One thing I love solving: Puzzles. Getting the pieces together, finding a way out of labyrinths just make me feel like I have solved all the world’s starvation problem. Mirror’s Edge and Portal series are great examples as “New Genre of Puzzles”, they are simply first person shooter games with a completely different style. At this point, I think Mirror’s Edge and Portal differ at a point where all you do is running in Mirror’s Edge while you have to solve somewhat extreme puzzles in Portal. And now, one of the most successful software and technology companies in the world, Valve, has announced that Portal 2 will be released on February 2011, I felt like I should write a few things for those of you who have heard the game but did not simply intend to play it.Forget every single game you have played before. You are now a test subject of Aperture Science, handpicked for a very special laboratory test, taking place in Aperture Science Enrichment Center. You wake up in the Test Chamber 0 which has no doors or whatsoever to lead you out of the room. All of a sudden, a woman’s voice is heard. Her name is GLaDOS: Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System, an artificial intelligence with an infinite capacity of knowledge. She’s there to help you throughout the tests, be your guide, inform you how Aperture Science works. She even encourages you to pass the test chambers so that you can earn your price. A CAKE! YEAH! THERE IS A CAKE(and it’s not a lie, there really is a cake). A blue portal opens up on one side of the room and you enter it. You realize you have just entered the blue portal and got out from an orange one to a completely different place. This is how portals work. By using your Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, you can open a portal to your left, and another one to the ceiling. When you enter the portal on your left, you fall down from the ceiling. Portals can be opened to most of the flat surfaces except for some metals and of course, to any types of liquids. Therefore, you can’t open up a Portal in the middle of air or in water. So concrete is preferable. Simple quantum physics mixed with magic, really(using god for things you can’t explain can very well be another solution). And simple Newtonian physics too! Your initial momentum is conserved(or not?) while you enter a portal, this means if you jump to a portal with an initial velocity of zero and fell for three seconds until you reach a portal, this means you will be going with 29.43 m/s.(using the formula V=g.t, where g=9.81 m/s²) Let’s assume we need to reach the door on top, which has a height of 40 meters from where we stand. For further reference, see the figure on the left. What you’ve got to do is to open a portal where you stand and open another one below you. When you jump to the orange portal, you will come out of the blue one with an initial velocity of >0, enabling you to reach higher surfaces. So where was I? Ah, yes. We fall down for three seconds to reach the orange portal, which means we can `jump` to a surface with a height of 44 meters(using h=½.g.t² where h is the height in meters and t is time) . As you can see, we can easily reach the higher surface using momentum and have another 4 meters to simply wander in the air!The puzzles on portal are not simply momentum related, of course. You also need to activate certain electronic parts so that you can complete every test chamber. These electronic devices are activated by a High Energy Pellet(as GLaDOS calls it), enabling you to use moving surfaces, like the ones on Mario. With one exception, of course. This time it’s 3D. The image above is simply a depiction of all the electronic parts you will be associated throughout the game. The rest is just your mind working. The red button on the left side of Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device(the weird ass gun thingy) is used for opening doors and some gateways. The other circular thing that is attached to the wall on the left is just an energy source which uses the High Energy Pellets to simply move the white platform on the right hand of the image. The High Energy Pellets are mobile `sources` of chemical(or maybe nuclear) energy that are shaped like spheres(DUH?!). Just like everything, they can enter through a portal and come out of the other one. Be careful though, If you touch them, you get vaporized. Like GLaDOS says: “While safety is one of many Enrichment Center goals, The Aperture Science High Energy Pellet, seen to the left of the chamber, can and has caused permanent disabilities, such as vaporization.”. As you might have guessed, the high energy pellets are not simply designed to enter directly to those `circular sources`(as what I call them), you have to move them there, therefore using some hardcore `portal bitching` throughout the process. Timing is important, as well.
So, there are no enemies in this god damned game? Well, you can say that. But to enhance the `testing experience`, Aperture Science has also assembled the cutest turrets ever to block our way and shoot us vigorously on sight, therefore causing death(DUH?!?!). Then again, this is not a warfare so you won’t have guns basically to shoot the shit those cute turrets. You can carry them to a corner if you don’t want them to have any malfunctions, of course, if you approach them on the back where they can’t see you(If you’re asking why you should do that, I suggest you listen to this). Throwing them or opening a portal through which they can malfunction for good are also other options.
Most of the things I mentioned can be seen in this video, giving you a better opinion of the game. Once you are into this game, you’ll be amazed at how fun it is to solve puzzles and use good timing. Also, you’ll realize how awesome it could be to eat a cake which will be rewarded to you at the end of all enrichment activities. At the end, you will be surprised at how short the time of gameplay was, and get anxious for the release of P0rtal 2. I would love to talk about Portal 2, yet I feel like have taken enough of your time which can very well be spent on playing this game. Maybe next time? So, do yourselves a favor: Buy Portal(downloading it illegally won’t do you any good since you’ll realize Portal is worth every single penny you paid for it) on Steam and enjoy it while waiting for the next game.
Oh and also, mind the gap and mind your step. Good Hunting!