Game

Backlog Club: Portal’s A Triumph – I’m Note It Here: BIG SUCCESS

Escape
Image: Van

Scientific Aspect. We do what we have to, because we can.


For the sake of all of us – except the dead – I will talk about Portal. It’s a puzzle game. It’s a 3D first person shooter. It’s a comedy about unreliable robot lords. And yes, it’s a modern classic and Yes, I didn’t play it fully until recently. That’s what Backlog Club is for! Leave me alone!

Through cultural permeation (read: every webcomic I read between 2007 and 2011, plus Tumblr), I’ve gathered a lot of elements. There is a puncture gun. There’s a robot that’s part strict-teacher, part sassy-girl-at-school who-hates-you, part-mama problems and she lies a lot, sometimes about pies. There’s a cube, and we love him. Right. Understood.

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This weighted companion block will accompany you through the test chamber. Please take care of it. – Image: Van

I used Portal during the end of my Flash game era, but I didn’t really like using dual analogue sticks at the time, as most of my games at the time were based on DS, so I don’t go very far into it. I haven’t even met the Legendary Companion Block! But now I have met him. I loved him. And lost him. RIP cube.

It’s hard not to love Portal. Even if its sensitive physics engine is hurling things across the room because they’re stuck in a certain corner; even if you’re waiting in the loading screens for a long time to have a fifteen years old game; Portal’s sense of humor and trademark writing is what made it a worldwide favorite for a long time.

No one looks back at Portal and thinks, “oooh, it doesn’t age”, because it yes. There aren’t any fancy jokes (to my knowledge), and the most violent that happens is when your body gets in the way of the turret’s bullets, and you spit blood all over the place because generosity seconds until you can find a hiding place. It’s great proof that a game can be funny without being cruel to people, even if it is extremely ruthless with the main character as a science-experiment scammer.

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How would you describe the portal sound? Shuffles? Pshoo? Bwoamp? – Image: Van

Obviously, Portal’s core is portals, but it’s the writing that elevates it to something special. It’s just a portal gun puzzle game, which can be highly rated, but probably isn’t hailed as one of the GOAT games – after all, there are plenty of puzzle games with fun things to do. taste. But the brilliance of an omniscient, almighty robot (well, almost), the setting of a broken scientific research facility, and the incredible character work that voice actor Ellen McLain does with GLaDOS and all of her weird personalities come together to make a video game cake that is therefore delicious and moist.

GLaDOS is unusual among video game characters because she’s such a lovable villain. You love her until you throw the last of her body into the fire; without the timer, I would probably spend hours playing with Cake Core and Curiosity Core. She’s passive, aggressive, and sassy in the way of a filterless grandmother, and the only way you can communicate with her is through your actions. Those actions tend to involve a lot of disobedience and mischief related to the cube.

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Pastry and grief counseling will be available at the end of the test. – Image: Van

If I was hoping that developers everywhere could take one thing away from Portal, it’s this: It’s good writing that people will remember long after a game is over. The combination of mechanics and narrative is, in my opinion, an underrated thing, and in my experience too many games are developed with narrative as either a sequel or a moody division. inserted to smooth the cracks.

As they say, dialogue is cheap, but good dialogue is worth more than a thousand levels of good. And good dialogue – as Portal demonstrated, even though it’s technically “monologue”, isn’t it – doesn’t have to be ten billion words. In fact, it shouldn’t be. I find, as someone who writes both from journalism and video games, that shorthand is therefore much more difficult than long writing. It’s actually pretty easy to read a thousand words (that’s all I have); it’s a 250 word review writing skills test with all the information a reader could ask for.

Portal’s brief text sections are entirely spoken by a robotic human/woman and they’re usually just observation or instruction, but a lot of personality and humor can be conveyed in such a short amount of time as so. Mechanics make the game, it’s true – but the character do game.

How have you found the Portal so far? Have you played Portal 2 yet? What are your thoughts on The Companion Cube? Tell us in the comments below!

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