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E3 07: Portal hands on

Posted by: John at 7/15/2007 11:02 PM
Now we're playing with Portals. Well, I got to finally play Portals at the EA booth in the Barker Hanger and it's a fun little quirky game. The version I played was on the PlayStation 3 and the game has very simplistic controls. The left trigger will shoot one portal and when you get another one, the right trigger will shoot the other.

When you are presented with a puzzle, you'll see on the floor some hints as to how to solve it early on. There's no time limit so you can study the level as long as you like to try and gauge your method to proceed through it. The first few levels were pretty simple shooting one portal and making sure I had enough momentum falling through to shoot me past the openings to the exit.

You'll be using objects such as blocks to help you through the level. One level had me creating a portal so that a power ball would fall into the generator allowing me to move on. You'll encounter a nice variety of puzzles from those just using portals to using a combination of portals and objects.

I like how you can plan out your strategy and it doesn't seem like you'll be punished for failing a level in terms of replaying levels you already completed.  The game takes some planning, some puzzle solving skills, and a little bit of luck sometimes.

Portals is a nice little addition to the Orange Box and adds another type of gameplay that's spawned from the Source engine. Combined with Half-Life: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2, you get some great value with the package. Look for this and the rest of the Orange Box on October 9th.