Why Don’t You Review Portal 2: Peer Review?

I bet that works ok on ATI cards grumble grumble

Aha! In rather happier news from the land of big-name gaming, the Peer Review DLC pack for Portal 2 landed on Steam earlier today. Its cost? £0. $0. €0.

Your game should already have updated with it, if all is well. I uninstalled the game but two days ago to make room for Rage, because I’m a bloody idiot, but have any of you lot given the new adventures of Peabody and Atlas a spin?

Is the price right, or would you have paid real money for it?

101 Comments

  1. jellydonut says:

    thanks for reminding me NOW TO FIND CO-OP PARTNER.

    • VelvetFistIronGlove says:

      I have just finished playing it.

      It’s a new set of fun puzzles. Some of them are quite puzzling. But it’s a bit short: don’t buy the DLC yet, wait for a sale.

    • Donjo says:

      nnnggggg… still waiting for my brother to get a laptop so I can play this and the original co-op… HURRY UP

    • gdog2406 says:

      i need someone too but everyone already played the original coop levels

  2. wccrawford says:

    Wha… How could you uninstall THIS game? There were SO many other games that you could have deleted, I’m sure.

    I’d have paid for it. In fact, I’d still pay for more DLC. Or a sequel. Or a DLC masquerading as a full-price sequel. Or pretty much any content at all. Pretty please.

    • DickSocrates says:

      Because after you’ve played it once there is no reason to ever play it again? Because it’s not actually that good? Because Portal 1 was about 100 times better in every way?

    • UnravThreads says:

      Portal 1 wasn’t 100x better.

      Portal 2 is a paradox. It’s Valve’s best game by far, but is worse than Portal 1.

    • tenseiga says:

      I tip my hat to ^ comment

    • jay35 says:

      UnravThreads’s comment: mind = blown

    • PoulWrist says:

      I uninstalled it shortly after finishing. No point in it taking up 8gb precious SSD space.

    • Schelome says:

      Askeladd, I hate to say this, but you have bad friends :(

      on topic:
      The way I normally express it is that Portal 2 is a much better designed game, and its worse off for it.
      there are simply few challenges except spotting the sometimes obscure portal surface.

      Valve needed to step back a bit on the “practice” element just this time and leave some more things to confuse players and make them think.

    • UnravThreads says:

      Just to help you out a bit jay;
      Portal 2 had better writing, some better jokes and arguably some better puzzles, but in terms of the actual gameplay it lost the charm of Portal 2. Yes, it was a stunning looking game. Yes, it had some incredibly amazing set pieces that I honestly didn’t think my PC would run going by the preview vids (I completed it originally on a 7600GT, E4500 @ ~2.7GHz and 2GB RAM), but something was lacking.

      What Portal 2 did wrong was some puzzles were just too out there. There’s one room with just white goo and some towers, and once you know the solution it’s simple, but I personally spent a long time in that room – too long – trying to work out how to solve it. That took away from the game’s experience for me. Some puzzles were also a little annoying in other ways. The new gameplay tools such as the goo and the tunnels did add some new dimensions, but instead of the creativity Valve had with Portal, we ended up with some rather dull rooms and sections that dragged on just too much.

      Don’t get me wrong, Portal 2 is a very good game in its own right, but by lengthening it three times over (I think Portal 2 was ~6hrs to Portal’s ~2hrs) and putting too much focus on overly complex set pieces and new toys, Portal 2 just lost the charm and the wit of Portal in lieu of repetitive mechanics and a slight focus on crap like co-op costumes – Seriously, Valve? That shit is expensive, pointless and a waste of your time.

      I think if Portal 2 was the first game, it would be absolutely outstanding, but it’s coming off the back of Portal – a cult title – and it just didn’t hit those same bars whilst yet being better in other ways.

