Portal 2 launched on Steam, PS3 and 360 yesterday, April 19th, 2011. Leading up to the title’s launch, incredible critic reviews started streaming in from most larger online publications. Portal 2, by those numbers and opinions, was a fantastic sequel that lived up to, and in parts surpassed, the original game.
The critical side of the Metacritic scale? A 95. The user side for the PC version? A 75; and that’s gone up from the initial low 40s the game was receiving.
Gamers that purchased the title over Steam and for the PS3 on day one were treated to a surprise they did not see coming, apparently. Portal 2 has a co-op mode. In that co-op mode is a shop that lets users customize their characters. The shop presents microtransactions, typically around a buck or two in price, in order to access the DLC. Fans slammed that portion, as well as a campaign they’re calling tremendously short.
Here’s one review, spoilers removed, to paint a picture of the anger. This user gave Portal 2 a zero. He justifies that scoring like this:
ValveSucks: If you look past the $90 day one DLC, the obvious console port clues, and the $50 four hours of gameplay, what is wrong with this game? For one thing, it shows how uncreative Valve is…The gameplay holds your hand all the way through with the puzzles. You won’t find a single challenging one in here. They dragged fans around for days thinking they would get the game early if they bought all these games. Fans did get it early, but they paid $35+ for an hour or two early.
These claims are largely unanimous by the crowd tossing 5s or less at the game. While the day one DLC is disparaging, it’s part of gaming as we know it today. Companies make money off of these microtransactions. That helps their success and encourages them to make more products. My thoughts? If you don’t want it, don’t buy it. Yes, they’d be great as simple unlocks, but the marketplace is changing. Microtransactions are the way things are done now, plain and simple.
As for challenge, writing and length? I’m more than halfway through Portal 2 as of writing this article. I disagree with reviews like these on all of the counts I just listed. There are challenging puzzles, the writing is absolutely brilliant and I’ve already clocked four hours at the midway point. Moreover, I haven’t even touched the supposedly five hour long cooperative campaign.
People are angry, but do they have a point? Where do you stand on all of this?