This is a title that most gamers have played, and if not played, have at least heard of. If -- like me -- you are late to the party and have yet to play the game, this review is for you... and hey, there's CAKE!
There are tabs for the various options:
- Keyboard, where you can re-map keys
- Mouse, where you can enable the controller
- Audio, with separate sliders for Game & Music. Subtitles are NOT the default. I highly suggest turning them on, as the mechanical voice is hard to understand.
- Video, where you can choose Full Screen vs. Windowed, Aspect Ratio, Brightness, Advanced, and Resolution (up to 1920x1080)
I was happy to find that the game is mostly
controller-compatible... The crouch function doesn't seem to be mapped, so if you're going to use a gamepad, use the Ctrl button on your keyboard to crouch
The concept is simple enough. You (will) have two guns, one that produces a blue portal, and one that gives you an orange portal. In one, out the other. Solve puzzles and move on to the next area. Easy right?
Well... Yes and no. The portals themselves aren't difficult to figure out, but you have to master the physics involved to truly progress in the game. I had a hell of a time grasping the this point because I was so disoriented when I was falling. Here's a hint: You need to gain some momentum if you want to make some distance when you exit the second portal, and oft times that means falling -- not just jumping -- through a portal.
There is some platforming involved, and a variety of obstacles (of course, what kind of game would this be if there weren't obstacles?
) in your way, both benign and deadly, and through it all is your ever-present narrator-guide. I don't recommend muting her, as you'll miss out on both the ambience and a huge part of the story if you do (subtitles alone just aren't the same~).
But.. what story?
The game is tagged story-rich, so I was surprised to find that there wasn't much of a story at all! Sure it was interesting, but story-rich? But then... finally... It all changed. Sure it was something I was expecting, but things didn't pan out exactly how I had anticipated, either.
You will have to get through 11 chapters before approaching the end of the game, and as you complete each chapter, the Developer Commentary becomes available (accessible via the main menu.) Whilst you're in commentary mode, you can't be damaged, but you also won't gain achievements.
Speaking of achievements, there are 15 to be had, and only 1/3 of them can be gained by playing through the game. There are Advanced Chambers and Challenges available via the Bonus Maps section which is where you'll earn the bulk of your achievements.
It's easy to see the influences that this game has had on modern gaming, especially games like The Talos Principle
is on the short side, but well worth playing if you enjoy puzzle-adventures, especially if you plan on playing Portal 2.