    • suibhne says:

      Portal was not “~2 hours”. You can easily finish it in that, or less, if you’re reasonably competent with the basic mechanics. First time through, tho, you’ll probably take at least 3.5-4 hours. It was over 3 hours for me, and I’m not entirely un-clever; I know people who took much longer on their first playthrough. Which might not seem to be a huge difference in absolute timing, but sheesh – adopting the logic of your rhetoric, I could claim that the actual time is “~2 hours longer than ~2 hours”. ;)

      I agree with some of your other points about Portal 2, of course. It had great storytelling that happened to be less integrated with the actual gameplay, which generally felt a bit more contrived than the original’s. The elevators and pat “speech-puzzle-speech” structure wore thin, too.

      On the other hand, some of the levels looked downright impressive in a way that the first Portal never achieved. Descending into Aperture’s past is really rather breathtaking for the first few minutes (and at a few points thereafter).

    • Zyrocz says:

      If I remmember correctly I finished Portal in somewhere between 1,5-2 hours on my first playthrough, was fourteen at the time.

  3. Askeladd says:

    I don’t have Portal 2. Should I buy it now or wait for a december discount?

    • Asskicker says:

      I’m sorry say again? Not owning Portal 2 is not in my dictionary.

    • Chris D says:

      It’s currently 50% off on Steam so I’d say go for it now.

    • LintMan says:

      I think Portal 2 was well worth the full price of admission, and if you’re looking for a game to play right now, you won’t go wrong with it, particularly if you liked Portal. At the same time, if you’ve waited this long to play it, what’s another 2-3 months?

    • G915 says:

      It’s 11 euro. Buy it. Simple as that.

    • Askeladd says:

      I played portal and wasn’t very impressed by it. My friends won’t buy it because you can’t kill anything in it.
      I will buy it thought.

      Btw: It says to me 14.99€

    • tomemozok says:

      Buy it NOW!
      GOGOGOGOGO!!!!
      :D

    • Askeladd says:

      I did it!

    • Thermal Ions says:

      “My friends won’t buy it because you can’t kill anything in it.”

      Your friends are mistaken. I killed my co-op partner multiple times ;)

  4. Sp4rkR4t says:

    If they could ever figure out a way to have a competitive multi-player mode I would sell my first-born to get it, but this will do for now.

    • zeroskill says:

      They actually tried to make a competitive multi player mode work with Portal 2 early in development, and tested it, but Overwatch said ney.

    • Saldek says:

      Bear in mind, though, the purchasing power of firstborn has fallen quite drastically. But it might still be enough during a sale, I suppose.

  5. magnus says:

    And why aren’t there an overwhelming amnmount of people congratulating Valve for this, are they all to busy bitching about Rage now? (sigh) Some people just love being negative I guess.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      Thanks for making DLC which actually add value to the product I bought from you rather than removing it, Valve. It’s like a breath of fresh air in a wind tunnel of farts.

    • zeroskill says:

      Well see the people that are following Valve for some years now have gotten really used to get free stuff…its not like it happening the first time is it? Newsflash: All DLC is free from Valve. Its kinda sad for the general PC gaming community if this is perceived as something out of the norm.

    • theblazeuk says:

      It’s kind of sad that valve’s DLC actually isnt the norm, especially when the alternative is, at best, the mixed bag of Fallout content and at worst….well. Lets not go over old ground.

  6. somini says:

    So 1€=1$=1£?
    I’ll pass, getting this in the Christams sale…

    • tungstenHead says:

      But also: 1€ = 6$ = sqrt(-1)£ ?

      Actually, I’m honestly not sure about that last one. I am TERRIBLE at math. That’s why I play Portal though. To get better at math and science.

      I think there’s a joke to be made about sqrt(-1) being the actual budget, however.

    • somini says:

      But and sqrt(-1)Device costs a lot more than those figures… So yeah, you are wrong.

    • Zyrocz says:

      One of those kids… You do know that the reason why games are “cheaper” in the US is because the average American earn less than the average European in a lot of countries? If I go to any of my locale retailers to purchase a new PS3 game I usually have to pay 500NOK, around 63 euros and 84 dollars. If I want a PC game though it’s usually around 39-50 euros. When a full retail game costs 11 euros only 5 months and a couple of weeks after release, it’s not something worth bitching about just because some other guys have to pay a couple of euros less.

  7. joel4565 says:

    People still delete/uninstall games in a world that has 2 TB hard drives for 75 USD?

