Free Portal

May 18, 2010 at 4:22 am | Posted in rpg | 4 Comments
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This is a Triumph

You get what you pay for. But that makes it sound like I didn’t like playing Portal. I did. I got my free copy (thanks Lola) from Steams big free Portal offer, and no, I’d never played it, I’m not a big Half Life or Team Fortress fan. I just never really knew anyone who was into them, and therefore never got into them myself. Moving on to Portal didn’t make much sense.

Okay sure, it was tempting, “The cake is a lie” made me feel like an outsider the first few times I heard it. I did my research though, and quickly knew what I was missing out on. Watched videos, read articles, reviews. I am not an outcast!

Anyway, I knew the game was short, but holy crap. I finished it in just over 4 hours. I cut through the first 17 levels like a hot knife through butter. Only the last few levels were really any challenge at all. I expect more from puzzle games.

Which again, isn’t to say it wasn’t fun. It was a lot of fun. The physics were great, the puzzles were clever. It was, even years after its release, fairly innovative.

Funny too. Much funnier than just about any other game I’ve played in a long time. Sure you can get a kick out of Shepard being an ass in Mass Effect, but the Cake is a lie was a big meme for a reason. Still Alive, although I’d heard it before, took on new relevance.

I don’t get a few things though. Much was made of the female protagonist. Yet she doesn’t really do anything special. Is that what people appreciated? The fact that she was female and absolutely no fuss was made about it in game?

Why are they giving it away for free? Is Portal 2 coming out soon or something? Are they using it to increase the number of people with Steam installed?

Did they change the ending? My ending had me sucked out on to the surface, lying on the ground, and a mechanical voice says something and I start to get dragged away. Yet when I went to look for a youtube video, to see what the voice said, the first video (turn down your volume and come in at 0:40) I watched had nothing of the sort. A second more recent video (come in at 4:10) had the ending I saw. Yeah new ending I guess.

I guess it was a little anti-climactic for me. It was fun but I expected more fun, more story, more challenge. I guess I shouldn’t judge a game on expectations. It was fun in its own right. Oh and there is the old addage don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.



  1. the bonus levels are a lot more challenging. i think they made the game itself short in order to teach you how to use the game mechanics so that you could go back & try to solve the puzzles in different ways (that & i think this was just a student project tacked on to the Half-Life episodes).
    the change in the ending is a robot thanking you for “assuming the party position” & then dragging you back into the lab. i think they did that to hint at a sequel before they officially announced the second game.
    and yes, i’m pretty sure this is their way to shamelessly get people to 1) download Steam and 2) buy the sequel; but hey, a free game is a free game.

    • Ahh yes. I haven’t tried the bonus maps yet, looking forward to it.

      I don’t know, portal seems like a game they could still be making some money off of, I’m not sure it was a good decision to give it away to so many people.

      The robot voice totally reminded me of fallout 3.

      • who in fallout 3?

        • the robot at the end reminded me of just about any fallout 3 robot.

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