Let’s Address Some Portal 2 Nonsense

By John Walker on April 19th, 2011 at 3:19 pm.

Nonsense, taking place in Portal 2.

There’s are some extremely strange bits and pieces flying around about Valve and Portal 2 today, all over the place, and perhaps best summed up by the cavalcade of nonsense being posted on Metacritic by confused disgruntled gamers (and presumably quite a few trolls). The main contentions:

1) Portal 2 is 4 hours long
2) There’s Day 1 DLC
3) It’s a console port
4) The Potato Sack ARG didn’t change anything.

Let’s have a think.

1) Portal 2 is not four hours long. My first run through the single player took me about eight hours. Partly because I took my time to explore everything, finding easter eggs, and enjoying the dialogue. And partly because that’s just how long it is. I’ve replayed a bunch of it this morning, from about 8am to 12pm, and knowing what to do and ploughing through it as fast as possible, skipping past all the longer conversations wherever possible, I hadn’t reached the end of the second act in the four hours. So, including the co-op content, I was not even halfway through the game. People claiming to have completed it in four hours are either some sort of speed-gaming geniuses, or lying.

2) There is no “Day 1 DLC”. There is the daft store, with all the overpriced guff that aesthetically augments your co-op character for the enjoyment of the one other person you’re playing with. I’m very happy to be disparaging about such silly expense, but it absolutely isn’t missing content for the game being charged for on top of the box price. That is something that gets me really riled, and something that I think openly mocks the customer – discovering that even though they’ve paid for the game, if they want to full version with all the missions/levels/weapons, then they need to pay more. But that’s in no way the case here. You’re not missing out on anything, but for some pointless skins and hats for the co-op character that make no difference at all to the game.

3) I’ll eat ten hats if it’s a console port. The game looks stunning, running in mega resolutions, in a game that’s obviously primarily designed for PC. Yes, there are 360 and PS3 versions, but no, the PC version at no point feels anything like a bad port. In fact, I wonder at how some of the co-op levels are even possible with only a controller for reflex movements. There is, however, one epically stupid mistake, where for the split second it takes for the game to save the words, “Please don’t turn off your console” appear on screen. This appears to be the evidence people have for the port claims, and there’s absolutely nothing else about the PC version suggests it’s a port, and even if it were, it would be a bloody perfect one in which there were no reasons to complain whatsoever.

4) This one is tougher to figure out, really. To the best of our knowledge, as a result of the ARG, the game did come out a few hours earlier than certainly we’d been told to expect. Whether Valve oversold the possibilities of what might come about from people engaging in the Potato Sack CPU business is still up in the air. Clearly there are some who are upset that it didn’t bring the game out over the weekend as so many had hoped, especially if they paid for the Sack in the attempt. We’ll be contacting Valve to see if they want to comment on how it all went.

As for complaints about the content being the same as Portal, the writing being trite or obvious, or the endings having been ruined by Valve, these really are just troll comments with no basis in truth whatsoever. To find out why we think it’s one of the best games this year, and likely will be by the end of the year, read our review here.

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495 Comments »

  1. TheApologist says:

    So, there are some words on the screen that say console instead of PC and this effects your enjoyment of the game?

    I have literally no conception of what goes on in the minds of people who turn their own entertainment into anger, shit and misery for absolutely no good reason.

    • gingerbill says:

      agree with theapologist . I think its just normal now that when i big game comes out a load of sad trolls with nothing better to do spend hours posting how rubbish it is . I think portal 2 is brilliant , very very funny.

  2. JFS says:

    Why does RPS even feel obliged to defend Portal 2? There may be some fans of ye olde Portal who didn’t get what they expected, and that’s legitimate, and some who like the new game, but why such a fuss about it?

    • heretic says:

      they are responding to silliness on the interwebz which might put off some people who have not bought it yet, and their opinion (being a pc games website) is that people should play this, nothing wrong with that…

    • John P says:

      They’re correcting factual errors here, which is fair enough.

      I didn’t invest anything in the ARG, so I’m really surprised that people are upset about … something. I don’t understand it.

      Making shit up because you’re unhappy with Valve is poor form. The game’s longer than 4 hours unless you rushreallyfastbecauseyoucantwaittogetontheforumsandexpressyourhatredforvalvegrrrrr

      And selling some cosmetic stuff is not ‘day 1 DLC’, and Valve should be commended for not doing that when so many companies do nowadays.

    • JFS says:

      Hm, yes, but then again nearly everyone on RPS (and elsewhere) should understand that the claims of “OMG console shitport” and “DLC LOL DLC” are… exaggerated. I believe with the above post, RPS is choosing a side in the conflict Valve vs trolls, and I’m not sure whether this is the right way to go.
      If RPS had reported on massed trolling, on raised accusations, Valves responses and the Metacritic bombing in a neutral way, journalism would’ve had a great day. Now, to me it looks more like we’re setting up a banquet for trolls, while pouring gasoline into the fire to warm them during their feast.
      Sure, commentary and opinion is also a part of journalism, but perhaps not that fortunate to deploy on day one of the shitstorm.

    • Malfernion says:

      @JFS: key difference is that RPS is a blog, not a news site. The guys can write their opinions all they want, not that that is what they are doing here.
      Here they are merely cleaning up the facts, which is a much nicer thing than just deleting the troll posts that are blatantly misguiding people in the comment sections.

    • PanzerVaughn says:

      I dont see it as RPS getting worked up about people dissing Portal2. I see it as people being Tasteless Assholes, and their sphincters just happen to be positioned over Portal2 at this current point in time. Tasteless Assholes have a long history of needing to be paddled

      “Mona lisa’s ugly, he was a shitty painter.”
      “I dont get the joke, that comedians not funny, he should stop forever. ”
      “BAND X > BAND Y”

      someone has to stand up to try to knock Assholes on their… well. you know. It wont work, but if we dont try they’ll just keep spinning around covering every wall they can reach in metaphors and euphamisms.

    • Dervish says:

      Except the very concept of “taste” implies the ability to make comparisons and evaluate one thing over another as superior. So… maybe rethink your branding, there.

    • Kadayi says:

      Clarification is not a defence, it’s clarification. Especially in the case where there is clearly deliberate misinformation being passed off as fact by other parties.

  3. heretic says:

    u mad??

    ._.

