Portal (Series) Review

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Posted: A year ago, last updated 8 weeks ago.

Author: Andy Robertson.

OverviewOverview

You are in a science laboratory where you seem to be being tested. Watched by the artificial intelligence GLaDOS, you have a gun that can create a pair of magic portals on any surface: one is an entrance and the other is an exit. Through a series of increasingly ingenious (and malicious) test chambers, you must use your gun to escape. It’s a mind-bending challenge, but the real interest is the darkening tone of GLaDOS, who seems bent on foiling your progress, and the signs of previous test subjects spotted behind the scenes. As GLaDOS’s dysfunction turns to straight-up sociopathy, you must take on challenges with her tormenting discouragement ringing in your ears. The isolation is heightened by the introduction of a lifeless companion cube, which mocks your friendless predicament.

Portal is a series of puzzles that you solve with physics and lateral thinking. But behind the puzzles is the bigger mystery of where you are, and what these tests are for. This persists through the different games in the series:
  • Portal (2007) originally releases as part of The Orange Box pack. It was then released stand alone on PC, Mac,
  • Portal: The Flash Version (2008) was a spin-off for the web browser with lots of new test chamber puzzles using the portal gun,
  • Portal: Still Alive (2008) is a version for Xbox 360. This added challenges from the existing test chambers.
  • Portal 2 (2011) was released on PC, Mac, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360. It introduced two-player puzzles and featured a floating droid named Wheatley (voiced by Stephen Merchant).

DetailsDetails

Rating: PEGI 12+, ESRB TEEN

Release Date: 10/10/2007, updated in 2011

Platforms: Mac, PC, PlayStation 3, Web Browser, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Narrative, Platform, Puzzle and Simulation

TipsTips

View our choice of games like Portal. This game is good if you want to:

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 4 hours and 9 hours to complete.
 
Players: You can play with 2 players in the same room, but you can’t play it online. You can play Portal 2 co-operatively. The time to complete the game ranges widely as it depends on how fast you solve the mind-bending logic puzzles.

CostsCosts

Does not offer in-game purchases, 'loot boxes' or 'battle/season passes'.

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Portal Still Alive is rated PEGI 12 with language and violence. ESRB rated it TEEN with blood and mild violence. Players must avoid various hazards including gun turrets, which fire upon the player when encountered. When the player is shot, blood splatter can result on back walls of hallways and rooms.

Portal 2 is rated PEGI 12 with language and violence. ESRB rated it EVERYONE 10+ for fantasy violence and mild language. Players must avoid hazards such as stationary gun turrets, toxic substances, poisonous gas, and giant pistons; some sequences are accompanied by realistic gunfire. Robot droids can also be destroyed; for example, in one boss battle, players must defeat a robot by throwing small bombs. The words "damn" and "hell" can be heard in the dialogue.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Accessibility for this game is as follows:

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Any spoken content has subtitles: All spoken content has subtitles, or there is no speech in the game.

System Settings

Windows has extensive accessibility features. Some, like colour correction, work with games. Lots of accessibility software can be used with PC games, from voice recognition to input device emulators. Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: Andy Robertson


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Games Like Portal

The following games are like Portal. They address a similar topic or offer a similar way to play. They are good options to play next and also good alternatives to Portal for younger age ratings.

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