As I begin writing this post, we are 2 hours and 35 minutes away from midnight in Israel, when Starcraft 2 will be released. For the first time, I will be going to a midnight release of a video game. Not because I’m such a huge Starcraft fan, but, why not?
The hype and excitement over Starcraft 2 is quite crazy, and it’s not like Blizzard even had to do a lot to fan it. Well, that’s not entirely true, they fanned it by not speaking too much about it, and letting gamers who were honestly excited do all the promotion on their own. This is a winning technique, when you already have people going crazy for your next release, no matter what you say or do.
Raynor. Jim Raynor. Human badass.
I really started playing serious video games in my own home when I was in fourth grade. One of the first few games I’ve received was Warcraft 2, and then its expansion (which I didn’t enjoy much with the crazy magic difficulty). I still remember after my father installed it he tried to play and couldn’t get things done, and I got things working from the first few minutes of playing the campaign – I found it intuitive; same as some years later my cousin had Age of Empires and didn’t know how to get things done, and I sat down and within a couple of minutes got the hang of the game.
Well, Portal is two years old, and recently, I assume to celebrate Steam becoming available for Mac users, Valve/Steam had released Portal for free, for about a week.
What is Portal? Historically, it’s a small game that came bundled with Half Life 2: The Second Episode, also bundled came Team Fortress 2. I passed on this game, and never did pick up Portal alone.
Portal had won numerous accolades, and if I had to describe what kind of game it is, it’s a puzzle game, and as many puzzle games, it’s also a platformer. It’s a 3D platformer, but that’s not entirely new, as there had been Rayman 3(D) before. It’s also a first person platformer, which is slightly rarer. Here is a 2D platformer flash based version of Portal someone made online. The maps from this version were later added to the actual game.
Portal, is a game that in a way is based on the physics engine of Half-Life 2, and is a game where you have two weapons: Your wits, and the portal gun. Do try to keep your wits about you. Your Portal Gun (Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device) is capable of shooting two portals, one for entry and one for egress. You can easily cross chasms or walls in this manner, or leap a great distance forward.