Portal

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Portal is a game which is a wonderful mixture of the first-person shooter and puzzle genres. I think that both of these genres are a bit off putting for some people; some find puzzle games to be boring and repetitive and some find first person shooters to be dull and uninspired. However, no matter what you feel about either of those genres, I think that Portal is a game which is likely to impress and excite anyone with its lovely innovations.
    You play as a woman named Chell who, after waking up in a research station, is taking part in a series of tests (conducted by a computer system called GLaDOS) to determine her abilities, especially in regards to how she uses a portal gun. This portal gun is what makes the game so interesting and unique, so let me just explain how it works; the gun has the ability to fire out beams of energy which create a portal when they hit flat surfaces (like walls and floors) and there are two types of portal, a blue one and an orange one. The orange and the blue portals are directly linked to one another, so, if you fired a blue one onto the ceiling and an orange one onto the floor and stepped through it, you’d then find yourself falling from the ceiling! You’ll have to make use of this, often in very clever ways, if you want to get through all of the test rooms, but you can even have a lot of fun just playing around with it.
    Now, when I say that this is a game where you go through test rooms in a research station, I worry that that might make it seem a bit boring, but that certainly is not the case. As the tests go on, things become more and more dangerous and you realise something’s not quite right. Throughout the whole game, GLaDOS (the computer system I mentioned earlier) talks to you with words of encouragement (which are often anything but) and she (I say ‘she’ because she has a female sounding voice) is really a rather hilarious character and is quite sinister too. Indeed, the whole game can be quite sinister; there’s a somewhat disturbing clinical feel to everything and, if you ever find one of the secret areas outside of the test rooms, you’ll see that things really are very dark. The ending’s tremendous too, but I can’t say too much as I’d hate to spoil it.
    So, I think this is a game that you should definitely try because it’s really a very unique experience. Sadly, it’s not all that long, but then again I guess that does also mean that anyone who plays it will probably get to play it all.
    Rating: 9/10

(This game can also be downloaded from Steam.)

(I do not own the copyright of the review image,)

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