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Reviews & Ratings for
Portal (VG) More at IMDbPro »

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42 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

Amazing game!

Author: Ryan (00Ryan00) from United States
21 October 2007

This game is awesome; on the short side, but still amazing. It's basically a puzzle game with state of the art graphics and physics. You're a test subject in an "Enrichment Center" and you're using this "Portal Gun" to clear various obstacle courses; for example if you're standing in front of a pit of acid, you can shoot a portal on the wall on your side, then shoot the connecting portal on the wall on the other side, and simply walk through your portal to get to your goal. It gets much more complex as the game progresses; it's a first person game, but really tests your intelligence and reasoning abilities. It also has a simple but excellent plot, and great characters which you may find cute, creepy, funny, or all of the above. Totally original, and exceptionally fun, you have to play it!

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26 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Brilliant game!!!

Author: Scelestus-1 from United States
8 April 2008

Portal is a work of genius, hands down. Only genius can use cake as a philosophic standpoint, argue to kill an inanimate object, and give you sufficient reason to love things out to kill you (much less call them cute). Further more, what kind of game is this? is it a first-person-shooter? a puzzle game? a comedy? It is (more or less) all three...

Without giving too much away, you play as a character (later on named Chell) that receives a device capable of producing portals. These portals allow you to travel across a room, walking in one portal and out the other instantly. You are guided through an expanse of testing and experimentation by a computer known simply as "GLaDOS", or Generic Lifeform and Disk Operating System. Things are not quite as they seem while you make your way through the Aperture Science Enrichment Center.

This game is worth the attention, and probably the most inventive thing I've seen out of the gaming world in my life. Get it. Now. =)

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11 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Play this game...if you don't your crazy!

Author: from United States
25 February 2008

I should note that this game is part of the Orange Box, So I will conclude the whole thing here.

Let's start off with the Half life 2 thing. I didn't play the Half life before But I can say after playing this, I wish to Buy it! The Game offer's Unique character's and fantastic models that will make even the most well played gamer say ' what the ****!' the maps are extensive and are hard and satisfying to explore and conquer. But the enemy's are the only thing I have to say went a bit wrong. There good to battle and it's great to fight, But I see a repetition of enemies that make you tired of playing Half life 2 for a bit. But the Orange box solves that problem for a bit.

Let's look at Portal. Yes portal, You probably heard ( or about to) that the game is probably a revolution in puzzle games since Russians invented Tetris...they are right. The game is probably one of the best games I had ever played. Very different then Half life franchise, with only two characters, making this game very comfortable to new people who are uneasy to playing puzzle games. With GlADIS, the only speaking role in the game, is played wonderfully and you will antipate when she will speak next. But what about the game play? It's AMAZING! something I never seen is you can actually travel great distances without even using anything but a Portal gun. You have to understand that trying to even do this with the graphic's it shows is almost next to impossible for the playstation 2 or even playstation 3! The only thing bad I can say about this game is...well nothing! The game show's that you can still play a good game without bloodshed or going around a place rounding thing's up to make a star.

Not much to say about Team fortress 2. But I really wish I had Xbox live while playing this. The game is mainly online based so I can't say much.

Developer commentary's are in all the games and are easy to read. Buy this Game right NOW! 10 out of 10! Go out to your nearest best buy and buy this game! You will never be sorry!....Oh ****, I got to buy it!

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Short but Sweet as Cake

Author: FilmFreak94 from United States
17 September 2011

Portal is one of the most fun experiences I've had in gaming. The plot is simple; Your name is Chell, you're being tested in a research zone named Aperture Laboratories. You're only contact is an Ai named GLaDOS. She gives you various hints on how to pass the chambers and provides a bit of backstory to the events that happened prior to the game. You get a portal gun early on in the game which will allow you to create easy ways to travel from one part of the room to the other. But they can only generate portals on solid concrete.

The chambers get progressively harder and all the while GLaDOS becomes more malicious in her comments. For completing all the trials your character is promised cake and grief counseling in the end. But GLaDOS' true intent is revealed almost too late and you must now fight to stay alive, find GLaDOS, and escape the test chamber.

Portal is a great puzzle game. The overall game won't take longer then 5 hours for most people but the gameplay is really fun and GLaDOS has some of the funniest and creepiest lines of any video game character. Some of the chambers can be pretty frustrating but once you figure out what to do, you'll have a lot of fun. This game challenges the mind and gives you a great sense of satisfaction when you've beaten the game. If you see Portal sitting on a shelf in the store or something, pick it up. It's an all around great experience.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

A touch too easy and can be completed in less than three hours but enjoyable, influential and well designed with good humour throughout

Author: bob the moo from United Kingdom
6 May 2011

I had vaguely heard of Portal over the years; I knew the saying "the cake is a lie", had seen gamers on the internet doing things in real life to resemble the portals in the game and knew that it was part of a pack of smaller games (or something). The sequel coming out recently to universal praise made me decide to download the original off the Xbox Live Arcade and I was quite pleased with what I found. Having been a massive fan of recent game Limbo, I enjoyed seeing that Portal was somewhat of an inspiration for it since the concept of the game is that in each area you are presented with the situation as it is, the tools you have at your disposal and it should be simple logic to get through the room and out the other side.

