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Portal: Project-Beta

Mod review

Portal: Prelude

Mod review may contain spoilers - 5 agree - 2 disagree

It must be admitted that if you take nothing else from this mod, its sheer scale is quite exceptional. With new characters, voicework, puzzles and approximately double the length of the original portal (not to mention its difficulty in places) it is hard to den the dedication and hard work that has gone into this mod.
The storyline is fairly solid – although I expected the malice of on of the observers to continue – which is impressive and a testament to what can happen if a mod team sit down with a plot in mind. The plot in Prelude is simple enough, you are one of the first few test subjects at Aperture Science, and are set upon to complete the chambers in order to finally see the first run of the new GLaDOS system.
The test chambers themselves are not exceptional in terms of visual but what they do provide is an extension to the game play once you have completed the original game, the storyline ties in quite well as so as a prelude it seems to fit almost to the point where can feel Valve’s wicked sense of humour creeping through.
The puzzles themselves lead you through in much the same way as the original, giving you all the instruction you need in order to succeed in some of the trickier chambers to follow.
As you progress you will find that the difficulty ramps up rather quickly and far surpasses the original game, this is perfect for those who have just (disappointedly) finished the too-short 3 hours of portal and now want more and harder.


Memories Only Chapter 1-2

Mod review may contain spoilers - 1 agrees - 1 disagrees

Coming straight off the back and incorporating the fantastic Portal 2 mappack, Skinnycap dishes up another innovative and surreal take on what we think we know as portal.
Skinnycap's obvious skill was more than successfully shown off in the astoundingly efficient and effective portal 2 mappack which as another review stands on its own and as it takes the form of the first episode of this piece-by-piece mod I wont do it the injustice of attempting to summarize it in a few lines, let us instead proceed to episode two.
I was very pleased to see the same skill and atmosphere which the player faced in episode one continued into the facility areas of episode two, although this time it is clear that we are definitely part of a showcase piece for the developer. The episode is split into 4 distinct ideals, as before we are sent to 'rescue' the personality cores only this time they seem to be hiding in a house.
Personally i couldn't work out the significance of the house, and as one of my favorite parts of portal is flinging myself about gargantuan rooms it seemed almost too cramped to get any good 'portalling' done.
The first phase is a simple run around the house, nothing flash, some good texturing but really just a house.
Second time in the house the familiar toxic-ooze floor is applied which does make thing significantly more interesting and difficult.
Upon our third visit the house is on fire which does get you using the ASHPD a lot more.
It's the fourth installment that really showed off the skill for me though. We arrive in the house, dilapidated 100 years in the future, taking full advantage of some great texturing and problem solving. I would have loved to find a way out of the house, maybe to discover a facility which was storing its remnants?
Either way episode two does do well in once again showing off Skinnycap's skill but it lacked to puzzle element in my eyes, I'm hopeful to see these assumed experiments expanded on in the future.


Gamma Energy

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