Jason Buhrmester reviews the mind-bending puzzle game "Portal 2" for Xbox 360, PC and PS3.
One of the most brilliant and original games ever was almost an afterthought. Developers weren't sure what to do with Portal, a mind-bending puzzle game that lasted only a few hours, and eventually lumped it in as bonus content with the best-selling Half-Life series, where it became a cult classic. In Portal 2 (360, PC, PS3), the sequel and first full-length game, main character Chell returns to Aperture Laboratories to face off against GLaDOS, a hilariously twisted artificial-intelligence system that delights in challenging her to escape chambers loaded with lasers, fans and other hazards. Chell's only weapons are a gun capable of creating a portal between any two flat surfaces and surface-altering paint that allows her to bounce off watts and run faster. The gameplay is genius, forcing you to think dimensionally to find a way out of each puzzling chamber. The new co-op mode allows players to work together as a pair of robotic characters as GLaDOS attempts to turn them against one another. It's part WALL-E, part brainteaser and possibly the game of the year.