Welcome folks, to WPR’s review of the multiplayer Portion of Portal 2. We are currently using magic and science to bring you this review through a conversation that I had with my cohort in crime Dennis Baquedano.
Dennis: Why hello there, Evan!
Evan: A good day to you, sir!
Dennis: So here we are, discussing the portal 2 multiplayer. How’s it feel?
Evan: Feels good man
Dennis: I know that feel…
Evan: Seriously though, it’s not like I didn’t expect the co-op to be good, but it really was. As much fun as the Portal experience is, playing it with a friend just kicks it into overdrive.
Dennis: I was super surprised by how much fun it was, if a little short. Shall we go into details?
Evan: No, I think using superlative language like “fun” and “good” about covers it… ok maybe not.
Dennis: So it goes without saying that the co-op looks exactly like the single player with the exception of the two robots each player controls, P-Body and….Rocky?
Evan: Atlas, you dingus.
Dennis: Haha, right. So in case folks don’t know, P-body is the tall skinny one whereas Atlas is the round fat one.
Evan: Surprise, surprise. It gave me the fat one.
Dennis: There isn’t much to say about that other than that. I did want to touch on the portal guns and how they worked for both players in regards to looks. P-Body has an orange and red combo where Atlas has blue and purple.
Evan: Yeah, that really threw me off at first. Trying to remember who had which portal took some getting used to, after being trained on the blue/orange combo.
Dennis: I felt like you had more trouble with blue and purple since they looked like the same color on my screen. I mean, orange and red is pretty hard to fuck up
Evan: Let’s be honest, I had trouble in general. By the end there you were solving most of the puzzles…
Dennis: Which leads us to the gameplay!
Evan: Obviously, the game plays just like single player, except you have twice as many portals to work with… at least, it seems that way. I don’t want to spoil anything, but one of my favorite puzzles involved us flinging ourselves at each other to hit a midpoint, and I thought that was one of the more innovative uses of two players in Portal.
Dennis: Without giving away the answer, I loved the ones where you had to put all your trust in your partner and allow them to shoot you across your map. Using your partner as another object to solve puzzles always felt awesome. Especially when you “accidentally” killed them.
Evan: Right… “accidentally”. I can count several times that you launched me into oblivion on a whim.
Dennis: But I think we both have to agree that the best part about the co-op gameplay wise had to have been the gestures. There’s nothing as satisfying as giving your buddy a high-five after you both end up right in front of the emancipation grille.
Evan: I would argue that a blowjob is more satisfying, but that’s just me. However, those gestures were pretty sweet. My personal favorite was where I snagged your head and dribbled it like a basketball.
Dennis: The commentary has some really cool insights from the developers about the nature of gestures, how they implemented them and the response they got from the play testers. If you ever get the chance to check it out, I recommend it.
Evan: Most definitely. In the end, I’d have to say the gameplay was spot on for a co-op version of Portal. Working together to solve puzzles and coming up with ridiculous ways to get to the exit is an absolute blast, and it speaks volumes that you and I sat and played the entire thing in one sitting not because we had to, but because we couldn’t stop playing.
Dennis: Before I even played the game, I was hearing a ton of people talk about the multiplayer and how it’s basically the second half of the game, and I wouldn’t argue with them if it weren’t for the fact that there really wasn’t much story there. There were a few missions here and there where you had to do a “secret project” for GlaDOS, but I never really felt like the story aspect was explored enough. It seemed more like a way for them to justify the purpose of the test robots.
Evan: I kind of disagree. Though there wasn’t implicit story, we saw what was going on in the aftermath of the single player’s plot. This is the part where I would give examples, but I cannot on good conscience give away any plot details.
Dennis: Now, I’m not saying that the co-op is devoid of any story, but I was expecting a much more involving plot.
Evan: Fair enough. I thought it was well handled for what it was, and I submit that there was not as much narrative. However, that doesn’t take away from the experience at all.
Dennis: Oh yeah I completely agree. I would say that there are just as much moments in the co-op campaign that put a huge smile on my face.
Evan: Absolutely, and just as I would highly recommend Portal 2 for its singleplayer experience, I also implore anyone that picked up the game to play through the multiplayer with a friend. It is an experience that cannot be missed.
Dennis: I would recommend that you try to play it with someone who hasn’t gone through it before. 70% of the fun is figuring out the puzzles as a team, and that experience is what makes this co-op so much fun.
Our colleague Jeff gave the game a 98% and we agree wholeheartedly with that score. Valve didn’t skimp out on the co-op, but then again we never expected them to tack it on in the first place, and they created a fantastic second half to Portal 2.