Yeah, Portal. The first one. I’m late to the party, I know. While folks were finishing or have already finished the sequel late last week, I was just in the process of playing the original game for the first time ever, thanks to Anjin of Bullet Points, who gifted me the free Steam copy he got for pre-ordering Portal 2.
Though I’ve never played it, I’m aware of the context behind many of the memes this game has spawned over the last few years. I don’t think you can be a denizen of the net and not be familiar with phrases like “the cake is a lie” or the image of the hearts-bedecked Weighted Companion Cube. I also knew of the game’s concept, have seen the footage and watched briefly as other people played it, but it wasn’t until that I actually finished it for myself that I finally, truly began to understand the enormous popularity behind Portal.
It was bloody fun. I love obstacles and puzzle-type games, and the unusual physics in this game was exhilarating in both its innovation and simplicity. And what I didn’t expect was the humor — the dark and nebulous kind, ah, my favorite! By the time the credits were scrolling down my computer screen to the best game ending song ever, I was laughing so hard I almost had tears in my eyes. That’s not how I expected to finish this game — well, any game — at all.
I was also impressed by Portal’s entertaining, albeit short, storyline. Again, the storytelling was just so clever in its simplicity. I finished the game in a little more than 3 hours, but I didn’t mind; it was like settling back with a mini novella on a nice evening.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and start shopping around for good deals on Portal 2 now.