Portal 2 is a first person puzzle game with a humorous story and endearing characters. The gameplay focuses on solving fun and well designed puzzles, by placing adjoined portals with your portal gun.
Pro So large in scope that it takes multiple playthroughs to see everything
Portal 2 is larger in every way when compared to the first title, from the longer and more detailed story to the larger levels and new game mechanics. This makes for a title that will last 8-9 hours minimum, with many elements that are worth revisiting, not to mention the co-op section of the game, which is separate from the single player story.
Pro Witty and funny character driven story
Four major characters drive the single player campaign, and they are amazing. Three of which have explosive personalities, bring humor, suspense, sadness, and empathy. The other being Chell, who doesn’t speak but her interactions with the rest of the cast make her all the more mysterious and interesting. Most of the time you don’t even see or directly interact with the characters, but that just shows how great they are.
Pro Co-op does not punish when you want to goof off with or troll the other player
While Portal 2 requires focus and logic, it does not punish players for causing a bit of mischief. The instant respawn system means trolling your friend will affect almost nothing in the game, as there are no in-game setbacks when you die. Being able to stop at any point in the game to just goof around is great for releasing some steam, even when it is at the expense of your co-op partner.
Pro Entertaining and well delivered voice acting
Voice acting for Wheatley the robot is done by Stephen Merchant (Extras, The Office UK, Life's Too Short) in humorous fashion. His delivery is well executed on all dialogue. On top of this specific experience, the rest of the voice acting of every other character in the game is performed just as well, in part due to the fact that the dialogue was written in a smart and entertaining fashion. This makes for a top quality listening experience that shows a lot of care was taken with the voice acting of the game.
Pro Huge selection of user-generated content that should appeal to any use-case
The game has more than 60,000 co-op puzzles created by users through the Steam Workshop and through mods. Because it is user-generated content, the quality and size of these puzzles vary widely, including everything from simple, one-off chambers to full-fledged expansions with high-quality stories, voice-overs, and new gameplay elements (for example, Mel). By having such a selection of content, there should be something that appeals to just about anything someone is looking for.
Pro Creates a sense of accomplishment through a high level of teamwork
Co-op multiplayer offers a completely different set of puzzles from the single-player campaign, which keeps things fresh for those that finished the single player campaign. Almost all co-op puzzles require a high level of teamwork, creating a great sense of accomplishment for the players working together.
Pro Well implemented tools that improve teamwork
In a game that requires perfect timing and teamwork, Portal 2 features many tools to facilitate said teamwork. One of the most helpful tools is a 3-second countdown timer that players can use to coordinate their actions – e.g., to ensure that you launch a portal or jump at the perfect time. There is also a marker that you can place on certain objects for your teammate to see, as well as a setting that shows your partner's view superimposed on the corner of your screen.
Pro Challenging puzzles that require creative thinking
The game challenges your brain to use portals, cubes and other mechanics in order to solve simple and complex puzzles in interesting ways. Trying to figure out the best placement of entrance and exit portals in order to gain access to (perceived) inaccessible places takes a lot of thought, especially in the later game.
Con Steep co-op learning curve
Although the single-player campaign features a gradual learning curve, co-op offers no mercy. The puzzles start off hard and only get harder. It’s highly recommended that you play through single-player first if you are not familiar with Portal's mechanics.
Con Late game single player can be quite difficult
While the single player learning curve is quite gradual, late game the puzzles can become quite difficult, sometimes leading to the player being stuck for long stretches of time. While not impossible to solve, some creative thinking will need to be done in order to finish.
Con Main co-op campaign is short
The co-op campaign in Portal 2 is about 4 hours long for experienced players, meaning it could be beaten in a just a couple days. With almost zero replayability, this makes the game feel incredibly short. Luckily, hundreds of hours of user-generated content is available.