    • Nick says:

      just fyi, saying this makes you look like a moron.

    • Teddy Leach says:

      Not to nitpick, but using text slang and not capitalising the first letter of a sentence can also make you look like a moron.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Actually this is brilliant. He’s communicating with the trolls in their own language.

    • J-Spoon says:

      We need translators in these turbulent times.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      FYI isn’t “text slang”, I’m pretty sure it has a longish history in business communication. At the latest, it’s in the same old Usenet generation as IMHO and FAQ.

      Example: how often have you seen reddit/4chan/etc regurgitator-of-meme morons using a given abbreviation? Point proved.

      Keep on shaming people who use shit like “PROTIP”, though. I fully approve of that.

    • Nick says:

      Teddy, I don’t think it makes me look like a moron, however your response makes you look like a dick. Funny that. Not closely adhering to stringent grammatical rules on an internet comment thread, what a fucking moron I am indeed. Its not even text slang as was pointed out.

    • heretic says:

      Nick, u mad??

      ._.

    • JackShandy says:

      And so the cycle continues.

    • Dozer says:

      Heretic you misspelled “Teddy” in your last comment.

      And I know there’s a 50% chance I’ve misspelled ‘misspelled’ but I cannae be bothered to google it to find out which is right.

  4. Reverend Speed says:

    Have done a little search for ‘crash’ on this comments thread, found nothing. So… Is Portal 2 crashing for anybody else?

    I can get to the menu screen, click on ‘new game’ (EXCITEMENT!), watch the fun loading screen, the screen FADES TO WHITE (EXCITEMENT) and crash to desktop without error message.

    Anybody else?

    • Milky1985 says:

      You done the normal (gfx updates, audio updates etc)

      Oh and turn down teh shader effects is a good one to stop crashes sometimes (specally on a weaker gfx card)

    • Reverend Speed says:

      So, to quote from my Steam Ticket:

      “Computer runs XP with 2046 RAM, Intel Core2 Quad CPU, Gigabyte P35-DQ6 motherboard, Asus nVidia 8800 card. Latest drivers installed. Online Armour firewall with Avira AntiVir Personal antivirus (uninstalled both and tried with Portal 2. No dice).”

      Turned everything on, off, sideways. Cursed.

      There’s more, but I doubt you need to hear it. Just looking for a little company in misery as (in my experience) Valve rarely responds to you when you’re in a minority that has problems running one of their games.

      (If you’re lucky, they’ll fix it two or three weeks later, ala L4D2)

      I’ve liked Valve since that first PC Gamer preview, but this sort of thing just really disappoints me.

    • heretic says:

      this might not help but I had a similar CTD with Mirror’s edge (similar card 8800), no explaination. It turns out this dumb PHYSX shite had turned itself on some special settings in the graphics panel (something like enabled on the GPU even though afaik the GPU doesn’t support physx) so toggle that option and give it a go.

    • Archonsod says:

      Tried verifying the integrity of the game cache? Most crashes I have with Steam tend to be because it’s only actually downloaded 70% of the game yet for some reason thinks it’s done. Tends to be a particular issue if the servers have been under a heavy load.

    • Reverend Speed says:

      Thanks for the advice chaps but nothing doing, I’m afraid. I should possibly point out that I’m not the only one this is happening to:

      http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1847560

      http://segmentnext.com/2011/04/19/portal-2-crashes-freezes-sound-stuttering-graphics-errors-performance-fixes/

      As I say, experience suggests that all one can do in this situation is sit tight and hope Valve gets around to addressing it. But thank you for the comments. =)

  5. Vague-rant says:

    I’d really like split screen on the PC. Its annoying to mess with the console at the best of times, let alone when I’m slightly pissed and want to play some split screen left 4 dead and am trying to remember what to type.

    I wonder how much work it actually it is to put in though. I can’t imagine too much, but then I guess they might have to test the whole thing if they turned it into an “official” feature.

    • pinkled5 says:

      “I’d really like split screen on the PC.”

      Spoken like a true console gamer. Can you imagine two people sitting at a desk banging elbows and playing footsie while trying to focus on the game at hand? No, thanks. My PC is remaining just that, a Personal Computer…

    • TheApologist says:

      @Pinkled5

      Genuine question: Are you being sarcastic or do you mean that?

      Because, I normally game at my desk. But when my friends come round, sometimes we move the PC to the living room plug it in the telly and play together. At these time, it would be nice to have that option on Portal on PC.

      How does that make me a console gamer?!

    • thegooseking says:

      @Pinkled5

      I don’t know why everyone’s asking for split-screen. It’s very easy and quite common to run dual monitors on a PC these days. Ask for support for letting players on the same machine have one monitor apiece!

    • heretic says:

      genuine question: how do you play l4d2 split screen? particularly how do you set up two keyboards/mice? is that even possible? would like to give it a go actually as don’t have two pcs capable of running l4d2 at home (yet!)

    • Ricc says:

      @heretic:
      You would have to use a USB controller for the second player. I’m not sure Windows even knows how to handle two keyboards and mice. L4D2 certainly doesn’t.

      Enabling splitscreen requires a few console commands. I’d start looking at the official forum. There should be a sticky.

    • Vague-rant says:

      @heretic

      Yup its console commands, and 360 controllers. Fortunately, hooking my PC to the TV is actually really simple (takes less than 10s). The big pain is remembering what the console commands actually are.

      As for pinkled5, what I like about the PC is its flexibility. That includes the ability to plug it into a TV or my monitor. Note, they also call “The Da Vinci Code” a book, but that doesn’t stop it being a really good doorstop.

    • gwathdring says:

      I play multiplayer games on my computer sometimes, and hook it up to the television. Until my room-mate bought a third controller, whenever more than two of us wanted to play Super Smash Brothers, we’d plug my computer in to a TV and run an emulator, for example. My laptop speakers aren’t great, and sometimes I hook into a TV because I just don’t feel like using headphones, or I didn’t want to lug a gamecube across town on the off chance my friends would have a hankering for SSB.

      Hmm … not many games allow me to do that, so I have trouble coming up with examples of when I’ve been able to other than emulation. Oh! Hedgwars. Civilization IV hotseat. That’s with the same controller though …

      Sometimes there’s just something nice about having the option. In the same way having local networking can be extremely convenient, sometimes you want to be able to just plug in a controller and start playing, whether there’s a TV with HDMI handy or not. The dual monitor argument is fair, but not everyone wants to buy two high quality monitors and the suggestion is still predicated on the game supporting two players on the same machine as long as there are two monitors for output which is pretty similar to split screen and is still not terribly common.

