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Portal 2


I have to admit, I wasn’t the greatest at the first Portal, it took me a little longer than some people, not like 5 hours longer or anything but it was a different story regarding Portal 2. I finished Portal 2 a couple of days ago and have been meaning to write about it. I finished it over 2 days. The first day I was so excited I played it for like 8 hours straight. The next day I polished it off in 2 hours. Gameplay wise it was approximately 10 hours or so and what a 10 hours it was!

It’s amazing how much content you can squeeze out of the Source engine and it still looks up to date with current games. It doesn’t look as amazing as games like Crysis 2 or anything but no one plays Portal 2 for the graphics, you play it for the gameplay and I think this is a perfect game to explain how I am trying to look at games currently and in the future. A lot of review sites review games based on gameplay, graphics, sound and longevity but I want to add another factor that people don’t seem to take into account when rating a game, how fun it is. All the other factors are still hugely important but I think the fun factor trumps them all and that’ll play an important part in this review and others to come.

Portal 2 takes place years after the first Portal. Aperture Laboratories are overgrown with nature and you have just come out of stasis. GLaDOS is dead. As you progress through the game the laboratories are slowly rebuilt. Portal 2 is even more funny than the last one in my opinion. With the addition of Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Merchant and Cave Johnson, (every line he has is hilarious) voiced by J. K. Simmons there are more hilarious quotes than the last. And of course GLaDOS, voiced by Ellen McLain, comes back in the sequel who is equally funny if not more.

Now into the meat of the game, the puzzles. In the first one there wasn’t too many puzzles. I believe there were 19 test chambers and more puzzles when you escaped. In Portal 2 I think there are 41 test chambers, that sounds way too much but I think there are 22 in the first section then 19 later on and that isn’t including puzzles when you escape… I think. Don’t hold me to those numbers. Basically there is a crap load more puzzles to solve in Portal 2. I don’t know what it was, maybe because I had played the first one and knew what I was getting into or Portal 2 was easier but I zoomed through the singleplayer. I got stuck on 2 or 3 puzzles but I solved them in the end. Most importantly I didn’t use a walkthrough! In Portal, if you get stuck all you got to do is keep on moving around the test chamber until you see the puzzle in a different way. I did that (and stayed calm and didn’t throw my controller across the room) and I ended up solving puzzles I got stuck on and it feels pretty good when you’re stuck on a puzzle for 45 minutes then suddenly you get a brainwave and you solve it!

I know I can’t complain because Portal 2 is a lot longer than the first and it could be because I played it a lot on the first day but I really wish there were more puzzles to solve! I hope Portal 2 is supported with a crap load of DLC. And I haven’t had a chance to play coop yet, hopefully that will take up a lot of my time.

There isn’t much else to Portal other than voice and gameplay. It’s a really fun game. The puzzles aren’t too difficult that you get frustrated and you never feel as if it’s the games fault. I was really pleased with the ending of it too but I won’t ruin anything. If you haven’t played it, go play it. It’s a different game to others and it’s a lot of fun even if you aren’t shooting at people.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare


A lot of gamers whether hardcore or just recreational gamers will say that COD 4 is one game that you must play. I first played the COD 4 campaign a couple of weeks ago and it turned out to be my second favourite COD campaign, Black Ops being my favourite. It just felt so much more realistic.

Obviously I was a little confused at some parts of MW2 because I had never played the first Modern Warfare but this one filled in all the pieces. I managed to knock out the whole campaign in one sitting in an afternoon, determined to get it finished. Whilst playing I encountered the best Call of Duty mission I have ever played, sniping with Captain MacMillan. MW2 was epic, I loved the airport massacre mission just as much as the next guy and I love Ghost and the rest of the characters but the overall atmosphere of COD 4 captured me.

As soon as I completed the campaign I hopped over to multiplayer and had pretty good results. My friend previously mentioned that the snipers were immense, just like the rest of the community. I’m not a Call of Duty sniper, I can only snipe on Battlefield, so having good scores with a sniper in Call of Duty was a big deal for me. My best scores were with the MP5 and the M4 Carbine.

At first I was surprised that I hadn’t come across any hacking, turns out I just had to play the game a little more. Pretty much as soon as I came across the first floating enemy I took the game out of the disc tray, not only floating enemies but people advertising their COD hacking websites at the side of the screen.

Finally I can see why most fans still think COD 4 is still one of the best Call of Duty games


Assassin’s Creed, what’s next?


