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. Premium User Badge

    ScruffyLemming says:

    Valve just gave the people who managed to collect all 36 potato’s during the ARG gift-able copies of all their games including TF2, both L4D’s and best of all Portal 2. I have a few friends who are gonna be very happy when they check their inbox’s tomorrow morning…

    http://i.imgur.com/vSH4i.jpg

    • Premium User Badge

      heretic says:

      Thats a pretty amazing gesture fronte valve… have to say I’m impressed with the way they treat the community :)

    • RakeShark says:

      Confirmed on my end.

      People that got the golden potato legitimately through the Potato Sack Games ARG get the Valve Complete Pack, to INCLUDE an extra, GIFTABLE copy of Portal 2.

  2. _strictmachine says:

    I was incredibly annoyed by the “HIT BUTTON TO” prompts that filled the screen for what seemed like way too much of the first part of the game, and then appeared MUCH later on when I was choosing specifically NOT to interact with something to see what would happen – and then the huge “HIT E” prompt jumped up in my face.

    I was so frustrated at the beginning of the game I scoured the options menu for a “Console ‘Tard” check box that surely must have been on by default.

    I’d go for a “Yes I don’t need the game to condescend” check box as well.

    • Premium User Badge

      VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      Those annoyed me greatly, too. There are console commands to change the distance they’re visible from, but I couldn’t find a way to turn them off entirely.

      I was also bothered by the portals being visible through walls, but that one can be turned off:

      portal_draw_ghosting 0

  3. _I_I_M_I_I_ says:

    Man, you guys are lucky. Every time I start the game, finish waiting for it to load, and almost see the game play screen pop up, I hear the beginning sounds of the level, it freezes, shows the desktop, and goes black. It worked fine for a half hour in the morning, but when I come home everything is all messed up!

    But yes, all of your facts are right. I can’t believe some of those trolls!

    • Frog100 says:

      You havn’t even played the game maybe wait till you’ve played it before you decide who the trolls are :S

    • _I_I_M_I_I_ says:

      Actually, like I’ve said, I’ve beaten the first chapter. And so far, its really good. I’ve seen tons of walkthroughs, commentaries, viewed some of the maps, and even loaded one in normal portal.\
      The last one sadly failed, however.

  4. malkav11 says:

    The ARG really didn’t affect anything for console or retail purchasers. I know, I know, we’re mad, but, well. Really. When you’re offered a $20 credit for preordering an already discounted PS3 copy of the game which includes the PC version so you’re getting more for less money….that was impossible for me to pass up.

    And if people seriously bought a nearly $40 bundle of awesome indie games for the sole purpose of maybe getting Portal 2 a little bit early? Well, they have only themselves to blame.

  5. Frog100 says:

    Your claim that you hadn’t even got to the end of the second act in four hours is ridiculous. After finishing single player I had 5 hours played of Portal Two, including having a shower, getting dressed, eating/making lunch and sticking around to listen to some conversations, like the turret template. It was a great game, but it was short. If it really did take you four hours to get to the second act AFTER finishing it once then there’s something wrong with you I could run this again in three hours and I never do speed runs on anything hell I rarely play single player games
    But yea there’s no way it took you 4 hours to get to the second act on your first playthrough let alone on your second

    • Wulf says:

      Maybe Valve should’ve added 20 hours of padding in the form of a labyrinthine maze where the verisimilitude in the assets is very high.

      Quality matters to me, not quantity, they could have made it longer but they decided not to pad it and I’m thnakful for that. Other developers could learn from that. Being able to advertise that a game will last you XX hours isn’t the most important thing ever, especially if you’ve just had 20 hours or so of frustration in the form of padding that’s meant to slow you down.

    • Frog100 says:

      I didnt say it wasnt good I said it was short and it was short regardless of what this article claims

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      but they decided not to pad it

      False dichotomy.

