Official PlayStation Magazine UK’s GOTY No 4: Portal 2

Portal 2 2011 Golden Joysticks

Ripping holes in reality with a science gun to solve what are essentially complicated geometry puzzles shouldn’t be this fun. In the hands of a developer less talented, funny or intelligent than Valve, Portal 2 could easily have been duller than trying to solve trigonometry while drawing up pie charts about polystyrene sales.

So be ultra-grateful for the Half-Life developer’s supreme eye for pacing and genuinely laugh-out-loud scripting for turning this puzzler into one of PS3’s most refreshing experiences.

Constantly evolving puzzles mean what could be a one-note journey through sterile labs is transformed into a series of thrilling playgrounds. Deftly introducing an increasingly elaborate (but never intimidating) set of tools means getting from point A to point B demands continually evolving, brainy dexterity. Remember the first time you had to combine the blue and orange Repulsion and Propulsion Gels to reach an exit?

Portal 2 is also the funniest game we’ve played this year. Thanks to a brilliant turn by Stephen Merchant – voicing dim-witted droid Wheatley – and a guided tour provided by the wonderful JK Simmons, your mute protagonist is always surrounded by charming comedic energy.

The real star remains the heroically unhinged supercomputer GLaDOS, though. Acting as both a comedic foil and unlikely companion, she’s drawn with the darkest of sardonic touches, making her one of the most interesting and hilarious characters on PS3. A release date later in the year and this would undoubtedly have troubled the top three…

 

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