This year was ripe with quite a lot of decent stories delivered by video games, some hilarious, some controversial, while others were there purely to provide a bare-bone narrative to the action. Portal 2, however, delivered one of the most impressive stories of them all.
Valve has always tried to create great gameplay experiences, while telling touching stories filled with lifelike characters, like Half Life 2, or by just letting the environment and the characters do the talking, like in Left 4 Dead.
However, across all of its experiences, the studio always presented some aspects of the story and narrative, while leaving the rest to the imagination of the player, and nowhere is this more apparent like in Portal 1 where, without any sort of exposition, you’re thrown into a myriad of test chambers and tasked by an AI, GLaDOS, to solve tests.
Now, with its sequel, Valve has delivered a more full pledged narrative, showcasing the history of the Aperture Science facility, as well as continuing the plot involving Chell, the heroine from the first game, and her antagonist, GLaDOS.
While I can’t really talk about it, seeing as how there would be a lot of spoilers, I will say that, throughout the campaign that lasts around six hours, you’ll be taken through all sorts of levels, situations and end up with a stunning boss fight that you won’t soon forget.
Looking back, it’s funny that, with a silent protagonist, Chell, two AI beings, GLaDOS and Wheatley, and the recording of a man, Cave Johnson, the founder of Aperture Science, Valve managed to deliver one of the most impressive stories of the year, trumping other games with lots of characters and huge events.
What’s more, the very simplistic narrative from the game’s cooperative mode, in which players take control of two robots, Atlas and P-body, also manages to impress, largely because of the spot on performance by GLaDOS, which always tries to mess with the minds of the two protagonists.
To put it simply, if you want a great narrative and are willing to put your mind to the test with the fiendish puzzles, then you can’t go wrong with Portal 2. In case you need more convincing, check out the video below of the opening segments in the game, where the loveable Wheatley is introduced.