      The controller issue is a big one. You usually have to buy special software of limited functionality to get two mice and keyboards running on the same machine, and getting them to be considered separate devices takes a fair bit of finesse and effort as far as I can tell (I’ve never tried it, but I’ve done a limited amount of research into it). So already you’re almost entirely limiting same-machine multiplayer to games that support both keyboard and mouse and an additional control mechanism. As such, I wouldn’t say same-machine multiplayer is conspicuous in its absence from most PC games.

      I guess part of it is that I, like many PC gamers, like fiddling with things and having options. Maybe it’s not necessary, or convenient, or useful, but dammit I want to be able to do it. I can’t really blame a company for not acquiescing to that, and there are some kinds of games where controllers really don’t work well (PC RTS games) and it might not be worth including the option.

      I stand by wanting local servers and local co-op, though. If the game can be played with two players, and there are two of us present with computers, cables, and unique copies of the game, we should be able to play together whether or not we have internet.

    • Ravenger says:

      I don’t see why the PC version couldn’t support split screen like the consoles. I’d like to play co-op with my daughter, and it’s annoying that to do so I have to buy two copies of the game, whilst console owners only need one copy. It should be perfectly possible to play using two 360 controllers, or M+KB plus a 360 controller, like Guardian Of Light.

    • pinkled5 says:

      I think the feature would be greatly underused so from a cost/benefit analysis I doubt Valve will ever consider implementing it. Plus, they want your friend to have to buy Portal 2 in order to co-op so there’s additional discouragement for them to do so.

  6. nayon says:

    I thought the puzzles in the first one were better. Most of this game was finding a very tight spot you could throw a portal onto, and do the momentum preserving jump. That was repeated so many times. Most of the puzzles were immediately obvious, only the execution was tedious.

    The large amount of exposition was cool, but didn’t really go anywhere. Seeing the insides and depths of Aperture Labs was a very cool idea (not trying to spoil too much), but felt like a one-shot gimmick.

    The writing wasn’t as good as the first game, but it was still good. Glados felt like she was trying too hard to be creepy/funny in the beginning of the game, but I don’t know if that was intentional. Perhaps it was.

    Overall, it’s a good game, maybe even a great game, but not an AMAZING game. It does take your breath away quite frequently, but in the end it doesn’t really go anywhere with its elements and overuses certain puzzles. Especially the gels were really narrowly used. The plot is kind if shallow and anticlimactic, but there are a few good twists. It only answers 1-2 questions you might have had, and doesn’t do much else. Don’t get me wrong, I liked the game, but I expected more.

    This is all from my one run of the single player campaign though. And the way you finish off your final foe was really good, I actually thought of that during the 2 hour sleep break I took during my run :D I wonder if they’ll explore that idea further in the future.

  7. RakeShark says:

    Ack, wrong post.

    One the topic, I was excited about the ARG from a non-involved stance. I got the potato pack to see wha the fuss was with all the games I had heard about before this whole thing was going on. Discovered that Defense Grid, SMB, and TWEOFT were fun games, the rest being somewhat forgettable, and Amnesia being too damn scary to play.

    I really do think we’re in a point of time where silly self-entitlement is rife.

    • ArthurBarnhouse says:

      I don’t think the ARG hue and cry can just be boiled down to a simple entitlement issue. Valve said, “buy these games, and if you play them enough we’ll release portal two early.”. But the bar was set so high that the game only got released a few hours early. Early release generally isn’t understood as an hour early release, and I don’t think it’s a huge stretch for people to think otherwise.
      Your right, the extras on those games were great (well, in the games that I liked anyways), and probably people are angrier than they need to be about it. But the final result of the ARG was pretty irritating, and it felt like Valve dangled a carrot that turned out to be a waste of time and, for some people, money. Again, it’s not the end of the world, but clearly mistakes were made with it on Valve’s part.

    • Nogo says:

      I get the ARG frustration, but honestly, if you’re angry that valve made you purchase or play video games in order to purchase and play another video game a day or two early it’s time for some serious introspection.

  8. sneetch says:

    With respect to point 4 (the game coming out earlier or not) being in Europe I don’t think I have ever before been able to play a Valve game on the actual release date before (as in it’s always become available after midnight on launch day or damn close to it).

    This was certainly the first time that I (if I only had the sense to call in sick today) could have played from before 9 this morning.

    Anyway, I’ve largely given up on user reviews both on metacritic and in general; they’re rarely useful, far too often they’re written by people who are fanboys (in the truest sense) or simply have an axe to grind because of perceived wrongdoings.

  9. Milky1985 says:

    The arg did change something, Valve games normally come out at around about 10pm our time (leaving us no time to play them), this time it came out at about 4am today, meaning i already have the game decrypted waiting for me at home.

    The “please do not turn off your console” is stupid tho, someone screwed up the strings like IW did in MW when it told the PC crowd that it couldn’t connect to Xbox Live :p

    Which ever poor sucker copied the strings into the big “IF(PC) then…elseif(PS3) then” part of the code forgot to change it (wonder if it says that on mac as well?) and will likely be locked in a supply cubboard in valve atm and being laughed at :p

  10. Tomm says:

    Am I the only one who hasn’t seen the saving screen?

    Anyway, it really sucks that Kotaku did their redesign, seems a lot of idiot commenters ended up over here.

    • Shortwave says:

      Oddly enough I ended up here because I wasn’t interested in Kotaku’s console news constantly.
      Also that place is flooded with so many little jerks and wannabe chanstars.. Hurt my brain!
      So, here I am.. Hello, my names Rian. I came from Kotaku!

      I enjoy the articles here much more.

    • skurmedel says:

      Do they even write about PC stuff? Sincere question. Maybe they pretend they do like Eurogamer.

