Takes A Simple Concept and Makes It Brilliant

User Rating: 9 | Portal LNX

I give Portal a lot of praise because it manages to take a genre I don’t normally like, puzzle games, and make it highly enjoyable for me. Part of that is it’s humour, which is fantastic, but it also take’s what is a very basic concept and makes it complex without being annoying. At it’s core you make up to two portals, but it’s up to you to figure out where to put them and how to use them to get to the end of a room. What I loved most was that for most of Portal it was very logical, it didn’t feel cheap or trying to be overly difficult for no reason. While a few times I felt stumped for a bit I always was able to figure things out because the game wasn’t being cheap in any way. The voice acting for Glados was some of the best I have seen and really made what would have been a great game into a classic. The end credits still make me smile to this day. The graphics were decent for it’s time, neither mind blowing or an eye sore. They have a very clean look to them for much of the time until near the end where you get into the bowels of the facility. The clean looking rooms were nice although the more dingy parts later showed the age of the engine more. The game does a great job of dropping hints about the lore as well as tying it into the Valve universe with Half-Life.

I played Portal on Linux. It never crashed and I didn’t notice any bugs. There are nine graphics settings; four AA settings; six AF settings; a v-sync toggle and an FOV slider that goes from 75-110. Alt-tab didn’t work. You can manually save whenever you want. Performance was fantastic which wasn’t shocking given the age of the game.

Game Engine: Source

Graphics API: OpenGL

Disk Space Used: 3.88 GB

Graphics Settings Used: 8xAA; 16x AF; 100 FOV; v-sync on; all settings at highest except blur off

GPU Usage: 17-60 %

VRAM Usage: 1009-1448 MB

CPU Usage: 3-11 %

RAM Usage: 3.1-4.2 GB

Frame Rate: 132-144 FPS

Portal is a game that many will enjoy and still holds up today. It was a lot of fun and combines great game play with voice acting and presentation. It also does a great job of not overdoing it and not overstaying it’s welcome. Anyone should at least try the demo to Portal. I finished it in two hours and thirty one minutes. I paid $49.99 CAD for it as part of the Orange Box years ago and it is easily worth it’s current price tag of $11.49 CAD.

My System:

AMD Ryzen 5 2600X | 16GB DDR4-3000 CL15 | MSI RX 580 8GB Gaming X | Mesa 22.0.0 | Samsung 970 Evo Plus 500GB | Garuda Soaring White-tailed-eagle | Mate 1.26.0 | Kernel 5.17.1-zen1-1-zen | AOC G2460P 1920*1080 @ 144hz