    I leave every game installed on my spinning disc hard drive, and then use SteamMover to copy over individual games to my 120GB SSD if the game has nasty load times.

    Heck I didn’t even uninstall games when I build a new computer. I simply copied the steam folder to an external drive, and copied it back onto the new computer.

    • 123 says:

      some people got laptops, ya know.

    • MugiMugi says:

      Consider that I dl and install games within 1-10 min from steam, why should I bother have them all filling up space? I see no reason why to have all games installed, not to mention fi I did I would need more then 2TB.

    • PoulWrist says:

      Course we do. There’s no point in having them sit around if you’re never going to play them again. I don’t expect to ever playing Portal 2 again, and I don’t think I’ll ever try the multiplayer, simply because, who would I get to play it with me? Sure, I have like 10 steamfriends who have it, but none of those are actually my real friends, they’re just people from here and there I might play something like Killing Floor with, once in a while, cause it’s self explanatory. I wouldn’t want to play anything like this with someone like that, it would ruin the experience, so I’d rather not have it.
      And a 120gig SSD is not very large. Even if I could just move it to that 2tb storage disc, I shall not bother spending the time it takes to do so, and swiftly uninstalled it instead, because there’s no reason to have it installed!

    • DrGonzo says:

      It wouldn’t ruin the experience. I played it through with someone from the RPS chat room and it was great fun!

    • abigbat says:

      I uninstall games constantly even though my rig has 2TB storage space. Don’t like having more than 10 games on my machine at once, no idea why!

    • Asherie says:

      @abigbat I’m the same way. I tell myself it’s because I like to limit my choice a little so I don’t flit between games every 10 minutes because of indecision. I’m more likely to stick at a game I’m playing than wait for another to download (again). It’s nothing to do with OCD… hopefully.

  8. Aemony says:

    I bought two 2TB HDDs and RAID 0 them simply to be able to have Portal 2 installed with the DLC. Sadly I can’t review it since I’m currently completely into seeing how many of my 200 games I can have installed on the same time.

    You can probably expect my review in a week. Of course according to Valve Time.

  9. michal.lewtak says:

    Shit, forgot to redownload Portal 2 for this. Hopefully I’ll have it downloaded and defragmented before my designated coop partner arrives. Thanks for the heads up, RPS!
    I’d definitely pay for this DLC depending on its length.

  10. LintMan says:

    Anyone know if you can play any of this DLC solo?

    • PanzerVaughn says:

      I do believe the DLC includes the additional Co-Op compaign, as well as Single Player Challenge maps

  11. Wang Tang says:

    The single player portion of the patch is just the story maps with time and portal quantity tracking. Little dissappointing since I somehow expected something more.
    Can’t wait to play the new co-op maps, but I’ll only get to play them later at night..

    Edit: The co-op campaign is brilliant, and the co-op highscore thingy had us hunting 2 hours for better scores. For the first course. Although I cannot fathom how anyone could beat “Lasers” with less than 8 portals :S

  12. Mister Adequate says:

    Sure this should read “Meer Review”!

  13. QualityJeverage says:

    I took a peek at the Single-Player challenge mode, fun stuff. Nothing unxpected, nothing new, just individual tiny sections of the campaign, chopped up and playable with leaderboards.

    The friend I’ll be playing the new co-op content with is not available yet. So…I’ll have to wait for that.

  14. Dominic White says:

    Y’know, this free DLC stuff would be a lot better if the PC version had split-screen support so I could play with someone in the same house. To this day, not a single magazine or site has called Valve out on cutting that feature from the PC version.

    I mean, the code to handle it is still in there – you can bodge together split-screen play with some custom INI files and console commands, but it’s not an officially supported feature at all. Why is that?

    • skinlo says:

      Because nearly no one plays split screen on their PC. Even if you do, you are a rarity.

    • Asherie says:

      @skinlo but if it was included. People would learn of it, and the demand would multiply. Lara croft and the guardian of (what was it?) was fun. Me on keyboard n mouse, my friend on an xbox 360 controller. My pc hooked up temporarily to a 40Inch HDTV to play. I think that last part is why not many developers bother – they don’t suppose many people have the knowledge or inclination to do that. *shrugs* consoles own that territory; couch coop it’s called. split screen is just one variation of it.