  11. Shortwave says:

    All I can say is I think their ARG was a totally muck up in the grand scheme of things.
    The game is really amazing though and I hope all the nonsense doesn’t ruin that for anyone.
    The soundtrack I thought was again top-notch and met my expectations fully.
    The dialog had me laughing more than once, and it was truly amusing and witty humor!
    The story was amazing I thought..
    Generally they had to make minor changes to be able to develop the story more-so, which is fine..
    They did a good job with it, it kept me chasing the goal happily. :P
    I however have a single issue, Valve seriously needs to start “shipping” games with FOV options from the get go. Playing this on a 5040×1050 resolution was tole ratable but it killed my eyes.. I used a 50fov in mostly every FPS game with my eyefinity setup. That’s the only way I can do it without my eyes feeling like they are falling out of my head.. I simply don’t understand why this is an issue again.
    So bothersome, and only because it’s such a minor thing.. silly.
    BUT, I totally love this game. You should play it.. Children should play it.
    Good times… Better when FOV isn’t botched.

    • Mechlord says:

      fov_desired 50
      In the console.

      I was very glad it was 90 by default instead of the eye-bulging valve standard of 75.

    • Shortwave says:

      No no, that is the issue.. The majority of the console commands are disabled.
      Including all relating to FOVs.

  12. wazups2x says:

    A reply from a Valve employee about the “Please don’t turn off your console”:

    http://forums.steampowered.com/forums/showpost.php?p=21926759&postcount=9

    “It’s easy for strings like this to get mixed up during development. On the console versions we can fail cert for not having a string warning the user not to shut off the console. We can also fail cert if the string says “Please don’t turn your PC off…”. So as such the strings get changed to be appropriate on the console (usually during the phase where we are heavily testing consoles and working to pass cert late in development). In this case it looks like a bug that the string was also changed on the PC version.

    That really has no bearing on which platform is the “lead” platform, all of the platforms are important to us and it’s certainly not true that the game was built for consoles and then ported to PC. Like most of our past titles PC in fact tends to be the most used platform internally during much of development, though consoles get plenty of love too since we want to ensure quality across the board.”

  13. Kaira- says:

    2) There is no “Day 1 DLC”. There is the daft store, with all the overpriced guff that aesthetically augments your co-op character for the enjoyment of the one other person you’re playing with.

    Umm… isn’t this the very definition of DLC? You can download additional content and in this case, you’ll have to pay for it. And, it came out the very same day as the game? For me this sounds a lot like Day 1 DLC, but maybe that’s just me.

    Edit: And now that I’m on it..

    3) I’ll eat ten hats if it’s a console port. The game looks stunning, running in mega resolutions, in a game that’s obviously primarily designed for PC

    Am I wrong if I remember Gabe saying that PS3 will have the ultimate Portal 2-experience?

    • John P says:

      Depends on what you’d call DLC I suppose. I have no problem with companies selling frilly bits that have no impact whatsoever on the game experience. There’s no story content missing, no levels missing. That’s the kind of ‘day 1 DLC’ that people have a problem with, surely? Deliberately removing part of the game so you can charge more than the RRP for the complete game is unethical and disgraceful. But that’s absolutely not what Valve did.

    • wazups2x says:

      “Am I wrong if I remember Gabe saying that PS3 will have the ultimate Portal 2-experience?”

      You are wrong. He said the the PS3 will have the best CONSOLE experience.

    • Kaira- says:

      Yeah, day 1 DLC is a bit hard to feel good about. Either it has some meaningful content, which raises the question if it was cut out of the game, or then it is just textures, which raises the question – where is the content in this?

      @wasups2xz
      Oh, okay then. Carry on.

    • Rabbi says:

      If the content is ready on launch day it should be in the game. It’s bad for consumers for them to hold this content out of the game then sell it separately. It’s your responsibility as a consumer to not support this practice.

    • jplayer01 says:

      Simple solution: Buy the game if you like it (…. don’t if you don’t like it). Buy the DLC if you want it, don’t buy it if you 1) don’t like it or 2) think they’re just trying to gouge their customers.

      If you say the DLC lacked actual content which deserves your money, then good. Don’t. Buy. It. But then don’t bitch about TF2 and all the hats. It seems the people playing it don’t have a problem with all the hats.

      Personally, I loved TF2. The hats? Don’t care. Love the gameplay though. I don’t see what the hats have to do with 1) the gameplay and 2) all the absurd fun I’ve had in the time I played it.

      If enough people buy the game and not the DLC, it sends a message to stop with the DLC shit. If people buy the game AND the DLC … good for them. Maybe you want to bitch about people buying jewelry and expensive clothes too? It’s a *luxury* item which you don’t need to buy and needn’t even exist in your mind’s eye. Just ignore it. You have no interest? Then fine, it has nothing to do with you either. But don’t penalize the game itself which *is* very good (especially compared to the crock we’ve been getting lately) for DLC which you have no interest in and has nothing to do with you. It’s optional.

      Just like how achievements are optional and I absolutely hate them, but I don’t rate every game I play with 0/10 or 1/10 *just* because of the achievements. It doesn’t even fall into my rating. It might get a mention, but it has no bearing on the game itself.

    • Urthman says:

      To me, “Day 1 DLC” in the pejorative sense means content that seems like it should have been in the original game but was held back so they could charge people extra.

      I certainly don’t think designer multiplayer robot skins feels like content that belonged in the original game but Valve is cheating us out of to make extra $$$.

  14. Joshua says:

    Did someone mention that Portal 2 only uses DX9?

  15. Milky1985 says:

    ONe thing i have just found however that shoudl be checked to see if its true – from “http://kotaku.com/#!5793543/the-people-are-panning-portal-2″

    “The console versionof Portal 2 includes eight unlockable free gestures in its co-op campaign. Well, they’re free as long as you take into account that the console version costs $10 more than the PC/Mac version.

    The 16 gestures for the PC version are listed in the in-game’s store, $2 a pop. Note the same Atlas disco ball icon in this store and in the console version, a sign that some of what’s in the console version appears to cost money in the PC game.”

    Yes they do pay 10$ more, but a while ago research was done into where the case per game purchased goes and have a guess at how much licencing costs were (hint its about hte same)?

    If this is true its a bit crappy, why? bcause NOT EVERY PC GAMER HAS A MIC or the capability to use one (have to quiet because parents asleep etc, some of the gesters look silly but some useful) why whould console gamers get the gesture but not us?

    Oh also if it is true that they are only accessable via purchase, then you can’t get all the achivements, why because some of the achivements are related to gestering people…..