I completed the first Assassin’s Creed in 5 days, playing a couple of hours a day. I was hooked. The game was like nothing I had ever played before. Even though the fighting was simple, really simple, I still loved the action. Every assassination I did satisfied me, even though I was ending someone’s life. I would run around the cities just killing random guards because I could. Even though the first Assassin’s Creed was fun, it was really repetitive. Assassinating 9 different enemies, the only variation was how you gathered information on your target, and even that could have been the same if you wanted it to be. The AI wasn’t great either. Travelling to cities by horse was a nightmare, every time you come across a person they would chase after you. I was so relieved when I realised that I didn’t have to make the trip to each city again. The guards would always say the same thing, again and again.

The second Assassin’s Creed was insanely better than the first. It had actual variation in it’s gameplay, not just assassinating 9 people in the same way, you actually had missions to complete and the double hidden blades only made things better. The AI was a little better but I found out that you could was up to a group of 4 soldiers and poison each one and none of them would suspect a thing. Some of the missions really pissed me off, the flying machine mission annoyed me a lot. Every time I failed (and I failed a lot) the guard would scream “LOOK AT THE FLYING DEMON!” or something along those lines. One mission actually made me stop playing the game for several months. The mission in the fair where you had to race against another guy. After several months I picked the game up again and realised that it wasn’t that hard in the first place. The story line was much more complex than the first. Even after I finished the game I was still so confused.

The next Assassin’s Creed, Brotherhood, isn’t a part of the trilogy and contained the same characters. This one improved on the AI on the first and added in cool new features to the fighting. When I was playing the game I was hoping that this wasn’t the official third game. The one thing that was really cool was the ability to call in other members of the Brotherhood, helping you on your missions. One of the best things about your assassin’s was that you trained them. You chose what missions they went on and with each mission they gain experience points, making them a better assassin.  It doesn’t add to the story very much, it felt a little like an extension to the second game.Maybe that was the plan but it didn’t feel like it was worth the same amount of money as the second. An online was introduced into Assassin’s Creed, it is so much fun. At first I wasn’t sure how they would pull it off but they did and it is extremely fun, especially when you play with a friend. Instead of rushing, like in FPS’, it’s more about being patient and blending into the crowd around you.

I am extremely excited for the third Assassin’s Creed. It should be the best one yet. I have read that it will be about the assassin’s trying to stop the world coming to it’s demise in 2012 and their race against time to find the temples “built by those who came before”. This sounds like the game will be set in the fictional present, so no traditional assassins. Some people might not like the sound of that but if it’s anything like the second, it should be awesome.


The cake is a lie…


After I heard that Portal 2 would be released I realised that I needed to get off my ass and start playing, or get on my ass and start playing, who plays standing up? Anyway, I downloaded it for PC and got playing. I had two of my friends yapping in my ear over Xbox Live whilst I played it. Near the end of the game I realised that, that was a bad idea. At one point I got so frustrated I kicked them from the party, literally two seconds later I worked out the puzzle. The first time you play this game, I would recommend that you play it in a peaceful environment, you gotta concentrate.

I know this is an old game but I thought I’d review it, everyone still loves the game, especially because the sequel has been released. You are immediately dropped into the Aperture Science  testing facility, no cut scenes or anything, straight to the point. You first start off with a gun that can only shoot blue portals. I like how they ease you into the game yet drop you into it. The puzzles at the beginning aren’t immediately easy. Compared to the stuff you have to do at the end of the game, it’s easy but you still have to think about it. During the game I grew to hate the energy balls, things that bounce around the room and, like everything else can travel through portals. I would always end up placing a portal in the path of the energy ball and placing another one at another part of the room, every time the ball would travel through the portal and hit me. The game consists of 19 puzzles but it didn’t feel like it. I’m just remembering what I saw on the wall before I started each puzzle.

Portal is a really fun game but it would be empty without GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System). Even though she is a horrible robot who promises me cake after every puzzle but actually wants to kill me, GLaDOS is still really funny, laugh out loud funny at some points. Portal is really short, if I wasn’t being distracted by food and my friends I probably would have completed the game in an hour. I thought the game was perfect length, probably because I suck at puzzle games, I’m more for shooting people in the face.

At some points I felt kinda lonely, running around the Aperture Science testing facilities with a portal gun, only hearing GLaDOS’ voice every so often. I’m really happy to hear that they’ve added a little sidekick, Wheatley. This will, without a doubt add to the game, not to mention that Wheatley is voiced by Stephen Merchant.

After playing the first Portal I have definitely become a fan and so far I haven’t come across a person who has played Portal and doesn’t like it. Hopefully I’ll stumble across Portal 2 and maybe, just maybe I’ll post a review of it.