5 reasons to hate Portal

I’m sorry! It’s the Week of Hate, which means we have to brandish our high school debate team chops, hop on Con Air, and obliterhate everything we love and cherish. And we definitely love Portal. Not only did we call Portal 2 "a blazingly memorable experience," we recently declared Portal to be the best game ever. That’s a lot of love, but we’ve gotta do what we’ve arbitrarily decided we’ve gotta do, so here are five reasons Valve’s beloved franchise can go to Oregon and jump in Hater Lake (like Crater Lake, get it? OK, whatever).

1. It’s so damn precious

This one isn’t Portal’s fault; it’s ours. We’ve idolized it (that whole 'best game ever' thing didn't help). We’ve made it bigger than it can ever actually be, and we’ve run everything it is into the ground.

If you can look me in the eye (that’s my eye on the right, go for it) and tell me you’ve never described a cake as being "a lie," then maybe you’re exempt, but the rest of us have spent the past few years beating a horse that’s far from ‘still alive’ (that was a joke, ha ha...).

We’re pretty much over it now, but if you’re still snuggling up with a plush Companion Cube every night and posting pictures of your cherry-topped cakes on Reddit, well, good for you… you probably also enjoy jokes which involve Mario and Stormtroopers in totally wacky situations.

2. The load times are killing us

Alright, this entry is a bit of a stretch... A LOT LIKE PORTAL 2'S LOAD TIMES. They may not have been crippling, but they are awfully long compared to Portal's, which masked them with elevator rides. Plus, this entry was a good excuse for a Modest Mouse reference.

Granted, there’s a lot more going on in Portal 2 – it looks nicer, the areas are bigger, and the scripted events involve the entirety of Aperture falling apart and rebuilding itself. Still, the loading seems excessive when compared to games of similar scope. Speaking of which, new iterations of the Source engine are cool and all, but Source 2? Valve? Gonna... do that? Make a new engine? Yeah? No? Cool.

3. It’s such a tease

Portal was funny, and Portal 2 was funnier. We wouldn’t want either without the humor, but it seems we’ve come to take Portal more seriously than it takes itself. We grew to care about Chell and GLaDOS and Wheatley, so when Valve teases us with suspense and drama only to murder it all with a goofy joke, it’s a little disappointing.

On top of that, the series has had to avoid becoming a glorified Half-Life 3 teaser, but Valve knows we want to know, so it can’t help but to drop in abstruse Half-Life references, and we can’t help but to sleuth around for anything involving Black Mesa. Just announce it already, and stop making us decode secret ARG messages, dammit.

Or don’t. Know what? Since Episode Two, Valve’s new games have been so creative, I’ve really stopped caring if Half-Life 3 happens or not. I’d just rather get a definitive ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on the topic, because I’m tired of disrespecting other games I like by shaking them down for clues.

4. Portal 2 is sorta short or whatever

I don’t have a problem spending $60 on a succinct, polished masterpiece, but if I think back to a time when the only games I played were the ones I begged for, I can totally understand how beating Portal 2 in a weekend would be disappointing.

I still think that making Portal 2 longer would have hurt it, and I’d rather play a short-but-great game than a long, diluted one, but it's hard to deny that that The Orange Box was a much better deal than the stand-alone Portal 2. If you're on the fence, try this: WAIT. Being an early adopter isn't all it's cracked up to be - the price will drop. Or go to Metacritic and give it a shitty score. That would be the mature way to handle things.

5. You’re an ignorant rube

I know these Week of Hate articles are meant to be about hating the games, and not the players, but come on. The most popular argument for the dislike of Portal is something like: "The puzzles were boring. Also it’s not funny and GLaDOS is annoying."

Well, that’s fine, if you’re an ignorant rube. No, no, I’m sorry, I can’t call everyone whose opinion differs from my own an "ignorant rube." That would be totally unfair. To GLaDOS. Who can do it much better:

Above: Barely a spoiler

Apr 29, 2011

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Week of Hate


  • jasoncarter - May 2, 2011 5:28 p.m.