    The store has gone from “meh who cares” to “ok thats a bit annoying” to me now, hoping its not tru ethat console gamers get stuff that we don’t :(

    • JeepBarnett says:

      Not true. PC has the same 8 gestures unlock as you play through the game. This is a different gesture with the same icon (it might be a bug that it has the same icon).

    • Joof says:

      The gesture aren’t useful at all in game. Anything that is useful for communication would be done with the probe commands.

    • BunnyMaz says:

      You CAN buy the gestures in PC. But you can also unlock them by playing – have unlocked 5 gestures so far, the beanie hat and the flag. I don’t know what I did to earn them, they just showed up as I continued to play. So, pleased to say, you’re not going to need to worry about missing those.

      Have been listening to the other half run through the commentary version of the game – they talk about their plans for the coop and the gestures, and it is really quite interesting. I recommend it.

  16. BobsLawnService says:

    What are you fruits on about with this ARG business. It reduced the time in which the game was released by over twice the amount of time it takes to finish. In other words you were given the chance to finish it three times in the time it would have taken you to finish it once. Or something.

    Really, there is no pleasing some people.

  17. euanc says:

    I’d also like to add that all the cosmetic items that are purchasable are also unlockable in the game.

  18. Grinterloper says:

    I have a question concerning the custom skins dlc for the bots, are Valve disallowing the use of player made custom skins for characters and by extension, modding?

    I mean they are obviously wanting to build up the microtransaction side of their business and it’s good that they are keeping anything purchasable as purely cosmetic, (or in the case of TF2, obtainable by other means) but the use of player made skins surely undermines this?

    Considering the company has expanded as much as it has off the back of the mod community (consider CS, DoD and TF) this’d be one hell of a kick in the balls. Providing of course this is the case.

  19. pinkled5 says:

    “That is something that…openly mocks the customer – discovering that even though they’ve paid for the [software], if they want [the fully functional] version..then they need to pay more.”

    Hmmm, sounds like what Microsoft did when they released an uncompleted OS called Vista, then created an after market fix, slapped the label “7″ on the box and made everyone pay to get it.

    But I digress…

  20. Felixader says:

    I like how lot of the complaints of PC Gamers imply that developers only use Controllers while creating a game. X-P

  21. VeliV says:

    Did any review mention the DLC stuff by the way?

  22. ScubaMonster says:

    The only good reviews to pay attention to are middle of the road ones. The “OMG EPIC 1000 out of 1000!! 1 MILLION STARS!!” and “OMG TERRIBLE WORST GAME SINCE ET ON 2600!!” are pretty worthless. I just look at the ones that might have a lower score but not unreasonably low, and see what their quibble might be with the game, then judge whether or not that might be a valid complaint.

    • gwathdring says:

      That’s what I tend to do. I also like to wait a while and wait for some of the later voices.

  23. Miidgi says:

    I really have to say, when I beat the game and quit, my steam account said “4 hours played”. Maybe its just using the integer and the real value is like 4.99 or something, but that’s what it says. I will admit that I was hurrying though (although I did still get decently stuck a few times), and that I missed a lot of content that I am excited to go back and root around for.

    That said, still a *fantastic* game, and while I wish it took me a bit longer, I still say it was worth every penny. I know I’ll play through it several times, and the writing and dialogue are nothing short of fantastic. All of the other points made here are strong.

    • thegooseking says:

      As I said earlier, my Steam account says 85 minutes played. I have played more than that. From first achievement (Wake Up Call) to last achievement (Lunacy), it was almost exactly 7 hours. I rounded up to 8 hours, and maybe it wasn’t quite that much, but it was close.

  24. Yosharian says:

    I played through quite slowly and got stuck on a few puzzles… Steam can’t seem to make up its mind if it’s 7 hours or 8.9 hours. I think about 9 hours sounds right.

    Never noticed the ‘Don’t turn off your console’ button.. I only used the quicksave feature a few times, rest of the time I was using autosaves… So I didn’t notice this at all.

    Don’t care about DLC.

    Haven’t played the Co-op yet, will do soon.

    I’m a bit disappointed with the SP campaign though. Despite its brilliance, I was hoping for something longer… Or maybe something with more Half-Life stuff in it. I was half-waiting for some sort of time travel that would take me to the HL2-era.

    Regardless, 9 hours is on the short side for a SP campaign but with the Co-op campaign I think you get your money’s worth.

    So, when is Episode 3 coming out?

  25. athropos says:

    Portal 2 is not worth 50$.

    • TheWanaB says:

      I base a games worth on the games quality, not how much time it takes to play. As such Portal 2 is defiantly worth $50.

    • thegooseking says:

      @The WanaB

      Well, exactly. One would have a hard time defending the argument that Portal 2 is worth less than Final Fantasy XIII, even though the latter is far longer.

    • J-Spoon says:

      What, you didn’t enjoy the 33-hour tutorial? :P

  26. StingingVelvet says:

    #4 has a little merit, if only just because Valve have released their games at midnight on Steam every time as far as I know, so the 7AM plan was simply to allow them to roll it back to 12 (which they would have released it at in the first place without the potato thing).

    The other three are stupid. The store is crass, but you can ignore it and still have a complete game.

  27. Froibo says:

    Your forgot to mention the reward for getting all 36 potatoes in the ARG. Valve very generously gave these people the valve complete pack including portal 2! The catch? If you already purchased any of these games you can’t gift them…

  28. Craymen Edge says:

    I’ve been primarily a PC gamer for more years than I care to count, but man I hate PC gamers (present company excepted, of course).

  29. Sunjammer says:

    Well it’s not 4 hours, not 5. I’ve made it through the game at a very steady clip (it’s not very hard), and I haven’t spent too much time dillydallying around looking for “secrets” (Haha such an archaic term! There are no secrets anymore), I haven’t finished it, and i’m at 7 hours. It feels like it’ll take me a couple hours more.

    I’m not sure it’s the 10/10 it keeps getting. It strikes me as a supremely hipstery hipster-game, and there’s a fair chunk of the writing that actually annoys me in how smugly quirky and fun it is, like that godawful shitfest flick Juno. Just like the first one really. Who the fuck really cares about the cake and the song and all that godawful nonsense everyone thought was the bees knees back with P1. Oh wait i just answered my own question. EVERYONE cared about it. Which is how you know something is probably bad. Even then, this particular brand of comedy was applied in a sort of dry and distant way in P1, which made it work, but here it’s full on wacky quirky comedy hour. It’s a little much.

