A few months again, I slathered my love for Portal 2 all over the place bit-tech. I waxed lyrical the way it’s most likely the perfect comedy game ever made, how cleverly it introduces new parts to Portal’s spatial conundrums, and the way splendidly it expands upon Aperture Science as a spot. It is as excellent a sequel as you might be able to hope for to one in all the most unusual and inventive video games ever made.
A minimum of, that’s what I believed.
Whilst I in reality consider Portal 2 is an unbelievable game, my one complaint of it is that it doesn’t convey the rest basically new to Portal’s puzzling thought. Positive, it provides additional puzzle parts like lasers, light-bridges, and more than a few environment-affecting fluids. However those are moderately minor iterations upon the identical thought. They don’t have that very same “wow” issue you get whilst you stroll thru one in all Portal’s portals for the first time, gasping as you instantaneously transition from one level in area to any other.
However I additionally idea this wasn’t an excellent complaint of Portal 2, as a result of I didn’t consider it conceivable to re-light that second of astonishment. Then I performed Portal Reloaded, which has made me fall in love with Portal’s puzzling in a complete new means, and made me realised that Valve slightly scratched the floor of Portal’s puzzling possible.
Portal Reload is a standalone Portal marketing campaign. Going down inside the cavernous confines of Aperture Science, it options the identical test-chamber construction and wry, frivolously sadistic humour of the two legitimate video games. But it surely makes one main addition to Portal’s mechanics, including a 3rd portal you’ll be able to position in the global.
This Portal works otherwise from the blue and orange portals already featured in the game. While the ones portals are for transferring in an instant thru area, this new, inexperienced portal permits you to step seamlessly thru time. In particular, it permits you to go back and forth between the provide and long term variations of the very same area, with a twenty-year hole between them. Provide Aperture Science is all blank and gleaming and new, whilst long term Aperture Science is grimy and crumbling and overgrown.
Taken by itself, this impact is cool, however no longer that spectacular. What you’re necessarily doing is transferring between two reflect pictures of the identical puzzle chamber, one glowing contemporary, the different previous and dilapidated. It’s how Portal Reloaded makes use of this premise to create conundrums that makes it most likely the maximum good puzzle game I’ve performed in the previous few years.
Portal Reloaded’s puzzling is outlined by way of two key regulations. The primary is that when you transfer an object in the provide, that motion will by way of reflected in the long term. For those who transfer an object in the long term, then again, its provide identical might not be affected. The second one rule is that provide items can’t be taken into the long term, as this violates the regulations of causality. Long run object, then again, will also be introduced again into the provide.
Reloaded makes use of this idea to create some really brain-frazzling puzzles. To provide an easy instance from the game itself [MINOR SPOILERS FOLLOW IN THIS PARAGRAPH], one puzzle calls for you to position a dice on a button to convey down an elevator, then position a dice at on a button at the most sensible of the elevator to open a door. Fixing this puzzle calls for you to position the provide dice ready the place you’ll be able to succeed in it from the elevator, then take the long term dice, convey it thru the portal, and position it on the provide button. At this level, you should transfer to face on the elevator, then pick out up the provide dice. This reasons the long term dice to in an instant transfer from the button in the provide, to the place in the long term the place you moved the provide dice to. This allows the carry to return up, and so that you can entire the puzzle.
If that description has grew to become your mind into jelly, remember the fact that this is a easy instance of Portal Reloaded’s puzzles. Later puzzles very much building up the complexity, letting you put time portals your self, and introducing ideas like the usage of time portals to propel your self over gaps. One in all its slyest options is that the provide and the long term variations of the chambers don’t all the time fit exactly. Home windows in the provide could also be shattered in the long term, whilst lacking flooring in the long term could also be intact in the provide. Those variations open up new pathways which can be each an extra headache and a mild nudge towards the answer in the puzzle.
Enjoying Portal Reloaded, you’ll be able to really feel your individual thoughts looking to wrap itself round the thought of pondering in 4 dimensions, the nuances of reason and impact, how the provide and the long term relate. It’s merely good, to the level the place I in finding myself wishing that Portal 2 had this idea, that I may just return in time and insert the mechanic into Valve’s sequel. It’s nearly bizarre how shut Valve skirted towards the thought themselves. Portal 2 is basically constructed upon the premise of seeing Aperture Science in more than one time slices, the analogue previous and the destroyed long term. It edges so with reference to Portal Reloaded’s revelation that I fight to consider Valve neglected it.
It’s additionally value noting that, past its extraordinary thought, Portal Reloaded is a well-made game differently. The little tale it weaves is attention-grabbing, and it effectively mimics Portal’s personal logo of humour, albeit with out the voice appearing ability of Stephen Service provider and Ellen McClain. The one actual criticism I have about it is that it’s very brief. Alternatively, the unique Portal used to be additionally a fleeting affair, and Portal Reloaded is utterly loose, so it might take the maximum curmudgeonly soul to criticise it for that.
Anyway, when you’re even moderately considering Portal, you should completely play Portal Reloaded. It’s the closest factor to Portal 3 that we’re ever more likely to get, a mod that wonderfully innovates on Portal’s premise, bringing one thing in reality new to Valve loved puzzling sequence.