienced player or not.  It may be extended even further with more DLC add-ons (for pay or free).  GLaDOS is back and she tends to favor one player over the other and her comments are rather humorous.  As you play the game you can unlock items and customize your multiplayer robots with unique looks and apparel.

The multiplayer has the same look and feel as the single player campaign.  The player robots have expressions and seem to be more human than robot in nature.  GLaDOS will call you a human as an insult.  The environments are rather dreary and falling apart in most of the maps.  While the graphics are good, the Source engine is starting to show its age.  The physics are still top notch however.

I love the voice acting of Wheatley, GLaDOS and Cave Johnson. They all sound so different and are all fun to listen to.  You definitely don’t want to miss a word they say.  My only complaint is that Mr. Johnson says the D word a couple of times and GLaDOS says hell in case that offends you.  Other than that, the game is relatively family friendly.  The only violence is from turrets, neurotoxins, and spiked walls that can smash you into a pancake.

If you enjoyed the original Portal, getting the sequel is a no-brainer.  I have enjoyed the single and multiplayer campaigns thoroughly and can’t recommend this game enough.  Even though the tests are similar in nature to the original game, the character development is what makes this sequel truly stand out.  While my kids enjoy the original Portal, I’m a little hesitant on loading this on their machines due to the mild language.  My kids are 6 and under so I’ll hold off until they’re a little older.  After all, it is rated E10+.

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  • Guest - Rev

    I don't understand how this is a Christan review, anybody care to enlighten me? I see the review part, just not the Christan view point, if you say "I’m a little hesitant on loading this on their machines due to the mild language." that's just a warning for parents to shelter their kids.
    Seriously don't get why this is a Christan review.

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  • Morality Score - 89%
    Violence: 7.5/10
    Language:7/10
    Sexual Content: 10/10
    Occult/Supernatural: 10/10
    Cultural/Ethical/Moral: 10/10

    0 Like Short URL:
  • Guest - Matthew

    What would make this a Christian review? It doesn't need to be a gateway to Christ, its not a Christian oriented game, its just a game. We don't need to know:

    "Would Jesus play and enjoy this game?"
    "Can I witenss/fellowship through this game?"
    "Does this game witness to me?"
    "Do any scriptures apply to this game?"
    "Is it possible for a sin to occur whilst playing this game?"


    The reviewer is Christian, looking at it from the viewpoint of a Christian, not trying to tie Christ into the game... that's all thats happening here...

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  • Guest - Taha

    In reply to: Guest - Matthew

    What would make this a Christian view is talking about portal 2's themes (like omnipotence and rebirth) from a theological standpoint. Portal 2 is rich in theses subtexts, and to see how a religious individual reacts to it is interesting. An example of this would be a priest (or vicar, im not sure) who posted a review of 'a serious man' on you Tube. This reviews is interchangeable with boring secular sites like gamespot and ign, whose reviews are most like shallow blanket statements than actually evaluations.

    0 Like Short URL:
  • Guest - John Smith

    In reply to: Guest - Matthew

    Why the heck not? This is a Christian website. It's not entirely out of the question that this site may bring up Religion. Look at the freaking name of the website.

    0 Like Short URL:
  • So people want reviews that delve into the theology of games? Am i getting this right?

    0 Like Short URL:
  • That's what one blogger was ranting about...

    0 Like Short URL:
  • Guest - CelestialSushi

    I was going to say... you said you wouldn't let your children play this, rated for ages 10+ because of the language (and rightly so; they're, like you said, "6 and under"), but you seem to be hinting at the fact that they've either played or watched the original Portal, rated for ages 13+ because of blood. O_o Um, no offense, but I'm a little confused here...

    Even still, while I enjoyed this game immensely, I still can't shake the dark, morbid humor elements of what was happening in the Aperture Laboratories. That's some pretty spooky stuff, there.

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  • The only time there is blood in the original Portal is when there are turrets. I have let my 6 year old play Portal and she hasn't beaten it or anything. She likes the challenges and knows to avoid the "icky water"

    0 Like Short URL:
  • Guest - Emily Isham

    Whoa whoa I read the comments about kids who are sheltered and never interact socially and have problems. I am an 18 year old girl who has been raised in a christian home and homeschooled her whole life. It's not that we don't get any human interaction and become freaks. We're just friends with others that share the same standards. Drinking and drugs and cussing never truly seem cool or necessary because we can have a good time without all that. It's not like we all have a need for it because it was a taboo. True some go off, but speaking for the majority of kids raised in a Christian home, most of the "sins" we are told to avoid just grow to be unnecessary as adults. And as for cussing, I learned words as I began noticing and asking my parents about things I heard and saw at the mall (while having a great time with my Christian friends). It's not that there really even offensive. It actually seems like people who use the f word for every adjective just can't think of a better word. It sound uneducated after a while. I understand putting emphasis on things, but overuse it and you've lost your emphasis

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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