    Then again there’s about an equal amount that genuinely makes me laugh and smile, so it all evens out i guess. Certainly got better when a certain gentleman was introduced. Army of mantis men. Yes.

    But it makes me worry about comedy in games. Portal 2 is funny in the sense that it tells you jokes while you play the game. The game itself is not particularly funny. You could redub the game into a very serious piece of business. You might get the same “comedy experience” from muting Crysis 2 and putting on a Louis CK standup routine in the background. Seems like the only guy that can actually integrate comedy into his games from gameplay and up remains Tim Schafer.

    Certainly an excellent purchase regardless of complainings. Reminded me an awful lot of Half Life 1 actually, what with the endless epic underground tunnels and pipes. That’s a high five.

    • pinkled5 says:

      “this particular brand of comedy was applied in a sort of dry and distant way in P1, which made it work, but here it’s full on wacky quirky comedy hour. It’s a little much.”

      I agree. The humor in Portal 1 was situational and inferred from miscast verbiage in plausible scenarios. The dialog in Portal 2 is implausible and obviously directed solely at the player. This robs you of the feeling that you’re part of an unfolding plot, an alternate reality contrived to immerse you in a game world. When I hear a turret acting like Rodney Dangerfield or Cave Johnson making wisecracks about possible tumor inducing experiments it takes me out of the moment and makes me feel like I’m observing something, not immersed in something. Most unfortunate.

    • thegooseking says:

      “EVERYONE cared about it. Which is how you know something is probably bad.”

      That’s actually ridiculously wrong. There are plenty of things that are both popular and great, and the people who can’t see that are the ones who have decided beforehand that something popular must be bad, just because their opinion is so much better than everyone else’s.

      “Portal 2 is funny in the sense that it tells you jokes while you play the game. The game itself is not particularly funny.”

      I don’t tend to laugh. My dad once commented that he’d never seen anyone look so serious while watching Morecambe and Wise. I get amused by things, but it takes a lot to make me express that. So the fact that the things that made me actually laugh out loud in this game were things that I did or that happened to me, rather than things that were said, makes me wonder if we were actually playing the same game. Or maybe we just have a different sense of humour.

    • Sunjammer says:

      Oh it’s perfectly correct for the individual. Statistically, the more people that have said something is great, the graver the possible disappointment. Conversely, the more people that say something is bad, the sweeter the pleasant surprise! It depends on the entry point; If I expect something to be great and it’s not, i’m sad. If I expect something to be shit and it’s not, I’m happy!

      Anyway enough babble. It was somewhat of a joke anyway, which you didn’t LAWL at, MR SERIOUS.

      Cave Johnson was fantastic. I laughed more during his bit than any other.

    • thegooseking says:

      That’s a fair point. I probably had lower expectations of Portal 2 than some did, actually. Mainly, I was worried that making it longer would make it longer than it needed to be (for the reasons I mentioned below; that Portal 1 was so concentrated). When it failed to realise my fears, I guess that made me more disposed to consider it favourably.

    • Lilliput King says:

      “It strikes me as a supremely hipstery hipster-game”

      “EVERYONE cared about it. Which is how you know something is probably bad.”

      Pot, kettle.

    • faelnor says:

      I am different

    • Yosharian says:

      Yes I totally agree with your comments Pinkled5, you have hit the nail on the head perfectly there with the dialogue.

      Still a great game, though.

  30. Ridnarhtim says:

    The massive boxes being displayed on screen explaining what buttons do, do feel very consoley (I mean things like ‘press E to use’ when looking at a button … And effectively covering up the button).

    • Joshua says:

      Those have been there since Left 4 dead. Although I am quite sure that you could turn them off there, so you can probalby turn them off in Portal 2

      Its by no means ‘console-y’, methinks. But I don’t think console-y exists at all, so I shall be silent.

  31. thegooseking says:

    Shooty Man: The Revenge lets me shoot eight monsters. Gun Guy 3 lets me shoot the same monster sixteen times, and therefore takes twice as long to finish. Does that mean Gun Guy is worth more than Shooty Man?

    What’s the big deal about how long Portal 2 took to finish, then?

    • Sunjammer says:

      You’d think people would be happy they’d finished a game, considering how few games actually get finished by the people who buy them.

    • Dervish says:

      I was highly amused to see a slew of posts, begging for help with certain puzzles, scattered across various forums. No doubt at least a few of those are the same people that went on to complain that they finished a puzzle game too quickly.

    • thegooseking says:

      I suppose I still have to be spoiler-free, but that ending was far better than that of most games I’ve finished. It would be a damn shame to keep people from seeing that just by making people jump through the same hoop several times instead of one (actually, one of the test chambers actively poked fun at this method of artificially lengthening a game, so, you know…)

      I just don’t really see how all the time I wasted trekking around in Fallout: New Vegas somehow added to the value of that game (for instance). Portal 2 was, like its predecessor, so short (though still not as short as some people are claiming, of course) because it wasn’t nearly as diluted as other games.

  32. edit says:

    Some of that business on Metacritic is just shameful, indulgent douche-baggery. The score should reflect the perceived quality of the game. Giving this game a 0 because you don’t like release-day DLC hats is an abuse of the site. Giving it a 0 for any reason is ludicrous when you compare it to other games on the market.

    1 – I completed the single player in a little over 7 hours and found it incredibly satisfying. Yet to play co-op.

    2 – I will never use that store, so the worst that can happen is I’ll play coop with someone wearing a hat. Whoop-de-do. No issue, though it’s the thing I’m furthest from being on Valve’s wavelength about.

    3 – It has no less functionality than any of Valve’s other PC-loving games. Runs beautifully on my system. Feels at home on the PC.

    4 – We got the game a few hours earlier than we would have without the ARG stuff (which none of us had to participate in, it was just a fun way to spend some of our anticipatory energy). Valve made no false statements. Any specific assumptions about when the release would occur were our own. I love Valve all the more for being so supportive of indies.

    • heretic says:

      it might be good though, will make metacritic useless and hopefully people won’t be paying attention to it anymore.