    • Outright Villainy says:

      @ Skinlo: No one plays split screen on their pc because they aren’t given the choice. I’m dying for it, and the the fact that I’ll have to inevitably bodge it together myself to actually even play the co-op is a little annoying. PC gamers aren’t inherently more anti-social than console players, a lot of us have friends in meatspace too!

    • TheApologist says:

      I would definitely play it on splitscreen on my telly box if the option was there. I doubt that’s as rare as you claim, and even if it was why *cut out* the option? Seems odd to me.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      Splitscreen, uggghh. Didn’t home networks replace that years ago?

      I’m obviously firmly in the “glad to have moved on” camp, but then I don’t have my PC connected to a big screen telly so YMMV.

    • Dominic White says:

      Would those in the ‘glad to have moved on’ camp kindly donate to this poor single-gaming-PC owning household, so that I can afford a decent second machine with monitor and a copy of Portal 2? I estimate that’d come to around £600. Maybe £7-800 to future-proof it a little.

      The fact that people can justify actively cutting a playmode that allows co-op with just the addition of a £15 controller in favour of requiring another PC, another monitor, another copy of the game AND internet access (because LAN support is gone) is astonishing and slightly horrifying.

  15. DickSocrates says:

    It’s rubbish! No new single player content apart from a stopwatch added to the normal maps. I felt my will to live leak out through my arse after the second attempt to beat the first map in under 43 seconds. Seriously, who cares? If you do, maybe you’d like to time other things you do in your life and post that online. And some co-op that I, and the vast majority of people that own Portal 2 (if you believe the statistics) don’t care about.

    Still no convenient way to select user made maps, Portal 1 had its own menu for them! No advanced versions of the normal maps.

    I don’t care that it’s free, it’s still a disappointment because it was built up as being something we should be excited for, not just a normal update adding bare bones features that could have been included in a patch.

    • frymaster says:

      I’m not sure why you’re disappointed that the multiplayer co-op DLC didn’t come with more single player content.

    • skinlo says:

      In a sense, it was just a patch. To me, free DLC = patch.

    • TheApologist says:

      Uh a) it was mutliplayer co-op
      b) it was free.

      I mean, if the quality of the added content is poor, that’s one thing. Being free doesn’t make you exempt from criticism. But complaining about a thing that was free because it wasn’t a whole other thing you wanted is, well, an odd form of entitlement.

  16. Baka says:

    Just played through it with a friend. The puzzles were, for us at least, perfectly balanced in their difficulty. Simple stuff to get back into the action then a pretty steep learning curve for a good challenge at the end. Also, this time around, the backstory is a bit more fleshed out and the great ending cinematic (yes, there is one!) gives some closure this time around. Enjoyed it very much!

  17. UnravThreads says:

    I don’t play co-op. I just downloaded 700MB for something I do not and will not use.

    Nice of Valve to give some original SP content.

    • tenseiga says:

      If you dont have anyone to play with simply leave it installed till you do and then play it (its a lot of fun playing with a friend). If you simply dont like coop you are losing out on a huge part of what you paid for and easily the better part of the experience. Its highly recomended.

    • ResonanceCascade says:

      I knew someone would eventually find a way to spin a negative light on free DLC. Thanks, Gloomy Gus. :P

    • Outright Villainy says:

      @ tenseiga: Quite so. The writing and story of the single player was amazing stuff, but the actual puzzling was a lot better in the co-op, since you had to think completely differently, whilst keeping the very essence of Portal. You really haven’t played the full game until you’ve played the Co-op, it satisfies the craving for puzzles a lot better, and especially if you’re playing with someone you know it’s great.

    • c-Row says:

      I am with UnravThreads here. I don’t play co-op, so Valve should have made their DLC an optional download rather than forcing 700MB through my connection.

