Tuesday, 23 October 2007

Portal

Just finished Portal. I have to say I'm glad I bought it as part of The Orange Box, rather than on it's own - it's length puts it quite firmly in the "tech demo" category. That said, it is a very interesting idea, if a little nauseating (I'm one of those weird people who gets motion sickness playing FPS's for too long - Portal's bouncy-flippy-which-way-is-up shenanigans meant I had to have a lot of breaks :)

It will be interesting to see how Valve (or anyone else for that matter) try to fit the idea into a more traditional FPS setting.. it would surely make level design a nightmare if you have to make sure the player can't just leap across huge sections of level - and if you invert it so the player can only use portals in particular sections I think it could very easily seem contrived. Hopefully we'll see soon enough..

My favourite thing about Portal is the sense of humour throughout - the ending particularly is great: the idea of having the game finish with a psychotic computer singing to you about cake approaches Tim Schafer levels of oddball. It gives me some faith that there are some left in the western games industry who remember that it's more important for games to be fun than cool. Blue skies in games!

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