All Hail GLaDOS!

I’ve completed both Portal 1 and 2 before, and went through the process of appreciating the narrative, the elegant play style, and the game mechanics. So, my fellow players and I are faced with a challenge when going back to these games: find things that haven’t been beaten and praised to death.

Due to Portal’s narrative nature, clever designs, and widespread popularity that focused on the artistic and humorous aspects of the game as much as the gameplay, Portal is difficult to extract new things out of for the avid gamer. So, we will really need to take in the entire experience that is “Portal” to be clever in our analysis. 

I noticed when starting up portal 2, not only the dystopian narrative, but also the weaving of story elements together in subtle ways that only a true would notice. For example, the song playing on the radio in the protagonist’s pod is the same tune that will famously appear at the end of the game. The song will open and close the the player’s experience with GLaDOS. 

In addition, this time around I’ve noticed the uses of different palettes to set the tone of the world, depending on whether Chell (the protagonist) is getting the clean testing environment, or whether she has discovered the dark underbelly of Aperture Science. This tonal shift is furthered in Portal 2, where we get to see an old, deprecated Aperture Science that is even more dramatic than the crevices of the testing lab. These sorts of insights will help us bring out new thematic insights from the Portal universe.



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