In principle it is a great game although it does show its age with the loading times and the basic graphics. I enjoyed the game play and I enjoyed applying logic to come up with my ideas and then executing them. The puzzles are all well designed but they are perhaps a bit too easy to get through – it is only some of the later rooms that gave me pause for thought while mostly I was able to move through room after room with relative ease and at times it was a little disappointing to identify the solutions within a few seconds of entering the area. Although quite easy to solve, the puzzles are well designed and do require skill and timing to pull it off – getting the solution is the first bit, pulling it off is the next! The challenge rooms put into the Arcade version are welcome (the story mode took me just under two hours) and these do provide a bit more of a challenge – but the game is still surprisingly short even with these and, as I found it a bit easy, I will say I didn't have any of the "oh that's evil" moments that I had with Limbo, where 20 minutes of staring at the screen found me rewarded with a brainwave of the solution. The only time the game suddenly got hard was in those last few "advanced" maps – and this was a frustrating "hard" where everything had to be timed perfectly, in terms of "puzzles" they were still pretty obvious, just doing them was harder.

The humour of it all helps immensely and even my girlfriend (who simply doesn't see any point to gaming) appreciated this aspect of it. The song over the end credits is the perfect example but throughout we have some great lines from the computer behind the tests and I really got a kick out of some of the things she said. When you find yourself loving the turrets that are trying to kill you, you know that the game has done something right in terms of making characters! Visually the game is solid and effective even if the last few years have dated it quite quickly. The simple controls are easy to pick up and master so that mostly it comes down to how logical the player is in regards whether they can spot what to do. I think once in the story mode I was tempted to look the solution up but I resisted and I advise others to do the same at all costs because the whole point of the game is the puzzles, looking them up leaves nothing so why do it? I'll happily spend however long trying to work out the puzzle because this thought process is as much playing the game as using the controller is.

Portal is a bit too easy to be the classic and short that everyone claims it as when approached as a standalone game but it is no doubt a great game that has been influential. The puzzles are logical and quite rewarding on the whole even if some of them are annoyingly obvious (eg a room with a floor far below you and a wall above you is clearly a "momentum" solution waiting for you to do it). The humour to the game makes it that little bit more special and I did appreciate it for making me chuckle frequently as I played. I may have been years behind in terms of playing this game, but one thing is for certain – I will be picking up Portal 2 very soon.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Your 3D review and gameplay information

Author: ratcat0 from Australia
30 June 2014

First for my 3D review - 3D via nVision works absolutely beautifully actually so well that I cannot pick a fault - even the cross-hair is fully 3D! When this game first game out I gave it a try and enjoyed it - well sort of but got stuck on about the fourth level and just gave up. A couple of years later I picked up where I left off and ended up playing this game and the sequel all the way through it was that good! It seems that once you work out the physics to the portal gun you can easily work out any puzzle and as usual I am going to give my standard reason for loving this game so much as 'You simply cannot put it down also its the sort of game that you will want to come back to time and time again. The variation in environments, the temperamental gLAdos character who is some sort of malevolent being watching your every move - whats not to love? The graphics are superb and even today look quite up to date. Give Portal a go but don't give up part way through - if you can get past the moving/floating panels the rest of the game picks up and super enjoyable. Please email me at for any 3D game review requests.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The brilliance of simplicity

Author: abgkasjlkasjla from Denmark
22 July 2013

You wake up in a small, square, glass room with a bed(futuristic, spartan in appearance and optimized for use - as everything in this). A countdown ticks down, there's a glitch, and the AI GLaDOS begins speaking in monotone(she's clearly efficient, and her statements, both the highly objective and the clearly motivated, provide a lot of dark, deadpan comedy... I do wish they'd have less about vital organs, that gets old; she watches your every move by cameras, that you can literally see turning to look at you), giving you instructions.

When the timer reaches zero, you proceed into a human-sized "rat maze", and you are now trained in applying the realistic physics to solve all of this puzzle title. One might refer to this as "all tutorial", and if it overstayed its welcome(I completed this in two and a half hours), or it didn't fit, that would be a point against it. You never see the outside in this, and you are by yourself - it barely even breaks the first person perspective(and it didn't need to, at all), the whole is permeated by isolation and claustrophobia. This is a test facility. A place of Science. And as already alluded to, there might be something wrong - but there's no sense crying over every mistake.