  18. acidtestportfolio says:

    co-op campaign is fantastic stuff as usual

    they still have the ability to elicit a cheer of jubilation from me and my co-op friend as if we just invented anti-gravity

    from someone as cynical and harsh as i am that is not faint praise

    • acidtestportfolio says:

      dear alec meer: please rate how much of an idiot you feel you are for uninstalling portal 2 for rage

    • Lars Westergren says:

      I agree, Orange. That *was* stupid of Alec.

  19. Syra says:

    DLC offers nothing new but a couple of coop maps, and the ability to stopwatch sp and coop levels. Big. Whoop.

    It’s a patch.

    • aerozol says:

      link to store.steampowered.com
      That’s some expensive ‘patches’!

    • Syra says:

      Sigh, the day when developers would entice new customers and keep their loyal fans happy by adding maps to multiplayer as par for the course seem long dead.

      Modern Warfare ruined gaming? I say this because the original call of duty (the best one) DID have more maps added in a patch after release.

  20. RogB says:

    5 Optimus Prime Thumbs

  21. DigitalSignalX says:

    Off topic, I’m guessing from the alt text that Rage has some issues with ATI drivers? o.O That doesn’t bode well.

    edit: woops idiot. Serves me right for starting to read RPS at the top and working my way down :/

  22. Premium User Badge

    Hodge says:

    I thought the co-op completely overshadowed the (very, very good) single player game in Portal 2, so I’m glad the DLC contains more of the former. Even allowing for the pain-in-the-arse factor of finding someone else to play with.

    So yeah, if it’s anywhere near as good as the original co-op stuff, then I’d definitely have paid for it.

    • airtekh says:

      I would definitely agree with that.

      I have a slight suspicion that most of the people who were less than satisfied with Portal 2 have only played the single player portion of it. The coop is absolutely brilliant, and really rounds the game off.

    • Harbour Master says:

      The co-op makes the game for me (or is that “us”?) as the single-player just didn’t ring the same special bells that Portal the Original did. We just had so much fun and I even threw a movie together to demonstrate having fun in Portal 2 co-op – it’s not just about the puzzles, but more about working with someone else in the same headspace. It’s just great. I hope the new DLC is just as good, because I have a co-op partner out there who needs another hug.

  23. Morph says:

    So looks like people can be angry at getting something for nothing. Ah, gamers…

    • Premium User Badge

      Hodge says:

      On the bright side, I hear that Valve are pretty good with refunds, so they can at least get their money back.

  24. Roland says:

    Yet again Valve have screwed the Euro conversion.
    Just how can £0=$0= €0 ;-)

  25. Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

    Four Optimus thumbs, an Optimus elbow, and an Optimus nostril.

  26. thatcity says:

    To all the people that can complain about a free content stuff..i would like to remember that there are a lot of AAA games(Crysis 2,a CoD at your choice) that gives you 5 maps for 14,99 €/$ (etc..) the content here is about the same if not more,and it’s free,hell!
    i think that what in the past we was used to call “patch” are now sell as DLC,this is simply(in old times words)a very good patch for -of course-free

  27. Giftmacher says:

    Waaaaah this DLC didn’t secretly contain Ep3 waaaaaah.

    • Thermal Ions says:

      I’m sure Ratman has just hidden it really well, keep looking.

  28. BurningPet says:

    is it rude of me to “demand” a “Game of Thrones – Genesis” journal? or at least a wot i think?

  29. Shroom says:

    Me and a friend have done about an hour of the new maps. Good fun. Well balanced at getting you back into it and suitably head-scratchy at times, making you feel lovely and brainy when you’ve worked it out. Personally I just enjoy the experience of the co-op, but that’s probably hugely diminished if playing with someone you don’t know, Portal banter is quite fun for me :)

    In a semi-related note. Free stuff, stop moaning.

  30. Quizboy says:

    Me and my better half just finished the new co-op. THAT WAS AMAZING. And hilarious! And and and… FREE. Holy shit, Valve. Fantastic puzzles, loads of new writing and voice work, some challenge modes I probably won’t bother with much, and a co-op course that reminded me (as if I needed reminding) how much of a fight Dark Souls has for ‘favourite game of the year’.