    • Mman says:

      I’m glad this happened in a sense; with the Dragon Age 2 metacritic stuff there was a bunch of defence of the more ridiculous hyperbolic negative user reviews due to that game having various contentious issues and plenty of people genuinely disliking it (even if they wouldn’t give it stuff like 0/10). Whereas Portal 2 having near-universal praise everywhere I’ve seen (both in critical reception and user impressions) has revealed the more hyperbolic negative metacritic user scores for the joke they are.

  33. budokhan says:

    When you have level load screens every 5 minutes of gameplay, methinks they designed the game for the PS3/360 first, rather than developing a simple streaming system so you could run without seeing loading screens all the time. Especially frustrating when you’re running the game at full settings on an Alienware PC. Other than a few odd visual bugs like trash falling through the elevator as you approach (through the actual pod you walk into, not the usual ambient clutter), I’ve been having a lot of fun.

    • Joshua says:

      Thats more a source engine thing. Those level load thing shave been there since HL2… Its probalby Valve accomodating for lower memory systems.

  34. Tacroy says:

    Edit: reply fail :(

  35. Captain Hijinx says:

    Hahahaha…

    Is this serious? People are getting upset over this? Who are these hyper emotional people?

    Anyway, i’m too busy enjoying Portal 2 to even notice this garbage, awesome awesome game.

  36. Joshua says:

    So wait.
    The portal 2 ‘DLC” is basically also stuff that can be aquired in game?

  37. starclaws says:

    Ya but the game is more than 4 hours because of all the cutscene waiting. Ceiling crashing though every room all the way to the end and such. You have to pause and wait for every little physics thing to kick in and they force you to listen to everyone and watch certain things before you can use your portals. Through the whole game. If you recorded the whole game and cut all the parts where your just standing there with a thumb up your ass then the gameplay would be waaay less than 4 hours. Even the ending boss has more waiting than actual action. It feels more like a turned based game than an action game.
    Oh and: http://evansheline.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/fps_design.jpg

  38. Ziv says:

    It is an incredible game, that I finished in just two (4 hours each) sittings. It is amazing, it does not feel like a console port, seriously guys-it’s valve.

    Most of the comments come from people who are dissapointed at the ARG which was difficult and very engaging but had a very anti climatic ending.

  39. geldonyetich says:

    When you’ve got the greater awareness of just how many games are poking around the Internet, for free (no – I’m not talking piracy) or uber-cheap, there’s a certain question of what $50 for a PC game means anymore.

    Portal 2, if it’s 8 hours of gameplay, is $6.25 an hour. That’s a pretty lousy money to enjoyment ratio, higher than a box office movie will usually change on its premier. I could get Monday Night Combat for $15. My last two weeks have been consumed by playing Sword of the Stars Complete off a (now defunct) $7 Gamersgate sale. We’ve got an absolute glut of cheap quality gameplay experiences out there available if you look.

    So, ultimately, this is the price suited to folk who got enough money that throwing it at the latest big-brand-name stuff is a luxury they can afford. As for me, I enjoyed the original Portal, but I’ll wait until the game price-drops to about $20 in a few months. (And probably have heard every little twist of the game spoiled 5x over by then.)

    • thegooseking says:

      Because enjoyment totally isn’t a matter of degree. It can definitely be measured simply in hours spent on it. That makes so much sense.

    • edit says:

      8 hours of gameplay.. in the single-player campaign. Add to that perhaps six hours in the co-op campaign. Down to about $3.50 an hour. I don’t know about anyone else but I can’t resist an immediate second play-through. $1.25 an hour? Or checking out all the commentaries. Or exploring community maps (of which there will be many). Or hunting achievements. Or, for some people, perfecting speed-runs. The hours add up quickly when you like a game. Surely replayability should be taken into account when assessing a game’s value.

    • Dervish says:

      geldonyetich: That’s nothing. I once saw a guy pay 30 bucks for a steak, and he couldn’t have been gnawing on it for more than half an hour. Even less if you don’t count the cutscenes when he was talking to his girlfriend.

  40. Laurentius says:

    Bleh, reviewers are as always too lenient, game is fun but a little bit panning won’t hurt lazy-ass developers.

  41. BreadBitten says:

    I don’t really quite remember the PC Gaming community having such a long and dense stick up its ass, what really happened during the turn of this generation?

  42. squareking says:

    I hope Half Life 3 has an in-game store where you can purchase differently colored crowbars and designer glasses for Freeman.

    • BreadBitten says:

      Your snarky sarcasm notwithstanding, THAT WOULD BE ABSOLUTELY AWESOME!

    • Wulf says:

      And now my mind is running with this bizarre Timmy Mallet as Gordon Freeman skit.

      “Look at the turret and go AUUUGH!”

  43. ananachaphobiac says:

    You know who else made outlandish and innacurate claims on Metacritic? The Nazis. And someone on this site is basically Hitler.

    Sorry I’m being employed by the people at Godwin Inc.

    They said I could have a t-shirt if I said it before anyone else…

  44. Vinraith says:

    Hmm, only 8 hours for the SP eh? Not quite my notion of “full length,” but I suppose by the standards of modern FPS’s it’s not far off.

    How long’s the co-op campaign?

    • RakeShark says:

      The co-op is between 2-6 hours, depending on competency, cooperation, and focus of the players. If you and your buddy are sharp together, you’ll probably get it done in a bit longer than a L4D/2 campaign. If not or otherwise, you can kill a fair bit of time dinking around, as there are some nooks to explore and shinanigans to do.

      I will say that the 8 hours I put into the single player game has set the standard for this decade. Every minute feels special, and on more than several occasions it took my breath away. It is as finely tuned and crafted as the Valve pedigree would lead you to suspect.

    • Vinraith says:

      Answering my own question by way of RPS’s review: 6 hours.

      So 14 hours total. OK then, this one will wait for a price drop, which will of course be forthcoming because it’s a Valve game.

    • ScruffyLemming says:

      If you have any friends who went potato mad during the ARG, you could ask them for the free gift-able copy they just got given.

    • Dozer says:

      Full length varies in context. In the world of flight simulator aircraft addons, ‘length’ is the length of the aircraft operations manual and all the checklists you’ll need to keep the thing flying and controllable. The more complexity the designer has simulated, the longer the manual needed to explain how to operate it, which indicates value.

      Eight hours can be one single flight.