Before I continue, I should say, no, not everyone will fall head over heels for this one. I haven't. That doesn't mean you won't enjoy it - the style and approach will agree with you, or it won't. The first paragraph of this review should help you finding out about that. This gives a boost to a genre that hadn't seen innovation for some years, and once you've gotten through it, there's a developer commentary, and two new modes: Challenge: same levels, and you try to limit time/portals/footsteps spent, and Advanced: certain chambers made tougher by more obstacles and/or hazards. You can fairly easily add custom areas, too.

Now, I should get to the central concept here. The blue and orange Portals(only one of each at any given time; create another, and the first will disappear) allow teleportation between them(looking into one will show the "view" of the other - timing is of the essence), and you can place both on many(not all!) flat surfaces regardless of distance, angle - yup, walls, floor *and* the ceiling. You control where these go from early on, and it's literally "point and shoot". While you can't place them through a window(a grate won't stop you) and you going through an electronic field removes them, as they appear instantaneously, you can be mid-air and put one where you'll land to, as it's called here, "fling" yourself further - just remember that, for better or for worse, anything not bigger than these entrances/exits will go through. Not only you and the boxes, useful for climbing on, holding down large buttons, and the like - also the bouncing energy balls that can kill you. You may have to redirect those - they're power-sources for lifts and other mechanisms. Other things to avoid direct contact with are the pools of toxic waste, and the cute robot turrets, with child-like voices that sympathize with you(and note that you remain weaponless - to take them out, as with anything you have to accomplish in this, you'll have to think creatively).

All of this is gradually introduced, and keeps the short duration of the regular portion interesting throughout - without overwhelming you. This was thoroughly refined to ensure that players pick up skills and understand how something behaves before we have to deal with very much of it. And it builds well, properly applying setup and pay-off, to where you have the satisfaction of doing well and avoid the frustration of being overpowered. All this without sparing you from brainteasers - and the final sections of this are well worth soldiering on even if you do find some bits tough. As already mentioned, this takes place in our world, with the laws of gravity, etc. in full effect(well, you can survive steeper drops than you might think - you have leg-braces), and thus, the only stuff you find yourself having to pick up on are the materials at your disposal, and the titular benders of space and time, which are entirely consistent and intuitive. Simultaneously you feel free, with tremendous power at your fingertips, and in a world of rules and consequence.

The key elements of this type of thing thus remain intact - put this thing on that activator, press a button to temporarily open a door, etc. This can be your return to that, or it can be your introduction to such(comparatively, how many current FPS, fighting, or RTS games can you say that about?). And it does the rare in creating a memorable universe around that - one I look forward to returning to in the 2011 sequel. I want to stress that this is not an adventure or action title - this is all problems for you to solve. For all your interacting with items around, there is no inventory. And as tense and fast-paced as it can be, you're never armed. It's you keeping yourself alive, getting from one room to another. This automatically saves progress so often that you don't have to worry about it yourself, as you'll seldom have to redo more than mere seconds - and if that isn't enough, you can also choose when to store it.

Not only is this unique in idea and execution, there are many different solutions because of the open nature of the "gun". The good, not great graphics lead your eyes to the issue you have to deal with, there are no distractions. There is no health bar, and the HUD only has the "sight"(and an indicator).

There is some disturbing content, mostly in dialog, in this. I recommend this to anyone who enjoys classics like Lemmings, Lode Runner and the like. 8/10

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

The cake is a lie!!

Author: Justin Sierra from United States
17 May 2012

As an avid gamer, I pride myself on the diversity of games that I play. Though I'm not a big fan of puzzle games, (I usually tend to prefer the more violent games) I decided to buy the Portal bundle from the Steam Store. I had heard of it over the years and always blew it off because it looked like a really poor idea for a game. I started playing Portal as soon as it finished downloading and the mystery and obfuscation right from the start hooked me and pulled me right into it. As I said before, I'm not really a big fan of puzzle games, but Portal just seemed to grab a hold of me and didn't let go until it was over. The levels started of simple and easy, but as you progress through the game they seem to get exponentially more difficult. Valve took a minimalist approach to the gameplay and managed to weave an extremely intricate story to back it up and leave you guessing about everything outside of the Enrichment Center.

When I say minimalist, I mean they used very few characters, very few environments, and a very limited number of use-able tools. The characters and story, despite this minimal use of characters, both showed a lot of depth and made you actually like all the characters. As for the environments and tools, they rearranged them for each level to make each situation more and more difficult to solve. I was amazed by the depth of the story and characters, and also of how well they put the puzzles together. I played through the game in one sitting but it took me a whole night to do so. Even though it was pretty short lived, it was a memorable and enjoyable experience that I would recommend for anyone that calls themselves a gamer. Just remember that the cake is a lie!

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