      Example: imagine Game of Thrones as a 2-hour film. Think about everything from the novel they’d have to cut to squeeze it into that time limit. Maybe it’d be an objectively wonderful film for someone with no context, but it could be much better given more time. Hence the ten-hour series.

      Point is, wanting more good stuff is not remotely the same as wanting length for length’s sake.

      We’re talking €50 for a 4-8 hour game, depending on who you ask. Personally, I’ll wait.

    • thegooseking says:

      It’s only a false dichotomy assuming unlimited resources, which is highly unrealistic. When there is a limit on resources available to produce a title, you do have to make a decision on whether you’re going to have less content with more attention to detail, or more content with less attention to detail.

    • Wulf says:

      I see your false dichotomy and I raise you a fallacy fallacy.

      Your words would carry weight but that you use a film is telling, very telling, because we’ve all seen padding in games just to add extra hours to it. This is the content Valve wanted to make for the game and the story they wanted to tell, now the approach of the video game industry once a game is complete is that if they feel the game needs to be longer, they’ll just throw in pointlessly long and annoying grindy sections to increase the length of the game to say that their game lasts for XX hours.

      If you want to give me a correct analogy, and I would like one, then name a triple-A video game from the last few years which lasts for more than 10 hours without padding. You have to look at production costs and realise that the actual game content is expensive, and padding is less expensive, and there are developers who’ll pull the move of just stuffing padding into a game to make it seem as though their game lasts longer than it really does.

      Portal 2 does not have any padding and I’m thankful of that. I’d rather be able to enjoy a game from start to finish with no padding than have to suffer a visit to the Deep Roads again.

    • Deano2099 says:

      There’s very little padding in Portal compared to a man-shoot.

      Think about those long games like CoDBlOps and Crysis 2. Now think about what you actually do in them. Now think about how many of those fights are exactly the same as the previous fights. Think how many are just padding, things the game throws at you to cover the trek to the next interesting set-piece.

      Portal 2 is just interesting set-pieces. Yes, 7 hours is short for an FPS. No, it’s not short for a puzzle game.

    • Wulf says:

      Yay! Deano gets it! And said it more eloquently than I could have, too.

      Exactly. I’d prefer a short game that’s just mostly set pieces than one which is padded out with things which are just grindy for the sake of slowing the player down to elongate them. I’m not sure if it works for manshoots or not because in all honesty I’m not the biggest fan of them unless the actual shooting part is secondary to other gameplay (ex: Giants – Citizen Kabuto), but in the case of Portal 2, it works.

      In fact, I’d love to see more short games that just concentrate on being fun and introducing you to new mechanics right up until the end. I mean, Defence Grid is also pretty short in a way, it doesn’t have a huge amount of maps, but then every one of those maps is introducing you to some new mechanic, be it in alien type, tower, or the layout of the field. There’s always something new, every time, you’re not trudging through something actually thinking of how bored you are.

      To be honest, that’s the worst sin a game can commit. If a game ever becomes work or a chore, then it ceases being a game. A game is about having fun immersing you in some new experiences, it’s about escapism. This is why I made the post about how boring fantasy games are in the Garshasp news post and what I’d personally try to do with them. I’d make a fantasy game that’s about six hours long but goes from set piece to set piece with completely new mechanics introduced every time.

      And I’ll finish this by saying what I continue to say: Judging a game by its length is the most detrimental thing we could do and sends the wrong message to developers. Quality? Yes. Innovation? Sure. Fun? Definitely! How interesting the world is? Indeed. The overall distilled, purified amount of escapism present? Absolutely. Being brave enough to try new things and to keep trying new things even if they’re experimental? Can’t argue with that. Complaining that the game doesn’t have enough padding between set pieces? Please stop that.

    • Chris D says:

      I think it all depends on what you’re after. For me, Portal 2 is a bit like going for a meal in a posh restaurant. While I am wondering whether it was really wise to spend that amount on a relatively short lived experience I have absolutely no complaints about the quality, nor any doubt that it’s value for money so long as you’re not expecting to live off it for the next month.

