Portal 2

Portal 2
"Look at you! Sailing majestically through the air, like an eagle … piloting a blimp."

Many moons ago, I played Portal: a delightful little puzzle game with a difference. When Portal 2 came out, of course I played it too; it's much longer — and is essentially more of the same, but with a quite expanded playing world to explore and escape. I have just started playing Portal 2 again!

In the first game, you work your way through the various Tests until, testing over, the guiding computer terminates testing by terminating you — or, at least, that is the plan. If (when) you escape that final death-trap, you battle your way out through the behind-the-scenes infrastructure as the computer (GLaDOS) tries to entice, cajole, wheedle, and beg you to return to the testing chambers. It was a joke, she says. Wasn't it funny? she asks. There is cake, she promises — although you have evidence that suggests the cake is a lie! Finally you must battle GLaDOS herself, and … escape? Perhaps not…

Portal 2 commences many, many years (or possibly millennia) later. You awake from your enforced slumber to find that the facility has crumbled around you. A pleasant little robot does his best to get you out, but in the process takes you through the chamber where GLaDOS has been slowly rusting — and promptly manages to reboot her, at which point she drops you back into the world of Testing. I vaguely recall the humour of the first game — but in Portal 2, it definitely seems to be ramped up. In these early stages, GLaDOS is so delightfully bitchy; she claims not to be bitter about the fact that you KILLED HER and left her in pieces with nothing but the last two minutes of her existence being replayed over and over as she watched you KILL HER again and again, but no, not bitter, not holding a grudge, thankyou for that, by the way [SARCASM MODULE TEST COMPLETE] oh that works

It is her snarky comments which make the sequel so much fun to play — and, indeed, to revisit. As shown by the quote above, it doesn't take her long to start sniping about your weight ("congratulations; most test subjects seem a little emaciated after their long sleep, but you've actually managed to pack on a few pounds…") along with comments about your probable brain damage, your lethargy, and your weight (again) — always delivered in the form of a back-handed compliment.

No, she's not bitter at all.

I still have a long way to go with this game, but it was the quote above which made me laugh so much I just had to jump out for a while to come and mention it…

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