Portal: Prelude, as its name states it, is an unofficial prequel to the game Portal. Its story revolves around the pre-GlaDOS epoch, even before she was plugged in. At this time, test subjects were monitored by real Aperture Science employees, whose work was tedious, lengthy and repetitive. This is why they decided to build a great artificial intelligence that could both replace them in these difficult tasks, and also take responsibility for many other tasks within the complex and compete with Black Mesa's superiority. All employees of the Aperture Science complex are now eagerly awaiting GlaDOS. Maybe even a little too eagerly, as the upcoming events will tell... This game is totally free. It offers a bit more gameplay hours than the original Portal, with 8 chapters, 19 test chambers, 48 challenges, 6 advanced maps, a brand new storyline and more than 400 lines of english speech with dozens of subtitles translations.
This is really good. I love mods that try to stay cannon to the original story line of the game. This one pulls it off with almost complete success. The main thing that bugged me was the voice acting, or the lack there of. All the voices are obviously computer generated and give this mod a cheap feel to it. The monotone, consistently-paced voices of the two guys guiding you through the test chambers are often annoying because they are so robotic when they obviously are not supposed to be. Voice acting aside, this mod delivers challenging gameplay and a fun story that I think all portal fans will enjoy.
good production value and nice voice acting, yet the test chambers are fairly unispired and in contrast to what the makers claim do not require you to think with portals. The solutions are quite easy, only the execution requires precise timing and jumping. Not my way to think with portals.
Since I know I'm going to get some haters here, may I point out that this is in MY OPINION.
To be blunt, this mod is horrible. Despite being free, it is incredibly overpriced (don't ask how that works :P). It's free, so give it a shot, but don't expect any quality.
Let me start with what's good. As far as I can tell, the story is pretty good, and at least there was SOME work because it was of a respectable length.
Now that I've said everything good about this mod, let's here the bad stuff. Any credit deserved for the story is immediately sacrificed because, THE GAMEPLAY IS SO ******* HORRIBLE THAT YOU CANT STAND TO PLAY ENOUGH TO HEAR IT. This also makes all the work put into the respectable length useless because I couldn't stand to play them.
Gameplay. Let me ask you, in a puzzle game, should you see the solution right away (unless it's one of the first few chambers)? If you do, then should you have such an impossible time actually doing it that you second guess yourself and waste your time doing something completely different, then go back and forth and back again? Should it take you hours to do a chamber that took you perhaps a minute to figure out, merely because the designer neglected to make it doable?
NEWS FLASH: Yeah, a puzzle game shouldn't be easy. However, in this it is hard in the worst way possible. Portal has a major emphasis on how cereberal it is. A PUZZLE game should be hard because you have to think through it, not because executing it is impossible. How DARE you compile **** together and call it under the name of one of the greatest games of all time, that is nothing like your mod in any way that actually matters.
Sorry for ranting, but this mod is a complete piece of ****. It was a complete waste of time. And I didn't even point out that even in the cave johnson era, they used prerecorded messages, not sadistic ******** that want to kill you for no reason. Honestly, not a single thing in this was thought out for more than a second.
Despite all illogical and generally boring puzzles, all of which I've managed to complete by myself, I feel bad about this mod. It could be some good, if it had no plot and no voice dialogs. Scenario is such an idiocy. Scientists that talk like mentally retarded while killing girls in test chambers? Really? And after Abby survives they are making a party with cake and balloons? If I would be her, I'd killed every single of them with chair or other staff that comes in hand. GlaDOS killed everyone with gravity beams and lasers? Whole place got half-destroyed before Chell's arrival? I feel like devs haven't understood original Portal's plot at all.
Dialogs is another idiocy. And its not that using Microsft Sam voice and other tools is bad, it's text in these dialogs that is horrible. It sounds like a bad parody on Portal. Where in Portal have you single time heard words "****", "****", "crap"? Comment on Abby's ***? Shows decency level of creators. "Jokes", if they can call be that, are flat and too far from sparkling humor level set by the original. All other phrases makes no more sense then maps.
In addition, while some music tracks fit very well in Portal theme, choosing Chemical Brothers for final fight is another retarded idea. "GlaDOS likes it more then cake"... pffft.
Overall, I'm aware it's only a mod, but I'm judging by the goals set by this mod. If it whould be only a map-pack with puzzles, it could be good. But it tries to be something more and fails at that generally.
I agree with Darkurai's review, he explained all flaws better then me.
If I were to give Portal: Prelude any credit, I'd say it was very ambitious, and I'd congratulate the developer for finishing it.
However, the mod is not entertaining. It has terrible voice acting for one, because the creator himself admitted he could not be bothered to find actual people. In addition to terrible voice acting, the characters that need the voices are all very badly written. They have an unecessary amount of malice for the player; while that was funny in Portal, it lacks any semblance of actual humor in Prelude.
Prelude's gameplay is also deplorable. The developer preps the player, telling them to prepare to "think with portals", but the mod is anything but that. The solution to the puzzle is often glaring you right in the face, whereas the actual challenge is just trick jumps that require perfect precision. The developer defends his decision to remove what made Portal so fun by saying "it would have taken too long to make actually challenging puzzles", and while I don't have a source in front of me, that is literally how I remember him saying it.
The scale of this mod is impressive, but overall it's not worth playing.