      And, in the meantime, I have plenty of left over Shogun 2 in the fridge.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      The posh restaurant analogy is probably a good one. Except I’m going to go next door where the same chef prepares great food for half the price.

      Half-Life 2 was a fantastic game with no “padding”, and it was what, 20ish hours? It’s completely possible to create a crapload of great content, as Valve themselves have proven.

      I’m a big fan of short stories and novellas; some of my favorite literary works are in that category. I just wouldn’t pay full price for a hardcover version of one. Look, we all have a limit. Would you pay full price for a five-minute game? One hour? Two? Probably not.

  6. Chimpyang says:

    If the game was any longer, the story pacing would have dragged. I’d rather enjoy myself fully for 7-10 hours rather than slog through bits of a 30+ hour game.

    My only complaint is that the game was too easy in sp, i have great hopes for the COOP, having read the Wot I Think and the possibility of 4 portal fun.

    This is genuinely a very good game.

  7. Vinraith says:

    I wonder, when the average length of a AAA game is the same as that of a movie, if people will still be making the “it couldn’t be any longer without padding!” argument.

    I haven’t paid anything remotely resembling full price for a AAA title in ages, and this conversation is doing a fantastic job of reminding me why. Meh, it just means more money for indies, so that’s win-win for me and them.

    • RakeShark says:

      I can respect the decision of waiting for the price to go down.

      I hope you can steer clear of the game being spoiled for you till then, because it really is a wonderful treat.

    • Wulf says:

      It is an amazingly beautiful little gem of a game. I don’t praise games often, but I will praise this one.

      I think the original point I was missing though is sailing way above the heads of some people, so I’ll try and explain it again: If a game is made to be fun, and they concentrate their resources on that, then does it matter if the game is short? How would they elongate it further than they did without further resources (and thus charging a higher price). The thing is is that you can either have a long game, with poor game and lots of padding, one perhaps 60 hours long, or you can have 8 hours of pure joy.

      I don’t know whether my point is clear yet, or if it will ever be, but I know which I’d pick, and which I’d pick every time. I’ve played 60 hour long games which were 60% padding and 40% boring content. Yes, they were that long, but would I have wanted to play through them? Hell no. The games in question do all that they can to convince me not to play them by being as unimaginative and as detached from fun as they could be. No imagination – because displaying imagination costs money, just the same old over and over until it ends.

      The way I look at it is that Portal 2 is a brilliantly imaginative game. It’s clever. I found myself laughing and commenting on how clever things were quite often, and there were many times where I’d just laugh at the deviousness of something and call Valve magnificent bastards. Because they are. It’s something that engenders amazing feelings. This is what a game is – it’s immersion, it’s good writing, it’s great, memorable characters, and constantly fun from start to finish!

      Now let’s look at the 60 hour long Portal 2: They’d have to hire worse voice actors for all the content they’d have to put in, they’d have less of a budget for writers, they’d have to reuse assets, there would be adding, you’d find yourself completing the same puzzle over and over, but you’d want to like it because you spent money on it. And you’d feel exhausted by the halfway point of the game and wish for nothing more than for the game to end. To just end.

      Like I said above, show me a game that has a long play time that is actually fun to play for that entire amount of time and has no padding, and my argument is defunct. But we all know that my argument is completely valid, we see it all the time. It’s especially annoying when people with games that are 4 hours long pad them up to 12 hours just to say that they’re that long, and that’s detrimental to the game. There were parts of Mass Effect 2 even that I thought they could’ve cut due to being a bit obnoxiously grindy (the resource gathering, for instance, which was just something included to make the game last longer).

      Valve decided to just trim off all the fat. You’re having fun from the moment you start, and it’s a blast and one hell of a ride until the final curtain falls. You look back at it, and the only word is wow.

      I think that fixating on the length of a game instead of the quality of it is incredibly detrimental.

