5 reasons to hate Portal

Turns out portals can really facilitate a good circlejerk

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%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;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%26rsquo;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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Associate Editor, Digital at PC Gamer
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