  31. michal.lewtak says:

    This DLC includes a singleplayer challenge mode, in which the game records your stats for every map of the game – time and portals used, and uses the best results to compare against other players (you can see a graph of all players and a list of friends’ positions relative to your) and a new co-op course with a story (an interesting one, but the ending is a bit of a letdown, though it’s supposed to be a letdown – you’ll see what I mean). The puzzles are very fun, original, and harder than Portal 2’s single player campaing and original co-op courses (which is a very good thing). Every one of them leaves you with a fresh “Eureka!” feeling you felt back in the original courses. Finished it with a friend in about 90 minutes. That’s 90 minutes of great fun for free.
    Also, before you enter the narrow tunnel that leads you to your disassembly machines, in which you choose which specific level of the course to select, there’s another selection panel where you can’t select anything other than this one course. This means that Valve is probably planning to add more co-op courses! Seeing how they are proving to be very creative with these puzzles, I can’t wait for more, even if it’s paid content.
    Now go play this great, great DLC immediately :)

  32. airtekh says:

    Double post. Ignore.

  33. airtekh says:

    Just finished the coop DLC.

    Brilliant stuff once again. Solid puzzles and an absolutely hilarious ending. Quite lengthy too, took us a few hours to do it.

    Great stuff from Valve.

  34. HermitUK says:

    9 excellently crafted new chambers, took my co-op partner and myself almost two hours to do it. And the ending is brilliant.

    Had a quick look at the challenge mode, and the leaderboards and graphs do a neat job of convincing you that you need to do better. Though I suspect any length of time with the challenge mode will simply convince me that I should play through the game for a third time.

  35. mmalove says:

    Today my steam shopping went something like this:
    Download Darkspore demo.
    Attempt to play Darkspore demo.
    Get frustrated that I can’t log into EA to play Darkspore demo.
    Uninstall Darkspore demo.
    Discover Portal 2 is half off with more content this week.
    Buy 2 copies.
    Surprise brother.

    And that, folks, is a prime example of why EA can eat a bag, and Valve winds up with all my money.

  36. sbs says:

    The new coop maps took us about 2-3 hours to beat. Absolutely amazing. The only one level I didnt like was the one with the white gel. Puzzles with that stuff never feel like you’re finding the solution, had that problem in the original portal2 as well.

  37. Hatsworth says:

    I still haven’t played the co-op due to having no friends. That part is thusly useless to me for the time being.

    Challenge mode was something I missed greatly when Portal 2 was released, and I’m happy to finally see it included. It offers far more possible playtime than anything else Portal has to offer if you’re into that kind of thing. Kind of like Trackmania\Super Meat Boy\etc only with a different skillset and more imagination required. Too bad they didn’t add advanced chambers.

  38. SLUSHIE says:

    I should have uninstalled the game. I haven’t played it since probably the week it came out.

    I really don’t care for all the changes. I didn’t care much for them in the first game. I would have at least played though them if they were new maps or variations of the originals, but they are the same, so whoopty do.

    The new co-op was fun, but I don’t know anyone that owns this game and the system of finding players is still annoying as it ever was. I played though almost half of it with a decent player, but then I had to leave. Then when I tried to start back up later i joined maybe 30 games trying to find someone that wanted to do it that hasn’t done it already and that wasn’t a complete moron. I ended up completing it with someone that was a complete moron, but what can you do.

    Probably going to be deleted now though.

    • zeroskill says:

      “I played though almost half of it with a decent player, but then I had to leave. Then when I tried to start back up later i joined maybe 30 games trying to find someone that wanted to do it that hasn’t done it already and that wasn’t a complete moron. I ended up completing it with someone that was a complete moron, but what can you do.”

      Here is what you can DO: Add players you do enjoy playing with to your friends list. Its so obvious it hurts.

  39. bill says:

    Challenge mode sounds ok – but the designs of the puzzles in Portal 2 didn’t seem as open to experimentation as the ones in Portal 1.

    I’m sad that this is my favorite series and it seems like over 50% of Portal 2 is co-op that i can’t experience. Sigh.

  40. Alegis says:

    It’s great.

    Clever puzzles. Clever writing – as to be expected. Everyone should play it.