    • nayon says:

      But there already is so much padding in the game! There’s so much of the “shoot a portal to a far place that’s hard to see, then just go through” and “go somewhere high, shoot a portal at low spot, jump down, preserve momentum to fling yourself”. Those two are so ridiculously overused. You spend more time doing that then solving actual puzzles.

      As for the length of the game, I got stuck at only one puzzle (sleep deprivation is to be blamed I believe), and I finished it in around 5 hours. I didn’t run through it, I explored the surroundings, tried to find easter eggs, listened to all conversation.

      Quite a bit of the puzzles are uninspired and are just slight variations on the same thing. There were a few puzzles that were really brilliant, I wish there more of those. All new ideas were used very basically, but that’s mostly because the gels are very narrow in their application. I liked the gravity beams and the light bridges though.

      It was an enjoyable experience, but I did feel a bit disappointed. Nothing really happens in the game, and the puzzles were at times lackluster. Still better than quite a bit of other AAA titles.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      There’s so much of the “shoot a portal to a far place that’s hard to see, then just go through”

      Yeah, I hear that. I got stuck at one bit when I just couldn’t see the surface I was meant to portal to for far too long. (That was probably a good sign that I should have called it a night…)

      Nothing really happens in the game

      Not really sure what you mean by this, though.

    • Wulf says:

      /picard

      Overall Faith in Humanity metre drops from 12% to 11.5%.

      See what you did there? I hope you’re happy now. I really hope you’re happy. I’m frowning in dismay at you right now and thinking that XKCD‘s predictions probably weren’t a long way off and that perhaps GLaDOS’s human eradication experiments aren’t too bad of a thing. You monsters.

      (Yes, black humour. Not at all serious, here. Still though, good grief.)

    • nayon says:

      @Harlander by “Nothing happens” I mean I was expecting some grand conclusion, a big reveal, something that ties it to the Half-Life universe or in general some grandiose event. Not to spoil too much, but not only does that not happen, almost no questions are answered except for that whole… nah, can’t say it without spoiling.

      I guess my expectations were too high.

    • Vinraith says:

      The thing is is that you can either have a long game, with poor game and lots of padding, one perhaps 60 hours long, or you can have 8 hours of pure joy.

      You can repeat a false dichotomy as many times as you like, it’s not going to stop being a false dichotomy. I’ve got too many games that I’ve enjoyed intensely for hundreds or even thousands of hours to go spending $50 on something, even something very fun, that only lasts 8 hours with little to no replay value. Fortunately, it’s a Valve game, so it’ll cost next-to-nothing by Christmas anyway. It’s not like Valve needs the cash.

  8. appropriate touching says:

    Well I was a bit disappointed with the lack of challenge/advanced maps and the difficulty level – an easy campaign is understandable but there should be a mode in this puzzle game that’s actually puzzling. Also, invisible walls all over the place; I had hoped we’d moved past them. Canned physics too – these things undermine the sense of a self-consistent world.
    A very good game all the same. Looking forward to co-op.

    • rareh says:

      Ye the challenge maps, made me play portal until i mastered each map.
      I loved them.
      This is the main reason i prefer the 1st Portal over the 2nd.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      Canned physics too

      Whassat?

    • Dozer says:

      @Harlander – i read somewhere else in the RPS comments that a lot of the physics you see in Portal aren’t computed in realtime on your PC. They were computed by Valve weeks ago and recorded as an animation, hence the ‘canned’ comment. I don’t know what exactly this is referring to because I don’t have Portal 2 yet. The same comment was saying that the paint does use real-time physics.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      I could see that for the bits when big things are falling over and coming apart into a lot of different little bits, like at the beginning… Of course at that point you’re not really interacting with them, just watching

    • Dozer says:

      That’s probably what was meant. Also Glados’ explosion at the end of Portal the First.

    • Premium User Badge

      Harlander says:

      My first question in response to that question is
      “Why would you care?”

      My second question is
      “How would you even tell?”

