I don’t play a lot of video games. I never really have. There was one phase where I played a ton of NBA Jam TE (What up, Charlotte?), and I’ve always enjoyed Mario, but other than that, you’d be hard-pressed to catch me sitting down with a controller in my hand.
Still, every now and again a game comes out that successfully captives me with how innovative it is. I may not be moved to play it, but I can definitely understand its appeal and the admiration people have for the imagination displayed by the game’s creators.
Portal was one such game.
I haven’t yet played it, but it was a short game that Valve released with The Orange Box game bundle for Windows and Xbox 360 back in 2007. The game went on to win over 30 game of the year awards because of its intelligent, innovative gameplay, and it became famous for introducing an entirely new gaming mechanism to the masses – portals. It was through the use of portals that players had to advance through each level in the original game. They’re kind of hard to describe, but they’re easier to understand when you actually see them in action:
Given the original game’s massive success, it was only a matter of time before Valve released a sequel, and it looks like that time has come (or will come, sometime next year).
Here’s a first look at Portal 2 from the recently concluded E3 conference:
Valve’s taken the original concept and gone crazy with it, introducing a bunch of new gameplay elements, including tractor beams, propulsion gels, pneumatic vents, and more.
I doubt I’ll be one of the first to play the sequel when it comes out, but it’s the type of game that’s so cool and smart that it’s tough not to admire the creativity behind it.