Portal was one of the best games of this century: originally a fan-mod of Half-Life, it used a clever-as-fuck game mechanic and outstanding game writing to tell a story and pose riddles that were fun to solve, play and watch.
(The ridiculously great theme song didn't hurt!)
Now, Valve have unveiled an unlikely sequel: Bridge Constructor Portal mashes up the beloved Bridge Constructor franchise with Portal's unique mechanic to devise a series of puzzles that look every bit as fun and challenging as the first two games.
At its core, Bridge Constructor Portal is the same as past games. You have the same tools at your disposal — struts and cables — and the ultimate goal of each stage is still to get safely to the end. But the new Portal theme means the level designs are a lot more interesting, and frequently much more challenging. There are the portals, of course, which let you zip vehicles from one area of a level to the next. But you'll also have to deal with gel that speeds up cars or makes them bounce, turrets that will blow you away if within range, giant vats of corrosive acid, and weighted companion cubes that will help you trigger pressure-sensitive switches.
Each stage is essentially a puzzle. You need to construct a structurally-sound bridge, but more importantly you have to figure out how to use that bridge to navigate the strange science experiments within the lab. Sometimes that means dropping a car straight down a portal in order to make it jump a massive gap on the other side. Other times you'll need to suspend a bridge from the ceiling in order to avoid bright red laser beams. It's about precision and creativity. Across the game's 60 stages it's constantly tossing new ideas at you — all while maintaining Portal's trademark sense of humor. In one level, GLaDOS tries to comfort you by saying that if you die, at least you won't have to worry about your wages being garnished in the afterlife.
Portal and bridge building are a surprisingly great match
[Andrew Webster/The Verge]