Portal is a video game released by the gaming corportation, Valve. It infuses together two different genres of gameplay, FPS (First-Person Shooter) and puzzle. The game is extremely popular within the gaming world, with its inventive and idiosyncratic character appealing to a large target market. Portal is based around one character as she completes a number of tests within a lab, seduced by the reward of cake if successfully completed. She is armed with a “portal gun” which allows her to create portals, or warps, in order to complete missions which she otherwise would not be able to do. This feature of the game gives it the uniqueness and imaginative aspect that entices gamers. The game includes an enemy which is portrayed through the A.I robot GLaDOS, or Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operation System. GLaDOS seems like a friendly at first notice, however changes throughout the game. He also narrates the game.
Gameplay comprises of many elements and concepts, one of which being flow. Disjoint and broken consistencies are not popular as they do not achieve flow or enjoyment for the game player. Portal is able to achieve good game flow throughout the entirety of the game. Flow also makes the player settle and discover the true way in which to complete the game. Portals downfall with this is that the levels are very easy towards the start and then exponentially increase with difficulty. The challenging nature of the game is intuitive and addictive, until around level 17 and 18 where the challenging factors of the game clearly up a notch. The sudden increase in difficulty was exasperating and made me quite uninterested with the game. This was accompanied with the fact that levels were not marked or assessed which left the player up in the air with the way in which he or she was performing. This can be argued in saying that without such system of feedback that the game moves more freely and quickly, however, as the game increases with difficulty at a rapid and sudden time, I feel the gamer needs to know how they went on each level in order to improve and advance their ability in the gameplay itself.
Portal accomplishes the concept of interest curves, with the control of interest levels with progression throughout the game. The way in which the game makes the mind focus is not only genius but necessary. The brainpower required to complete certain levels changes from very challenging puzzles with a larger amount of time to complete the mission, to concentrated phases of fast reaction and quick thinking is needed. Challenge and Conflict
Personally, I experienced Portal as a smart, but very challenging game. The sudden increase in difficulty and the anticipated high level of brainpower required by the player adds to the dimensions of the games character. The game forces creative thinking, allowing a number of different ways in which to complete the missions as you progress through. Interest for the player is implemented through the game in order to prevent boredom or a disliking towards the game. This is seen through A.I robots posing a clash, feature levels, and a number of small challenges.
These small challenges at first glance seem like a detour from the games actual purpose, however, these levels actually teach the gamer certain concepts and methods in which to complete the missions, acting as a tutorial, without the boredom of one. The increase in difficulty and learning curve experienced can be seen through the use of the portal gun and for what and how it is used. Whether it be for double portal jumps or being attacked by A.I robots. Interaction and Control
The controls used to play Portal are simple and easy to pick up, even to a beginner gamer. This is achieved by the game employing only eight keys for total gameplay. The interaction during the game is quite detailed and humanistic. Doors, buttons, control panels and even a companion cube can all be utilised or opened somehow. The environment…