more Portal 2 ramblings

My official Examiner review of Portal 2 can be found here.  I literally just received an email from them saying that “it does not meet [their] criteria for local coverage.”  I’m not entirely sure what that means, or if it’s been removed from the site.  I’m not entirely sure that I care, either, but whatever.

I spent the weekend wrapped up in Portal 2.   I hunted down pretty much every single-player Achievement I could get (besides one), and I played co-op with a bunch of different people.  I ultimately finished the co-op campaign with my wife last night, which was a wonderful experience on a variety of levels but mostly because it’s fun playing games with my wife, and she legitimately appeared to have a good time.  I didn’t get the 360 achievement for it, though, and I guess that’s because I’d been playing it on both PC and 360 and lost track of which system I’d finished a given level on.*

The co-op campaign is brilliant.  The puzzles in the single-player are pretty complex already, but the co-op campaign takes that complexity and quadruples it.  But the euphoria of figuring out one of these puzzles is all the more intoxicating, because it really does require teamwork and cooperation and execution, and it’s absolutely thrilling to get it right.

I’ve been obsessing with post-release interviews with Erik Wolpaw and Chet and the rest of the team.  You can tell that Erik really likes talking about the Stephen Merchant recording sessions; Erik is one of the funniest guys on the planet and it sounds to me like it must have been tremendously gratifying for him to have someone with Stephen Merchant’s comedic skill translating those words into a one-of-a-kind performance.

I’ll say this:  I’m no longer obsessing with Portal 3 speculation.  I am well sated at the moment, to be honest; I’ve put in over 20 hours in both campaigns on all 3 systems I own it for, and I will eat up the DLC (which sounds like it’s coming very soon, actually) and will enjoy it and savor it, and I would eventually like to get all the Achievements on at least one system.  But thinking about P3 feels like wasted energy.  Valve is already saying some strange things about the future of single-player campaigns, so who knows if they’ll even go there.  The one thing I’ve come away with from my time with Portal 2 is that Valve is made up of a bunch of people that are 1000 times smarter than I’ll ever be, and it is highly unlikely that I’ll come up with something on my own that will be more impressive than what they’ll come up with.

* I know that sentence is grammatically fucked, and I’m too tired to figure out the right way to say it.

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