    "Some of us don't get the super Portal love in and just see it as something much simpler and duller than the rest of gaming. why ,must our opinion be seen as crime? I LOVE Valve and their games and don't HATE Portal but do HATE HAVING to love it to be considered normal." I couldn't not agree with you more. I do not get all the crazy fanfare around it. Is portal 1 and 2 good games? Yes. Amazing? Not really. I do not get why people literally start shitting bricks whenever something is portal related. I still havn't bought the second (watched someone play about 2-3 hours of it) and I refuse to until it comes down in price for the same reason I will not buy games that single player aspect are short. It's not economically worth it for me. Portal 1 was, and it was a fun 3-4 hour adventure (bought it at like 10 bucks). I'm not paying 44.99 for a not long single player campaign. I'd rather toss my money at a game I know that will be long, epic, and deeply creative in its own right, by this I mean the witcher 2. You want a game worth that kind of money, there it is. I'll take a 40-80 hour rpg for 44.99 over a 6-10 experience any day given the quality is comparable.
  • crumbdunky - May 2, 2011 1:46 p.m.

    I think the issue with Portal1 and, even more, Portal 2 is that they're too long and too dear as standalone games. Seriously, there's not much there, the puzzles while not boring aren't hard enough to add genuine thought length or value to the experience and I'll continue to be one of the ignorant rubes forever, I guess. Some of us don't get the super Portal love in and just see it as something much simpler and duller than the rest of gaming. why ,must our opinion be seen as crime? I LOVE Valve and their games and don't HATE Portal but do HATE HAVING to love it to be considered normal.
  • trinidadbermudez - May 1, 2011 10:58 a.m.

    Great points GhoulxScout13
  • GhoulxScout13 - May 1, 2011 9:15 a.m.

    While the first Portal (as well as the second) were amazing games, they were far from being anything close to "The Greatest Game of All Time" and in my opinion, the level of praise that it has recieved is a bit baffling. I can't help but agree with what others have said as far as gamings mass love for anything Valve puts out without much question. Case in point; Half Life. I was late to the game playing the series and while I did complete the first two title as well as there respected episodic content, they come off as being decent games in there own right but they certainly didn't blow me away in the same manner of other games have over the years. Case in point, I can't help but look at Portal in the same manner as games such a Braid; amazing games in there own right, but have been bogged down by the amount of pretencious content within the games and more so, how much other have distilled upon the series in question. As a final note, while on the topic of being smug and pretencious, while I enjoy a decent amount of the articles written by Tyler Wilde, I'm started to become more and more annoyed by his work as they drenched in so much pretencious remarks that I have more and more of a hard time taking anything he writes seriously with every article that I read. PS sorry for the extreme leangth of this post.
  • kytano_skorpius - May 1, 2011 5:25 a.m.

    The cake is not a lie. I've seen it.
  • tlopezkid - April 30, 2011 8:59 p.m.

    This hate article sucked. I enjoy most of the articles gamesradar releases but you guys obviously love this game so much you couldn't even FORCE yourselves to make it look bad. Those points you made to hate on it were points that you don't even believe yourself...If it's such a great game, that's fine, but don't make an article about hating a game you love. There's alot of shitty games out there!!!
  • Afrodisiac39 - April 30, 2011 7:20 p.m.

    I've heard complaints about Portal 2 and honestly, I can't really relate. My only complaint about the game is that I loved Wheatley and he got less face time than I would have liked, even if he appeared alot. I agree with the short masterpiece for $60 than a long meh for $60. Hard to hate on a game that's better than most of the ones I've bought recently (bar Pokémon of course)
  • awinnerisjew - April 30, 2011 4:38 p.m.