    • Dozer says:

      I have no idea at all!

    • thegooseking says:

      @Harlander: I guess the only reason you would care is that player-made maps won’t be nearly as spectacular as the original maps (well, they could re-use the canned physics from the game itself, which limits their options, or create their own, which I don’t see many people doing). That’s kind of a minor thing, though.

    • Wulf says:

      Are the physics canned if things don’t actually happen the same way every time? I’ve seen some things happen differently and one time a piece of debris almost caused a panel to tweak out, though that might have been pre-recorded too, I don’t know.

  9. Cim says:

    Though most of the things in this article is true… the console port thing is actually sort of legit. It’s not just the “don’t turn off your console” thing, there’s more. The low FOV (with no settings in the video options, you should not have to use the dev. console). The fact that most of the game is one puzzle, followed by a loading screen. It’s obviously geared towards console machines with 512mb of RAM and not PC’s. Not to mention that the textures are seriously low resolution, even Team Fortress 2 has sharper textures.
    All in all it does feel like the primary platform was the consoles, not the PC. Which is seriously sad considering this is Vavle.
    All that said though, the game is still great and regardless of platform, highly enjoyable.

    • MD says:

      Does that mean that you can change the fov in the dev console? How high will it go, and are there any problems?

  10. Doug says:

    Just finished it in 1h30min
    Maybe it was fast because I’m extremely good with portals, I’ll even have to call myself a pro and because I used no_clip in 6~7 chapters (the puzzles were completely easy but not well built, I refuse to use all my skills in such bad puzzles). Would give this game a 1/10.

  11. FunkyJ says:

    Metacritic User Scores is the primary domain of hating on games that don’t conform to idealistic and childish nonsense about how games should be made, sold, and played, by a bunch of conceited and entitled brats who know nothing about the real world.

    • Kadayi says:

      Valve should of stuck a cat in it that you must rescue, thus ensuring 10/10 scores across the board from 4chan.

  12. HeDStone says:

    I’m honestly not sure where people get the 8-9 hours of gameplay from… according to my achievement unlocks:

    Wake Up Call was earned at Apr 18, 2011 10:15pm
    and Lunacy at Apr 19, 2011 3:42am

    Puts me at about 5 1/2 hours of gameplay and I didn’t rush through it… I listened to dialog and even got stuck on a few puzzles and places trying to figure out where to go, and took atleast two bathroom / smoke breaks. However, I loved every minute of it…

    • foofad says:

      Well, using that metric:

      Wake Up Call Unlocked: Apr 19, 2011 12:47am
      Dual Pit Experiment Unlocked: Apr 19, 2011 6:23am

      At which point I went to bed. That’s five and a half hours and I haven’t finished the game yet. There is a gap in time between achievements so it’s not super accurate but the next day I got my next one at 3:27pm and finished the game at 4:15. However my Steam time played was 9 hours at that point. It’s currently at 10 hours played because I replayed a couple of puzzles after the fact and beat the boss again a few more times so I could watch the ending cinematic a few more times.

      I had quite a few more headscratchers than I should have due to the whole “I was up until six in the morning playing” thing, but still.

  13. Leaderz0rz says:

    Only problem I have is the constant loading, it’s like playing mass effect 1 and the damn elevators. I mean sometimes it loads at like the worst moment killing any atmosphere you had going at the time. All the complaints about to short, dlc, console port is all shit and they know it. Obviously it was developed in conjunction with the PS3 version but console definitively wasn’t the “lead” platform.

    • Rii says:

      Umm, the constant loading is a byproduct of it being a console port…

    • Serenegoose says:

      Yeah. I mean, I certainly don’t recall endless amounts of loading screens in Half life.

      One.

      In 1998.

      Wait, yes I do. Fucking console ports, even way back then, tsk!

    • Rii says:

      The loads are spaced as they are so that the maps fit in the consoles’ 512MB memory caches. The most common gaming PC config (per Steam stats) has a mere ten times that amount.