  45. deadsexy says:

    5) Portal 2 makes you remember how much fun games can be, which will ultimately make you a little sad. At least until you boot it up again!

  46. nayon says:

    I also hate the loading screens. They’re totally immersion breaking, and this 2011, most major games have streaming levels now,couldn’t Valve have done it?

    I understand that it might be difficult given the constraints of the Source engine but still…

  47. jonfitt says:

    The only thing which has been minorly disappointing so far is fact that the maps are a single test chamber so loading is very frequent.
    Surely an average PC can handle a map of the size of at least 2 of the early test chambers?

    Perhaps this is a concession to the tiny amount of RAM in a console? Conspiracy!

    • Wulf says:

      I think it’s more to do with optimisation, so that older machines with older graphics cards don’t flip a shit. This is one of the few games that I’ve seen being this detailed with absolutely no slowdown at all on my old machine, and I appreciate it.

  48. OpT1mUs says:

    I like how people bash others who give P2 zeros on Metacritic and such, only to praise the game to high heavens and act like that isn’t another extreme.

    No game isn’t awesome blahblah. It’s short. Too fucking short. And yes that fact alone lowers my opinion of the game.

    If you needed 8 hours of it, maybe it’s time to face the fact that you aren’t too bright. It’s a logic game after all.

    If the game was 20e/$ I wouldn’t have any complaints, but as it is I do.

    Constant praising of bullshit, like hats in TF is the reason you get the same shit in P2. Also the cash store, ugh.

    Stop applauding mediocrity.

    • 7rigger says:

      I like how you use implied insults and act like your opinion is the only one that matters.

      If we wanted to stop applauding mediocrity, we’d have to close every comment thread on the internet

    • thegooseking says:

      I have no complaints. I really enjoyed the game and felt it was well worth the money I spent on it.

      To be told by someone on the internet that my position of satisfaction is somehow wrong is kind of unbelievable.

      Tell us a game that you thought was great. People who piss and moan about great games never do that. What, exactly, is it that was so much better in your humble opinion that it sets a bar against which this can be judged mediocre?

    • Wulf says:

      I can’t help but feel that the people who’re making comments about it not being 8 hours are overcompensating for something, and have likely taken a good 10-20 hours on it themselves, and thus need to make claims about completing it in half the time that John did so that they don’t look like idiots. It’s really got that vibe to it, does anyone else see that? Otherwise, why not just say it’s short? Why then say that it’s short and people are idiots? I’m calling projection on this one.

      (And that’s what it’s like to be patronised and have your intelligence insulted. Please stop that. I want RPS to be above this sort of thing. I know it isn’t. But I want it to be, damn it.)

    • thegooseking says:

      @Wulf: I’ve been resisting pointing out that I’m a PhD candidate with a measured IQ of well above average. Partly because I’m not sure that’s terribly meaningful in this context (or, indeed, any context other than the one in which I am an expert, in which case my arguments should speak for themselves and not have to be backed up by my position), and partly because I don’t want to sink to that level. And yet, the game took me seven and a half hours.

      Now, maybe one could finish it in four hours. I’m not sure it’s impossible. But I finished it in seven and a half hours not because I’m stupid, but because, while I didn’t dawdle by any means, I did take the time to appreciate a game I’d bought. If someone finishes it in four hours, that doesn’t mean they’re terribly smart; they’re just not taking the time to appreciate it (a behaviour that Valve consciously pokes fun at in the intro of Portal 2 itself!). Which, necessarily, makes their opinion on it, if not meaningless, then at least poorly supported.

  49. Lukasz says:

    Question
    45 bucks for 8 hour game is simply not worth a purchase no matter how great that eight hours are.
    How is re playability of the game? Worth playing three four times through single player campaign?

    I have no interest whatsoever in multiplayer or any co-op modes.

    • rareh says:

      Correction its a 4 hour game for people that have a IQ above 100.
      I recommend you wait for a steam sale, because at the moment its overpriced.

    • Wulf says:

      And you’ve been playing it for, what, 17 hours now?

      (Just making a point, here. Insulting the intelligence of people like that is just not cool. You may disagree with them, you may even strongly dislike them, but calling people retards because they don’t share your opinion steps over my personal line.)

    • rareh says:

      I didn’t call anyone a retard, 100 IQ is normal intelligence.
      Think before you write please, k thx bye.

    • Dervish says:

      “45 bucks for 8 hour game is simply not worth a purchase no matter how great that eight hours are.”

      I can’t imagine people making statements like this with a straight face unless they have some bizarre notions about how money works. Hint: the personal value of 45 dollars decreases the more total money you have. Not that it wouldn’t be a ridiculous absolute statement regardless.

      Also, why would you look for replayability in a puzzle game of all things?

    • Wulf says:

      @rareh

      If you honestly felt that way, you wouldn’t have wrote it in the first place, you actually felt the need to write that, so you were implying something in the process. You can backpedal all you like, but if you weren’t trying to imply something, you wouldn’t have put it in there in the first place.

      So you’re being incredibly transparent in your facetiousness right now.

    • rareh says:

      @Wulf
      I was trying to imply something, but i don’t like insulting people or making fun of their intelligence.
      So please don’t put words in my mouth.
      The lack of challenge maps like in the first 1, made this game an extreme cakewalk for hardcore gamers of the first(getting every achievement and playing the hardest custom maps), but maybe normal or challenging for casuals.

    • Dances to Podcasts says:

      “hardcore”

      *points, laughs*

    • Lukasz says:

      @Dervish

      I was speaking from my point of view. Not sure what you are suggesting but for me 45 bucks for a game which will only last 8 hours is simply too expensive. If my income was double of what I make then 45 bucks for eight hours of great fun would not be too expensive.
      That was not an absolute statement and you, interpreting it as an odd way to understand others words.

      The question about re playability was in direct relation to the game cost. If game is only 8 hours long but can be played over and over again without much loss of enjoyment then the value of the game rises in proportion to the cost.

      From your statement I assume that replayability of single player mode is null or close to it, therefore confirming my assessment of Portal 2 not being worth the purchase at current time and current price.

  50. bit_crusherrr says:

    1) Portal 2 is 5 and a half hours long
    2) HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATS
    3) It’s not a console port
    4) The Potato Sack meant I could beat the game before tea time.

    My 2 cents.