REVIEW : Portal (Orange Box review Part 1)


Valve’s released its expected Orange Box compilation on the 10 th of October. Its packs Half Life 2 (winner of more than 35 ‘Game of the Year’ Awards), Half Life 2 – Episode 1, Half Life 2 – Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal into a single box. It is selling at at price of Rs. 999/- in India. Now for that price,I would recommend you to buy it even for the old games i.e HL2 and HL2:EP1. But do the new games hold any value??

In this two part review of the Orange Box, I will be reviewing Portal and HL2: EP2, the two new single player components by Valve. This one deals with Portal and the next one ( probably to be uploaded later in the day) will contain the HL2 : EP2 review.

A typical Portal level. Turrets, traps and the Portal Gun.

Portal is a sort of guided tour/puzzle solving platformer / gameplay innovation short game packed by Valve in the Orange Box. It basically revolves around solving puzzles in the current level to go on to the next. Sounds boring?? Well , you couldn’t be more mistaken. Al tough Portal is a puzzle solving game, the concept itself sets it apart from anything you might have played till date.

In Portal, the only weapon at your disposal is a Portal gun designed by Aperture Laboratories. The normal fire opens a exit portal and the alternate fire opens the entry portal. You can basically go from one place to another avoiding various death-traps using these portal paths. Portal being a puzzle oriented game, there are no enemies as such; there are however acid pools, turrets and various other problems blocking you from your exits. All this can be a little tedious to explain. A better option would be this video.

If you think that this being a puzzle solving game will have no story, you are again mistaken. Not only does it have a story, Valve has taken it to the next level by cross linking it with the Half Life 2 universe in EP2. So, in EP3 , we just might see Gordon Freeman wielding a Portal gun.
The total gameplay time for Portal is considerably small but there are advanced levels and other stuff to do once the game is done.

Recursive PORTALS!?!?!

Like all other games in the Orange Box, Portal is powered by the Source engine. Valve has made some changes to the engine but they don’t reflect much in Portal. It is always a closed corridor indoor environment. The Source engine has done a very good job again and the Graphics are topnotch in this game as well. However there is not much variety in the graphics until the last 2 levels. The rendering of the of the Portals is some sight.

How can I be there, when I am actually here???!!

There is not much variety here but the soundtrack is good. I would like to mention that the scripting for the dialogs by the tour guide is exceptional. Its very funny and strange and intriguing at times. The voice acting is also marvelously done.

A moving platform that goes under the wall..

I would recommend the Orange Box even if it had Portal alone. The innovativeness in this game is totally different than anything else in the gaming world.

Rating :: 9.5/10 …………………………………………A Must-play game.



2 Responses to “REVIEW : Portal (Orange Box review Part 1)”

  1. Aditya Shevade Says:

    Seems good. Looks like this might be the first game I will play after the Battle for Wesnoth in the last 2 years.

    Looking forward to it. Do you know about any other games like this one? Which mainly focuses on strategical game play rather than fighting being the main part and strategy being it’s assistant?


  2. CDK Says:

    Well, I dont know many such games. But, I think you can expect a Portal sequel with the next Valve pack of games.

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