    @TheKennedyCurse I wasn't aware that the dollar was used in Canada by person with an United States-centric user name. Who also thought that Portal was available as DLC from online console marketplaces aside from Steam (which I'm aware is for PC's, but I figured that would be your next comeback, so we'll just clear the air on that now.) And you think I made MYSELF look like an ass. Gotcha. Gonna hit me with the rubber/glue gambit next, buddy?
  • philipshaw - April 30, 2011 1:53 p.m.

    Number 1 is so true but I don't think the game is too short, took me around 8-10 hours to finish the single player, that is double the length of most shooters these days
  • FunnyNameHere - April 30, 2011 8:44 a.m.

    I'll have you know the only reason I sleep with the companion cube is because I know it wont leave me for someone with a bigger portal gun.
  • joshjacobs - April 30, 2011 4:09 a.m.

    I won't be a hater, but I disagree with this article. I'll fully admit I'm a Portal nerd. I brought two cakes into work the day it came out, I bought Portal 2 day one, I downloaded all the sound files from both games and listen to the songs...a lot. Then again...I am a nerd.
  • burnsideking24 - April 30, 2011 3:09 a.m.

    @TheKennedyCurse Portal has never been in the PS Store. And the PS3 version of the orange box is very hard to find.But I think Valve and Sony should release it on PSN....whenever it comes back...
  • Snowyjoe - April 30, 2011 2:39 a.m.

    He he he. In the PC version load times are only a few seconds!! Woots! We win for once!!!
  • Oliolioliooo - April 30, 2011 1:51 a.m.

    I'm surprised Left 4 Dead isn't in here with the Zoey nude mod as well, and the thing I hated the most is a Tank just waiting for you behind the only door you need to go through...
  • ChiChiRocket - April 30, 2011 12:46 a.m.

    Honestly, I don't feel too bad about #4. I seem to remember you guys writing about an article talking about how games should/shouldn't be longer. I feel that I got my money's worth with Portal 2. It was an incredibly fun and clever game that will stay with me long after I have beaten it. If I had had to pay to experience the feelings that the game created in me after playing it, I would've ended up paying much more than the sales price.
  • SuperStingray - April 30, 2011 12:14 a.m.

    I like this article. It just shows how hard it is to find even 5 legitimate reasons to hate Portal.
  • SideOfBeef - April 29, 2011 11:52 p.m.

    Is abstruse a word?
  • Fedexcommando - April 29, 2011 9:56 p.m.

    @Knight Dehumidifier Those two games are uncomparable. Portal is a Platform/Puzzle and Bulletstorm is an adrenaline filled FPS. It's nice to take a step back from FPS's for a while and enjoy something more relaxing, and Portal is the best at that.....besides Limbo.
  • KnightDehumidifier - April 29, 2011 9:53 p.m.

    It's a first person...platformer puzzle something? It's a first person sans shooter, thus it is lame. Would you rather be shooting the dicks off of crazy psychos in Bulletstorm, or being a pacifist liberal pansy trying to sneak by a gun turret in Portal? Case rested.
  • FauxFurry - April 29, 2011 9:51 p.m.

    Hate harder, will ya'?! You have to be able to come up with more than that! You could probably come up with half a dozen reasons to hate yourself (one reason could be that you have betrayed the spirit of HateWeek ), let alone a game, even your favorite. How about: * There are no violent or criminalistic applications for the portals. It was one great, big missed opportunity for elaborate portal based mass murders (Portal Kombat!!!!) or sandbox larceny (or just give Niko Bellic a faster means to take Roman bowling after teleporting an exotic dancer or two to the alley and/or dispose of some bodies...those things are unrelated!). Portal missed out on the M-rated fun the rest of The Orange Box enjoyed. Not fair at all. *There are no options for romance with GLaDOS or the Companion Cube. Gordon Freeman gets Alyx (kinda sorta). Why must Chell be alone? *It's not Half-Life 3 and thus a waste of Valve's resources. That's enough as it isn't my job to pick nits around here. Fable would make an easier target. You can even point the lack of a lesbian option in the first game in the series.

Showing 1-20 of 67 comments

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