    • TillEulenspiegel says:

      Clever engineering and enough RAM (and ideally a spare CPU core) removes the need for loading screens. Amount of cleverness required drops considerably in a purely linear game.

      Still, it’s easier just to stick with loading screens. It’s a crappy user experience, but it’s less likely to be a potential source of bugs.

    • Rii says:

      Yes, I’m not suggesting it wasn’t a reasonable compromise on Valve’s part, merely noting that we’re certainly not looking at a ‘dyed in the wool’ PC game here. If it was there’d be rather fewer loading screens. Seemed worth noting in light of what the OP was complaining about (loading times) whilst simultaneously dismissing (allegations of consolitis).

    • SlayerCake says:

      I’d probably say it’s because of the Source Engine, rather than a console port. Considering Crysis levels load faster on my computer that Episode 2 levels…

  14. jacobvandy says:

    Wake Up Call: Unlocked: Apr 18, 2011 10:05pm
    Lunacy: Unlocked: Apr 19, 2011 3:29am

    I took a few breaks in between there, so a little less than 5 hours for me. I didn’t rush through at all. I didn’t explore every nook and cranny, but I did get stumped on a few of the puzzles. 80% of them were pretty straightforward, though, provided you already knew how to think with portals.

  15. AdamK117 says:

    I love the game, my only dissapointment is the rediculous abundance of loading screens. I understand that, to maximise compatibility, you cant have massive levels that kane RAM; likewise, it’s near impossible to make a variable “level size” setting in options but some parts of this were like a blast back to the old days of 3 mins on 30 secs off.

  16. postcello says:

    Took me about 9 hours to finish the single-player campaign. Explored a great deal, didn’t particularly rush, made absolutely sure to listen to as much of the dialogue as possible. Next up: co-op, followed by a dev commentary run.

    Customer satisfaction: 100 %

  17. Premium User Badge

    The Sombrero Kid says:

    I’ve played it for 6 hours and i’m near the end & steam says i’ve played it for 2, i think that might be responsible for some of the discrepancies.

  18. Laurentius says:

    Laoding screens are totally immersion breaking and while game isn’t console port it does feel like it, the menus, options are very console-y, seems like PC was secondary platform for devloperers.

  19. jalf says:

    Geez, it’s too nice a day for all this anger.

    I played some co-op with a friend yesterday. It was fun.

  20. Zanchito says:

    Oh, for the love of FSM!!!

    A dumb string in a save screen changes nothing about the game, unless you’re looking for a reason to feel offended. Also, I despise bad ports as much as any other PC elitist, but if the port is well done, I’m bloody happy to play it.

    Also, Valve developing for consoles first?! I “HAH HAH!” at anyone entertaining such a spurious idea.

    • Laurentius says:

      Ok, here is the example; i challange you to change 4 graphic options and 2 sound options in P2 and P1, if do it faster and easier in P2 , you must have never before used concepts like windows and pull-down menus. P2 menus are terrible clunky to use mouse with otherwise you can say that P1 menus are pinnacale of mouse using interface…suit yourself.

    • Zanchito says:

      You have a fair point, but really, I don’t usually measure my gameplay experience by the settings menu. If the game had a relevant in-game menu (inventory, as in Oblivion, for example), then it’d quite annoy me.

    • Laurentius says:

      I was actually adressing your line about Valve developing for consoles first. Seeing how menus are hardly a mouse freindly as they were before in valve’s games and is Steam itself, i think it’s pretty fair statement.

  21. sexyresults says:

    I feel ashamed of RPS comments today :(

  22. pinkled5 says:

    I really wish Portal 2 would have been on the cutting edge of game innovation the way Portal 1 was. For example, wouldn’t it have been cool to be able to make time portals in addition to space portals? You could place a time portal somewhere in the game. When you placed the second time portal and entered it you would come out at the exact same moment you placed the first one. You could watch yourself do the things you had done and interact accordingly, almost as if you were playing co-op with yourself. Pushing the envelope with new and innovative concepts like that is what I expected from the Portal franchise. But I really felt like I was just playing a continuation of Portal 1.

    • thegooseking says:

      That would be spectacular, and Portal being a game with relatively few entities to keep track of would be an ideal place to make that happen.

      The only problem is you would have to solve potential time travel paradoxes programmatically, rather than with the hand-waving that time-travel fiction usually uses. Even Braid did it in a quite naive way, where if you prevented your past self from doing something, it would just dumbly keep trying to perform the same actions you had done previously. I don’t think that would be terribly great in Portal.

    • pinkled5 says:

      @thegooseking I think that a thoughtful examination of all relevant issues regarding time portals could be intelligently resolved. Look at how they resolved the freefall effect in Portal. Put some springs on the back of her calves and no one asks “how can she fall so far without injury?”

  23. Premium User Badge

    Daiv says:

    I’m really enjoying Portal 2. I must be a horrible human being. Also, fat.

  24. xn4nd says:

    Honestly, I think this 4 hours thing is a bug in the steam software. I played half the game in 6 hours, and steam said I had played for 2 hours. When I had finished the game, somewhere around 9-10 hours, it says I’ve only played for 4 hours. That’s probably where people are getting their numbers. If anything, I’d say that this supports the notion that “time flies when you’re having fun”. Either that, or we begin traveling hundreds of thousands of mph faster when we play this game… which would explain why it’s only 4 hours of game time, but 10 hours have passed in the real world. >_>

  25. Corion says:

    I beat it in approximately 4.5 hours. I spent plenty of time lolly-gagging around trying to shoot portals off into nowhere, hoping to “escape” the testing sooner into the game. The puzzles were just not that difficult. I even spent a good 10 minutes here and there trying to get them to speak extra lines of dialogue. I waited for all of the dialogue to finish out before continuing. I guess I don’t stand around scratching my head as much as most people, or perhaps I don’t solve puzzles in a slow, deliberate manner once I already know the answer.

    I didn’t rush either. I enjoyed it. I played at a leisurely pace. But it only lasted 4.5 hours. Same with co-op. I’m not going by Steam timers here either. I know when I started and when I stopped, and it just did not take even close to 6, 8, or 10 hours.

    I don’t understand how you could take so long to beat it, trying to rush through it and knowing all of the solutions. If I took 40 hours to beat HL2 that doesn’t mean it was a 40-hr game, it just meant I was slower at beating it than everyone else.

    Why not try a poll? Ask people how long it took us.

  26. jackoatmon says:

    Nonsense? The game took me under 3 hours to play through on the first try, and I dunno what planet you live on but there’s nothing “stunning” about this game unless you meant hat ti’s “stunning” that valve didn’t update the graphics from the last Portal game.

    What a f^&*ing waste of money.

  27. Cold Canuck says:

    I am sincere in my statement that this game can be finished in approximately 2 hours.
    Having recently played through the game, in it’s entirety, four or five times, ignoring all distractions and achievements and going simply for speed…pausing the stop watch during the load times for each level (since load times would vary from system to system), my first speed run was 2hrs, 17mins, second pass was 2hrs even….my third run was 2hrs and three minutes.

    I don’t know where estimates of four+ hours comes from, I’m going to assume that it is old news and not a recent representation of times.

  28. wisnoskij says:

    Lol, the game IS 4 hours long, ignoring the multiplayer.
    I spent tons of time just standing around listening to dialogue, not skipping cut scenes, exploring, getting some steam optional achievements, and getting completely stuck on 2 puzzles for like 20 each because I was just not paying attention.

    4.5-5 hours latter and I was finished.
    I would estimate there being 3.5-4 hours of plot and gameplay there and the rest was me just wondering around looking for Easter eggs.
    And easily under a 2 hour game if you know the puzzles.

    And I have never speed run anything in my life.