Portal or Hellgate?

A friend of mine showed me Portal last night. I may have to get it. Portal is annoyingly packaged in a compilation called “The Orange Box” which contains other games that I don’t care about. Really, should I care about the three Half-Life 2 games in The Orange Box when I’ve never played Half-Life 1? I don’t play FPSs, so I’m not particularly interested in Team Fortress 2, either.

Apparently I can download Portal from Steam for $20. My list of games I can purchase for the remainder of the year only includes Hellgate: London, so I will have to make a trade if I want Portal. I haven’t played the Hellgate: London beta in a couple of weeks, and internet people tell me that there’s a new build. I’ll see what this new build is like and then make my decision.

By the way, I joined this new-fangled Steam Community. If you want to add me to your Steam friends list (or any other game-related friends list), my user ID is located on my Contact page on this blog.

  9 comments for “Portal or Hellgate?

  1. 16 October 2007 at 09:41

    I’m going to tell you to get both. Portal is a can’t miss – but it is very short. Hellgate is a can’t miss as well, but it is not short at all.

  2. 16 October 2007 at 10:35

    I’m not an FPS person either, but HL2 is surprisingly fun. I’ll get around to checking out Portal soon, I’m sure… the Orange Box is sitting in my 360 right now.

  3. 16 October 2007 at 10:49

    I know you’re not really a FPS fan and I know you haven’t played through the first Half Life. But, I’d really recommend checking out the whole package deal. Here’s my rationale (because you knew I’d have some):

    $50 for 5 games; $10 a piece which is an amazing deal. You will blast through Portal in about 3 hours. There are a few extra bonus missions, but you probably won’t get much more than five hours out of it.

    I started playing Half Life 1 and didn’t ever finish it. The list of FPS games I’ve finished is very, very small. Half Life 2, though, is an excellent achievement in storytelling and doesn’t really require you playing through HL1, other than maybe reading the wiki entry on the story.

    Half Life 2 is really, really damn good. Even for a FPS. You can play it on easy and you won’t ever really have to worry about death, if you’re not very interested or good at FPS. There’s a lot more problem solving and physics-based puzzles than normal FPS and it’s more of a thinking person’s game. The story is good and fun. There’s a lot to love in it.

    Portal is great, don’t get me wrong. Probably one of the best games I’ve played in quite sometime, but it’s very, very short. And if you’re comparing the $20/3-5 hours (being generous) Portal to the $50/who knows how long Hellgate: London to the $50/30-40 hours of the Orange Box, my recommendation is to go with the complete Orange Box…even if you never touch TF2…and give Half Life 2 a try.

    If you don’t like it, you can virtually smack me and never listen to my advice again. ;)

    Besides, Portal takes place in the Half Life world and actually has a plot. Don’t you want to know how it fits in? ;D

    I’ll add you tonight when I get home to my steam account. terrymesnard is my user name.

  4. 16 October 2007 at 11:47

    Get Hellgate: London. It will keep you attention for far longer than Portal could ever hope to. Most people I know beat Portal the first night they got it. I haven’t beaten it yet, but I’ve been busy with TF2, and HL2.

    Portal is, for the moment, short-term fun. Hellgate has proven longevity, and for someone who interested in the other games that come in The Orange Box, you might as well wait until you can just grab Portal by itself.

    By the way, how is Hellgate: London? I never got into the beta.

  5. 16 October 2007 at 12:37

    If Portal is a short game, then I may actually be able to finish it. :? I suck at finishing games. *sigh*

    Thanks for all the comments/opinions so far. :)

  6. 16 October 2007 at 14:11

    It’s quantity vs quality. Portal is quite possibly the best four hours of gaming I’ve ever played, mostly due to the absolutely amazing script and voice acting. (The core gameplay is solid but by the time you finish the game you feel like you’re still only just beginning to explore what your portal gun is capable of.) For what it’s worth I squeezed another three hours out of it by immediately replaying it with developer commentary once I finished it.

    Hellgate on the other hand looks set to be an epic experience, but from what I’ve seen of the previews its excellence is far from assured. It could be the game of the year, and it could be an enormous flop.

    So basically are you looking to see the equivalent of a fantastic movie, which’ll go back on the shelf once you’ve watched it, or are you after something to suck up 100+ hours of your life?

  7. 16 October 2007 at 20:14

    Portal. Awesome. Enthralling. Even if you’re not normally a fan of the FPS genre. But, yeah, as has been mentioned, short, unless like me you just like playing around with the physics engine. Not really sure if it’s worth $20 but as an add-on to other games I wanted anyways, it’s great.

    You can always just sample the flash version, too.

  8. 17 October 2007 at 01:32

    Everyone else has pretty much said what I was going to say.

    Portal = awesome but short.

    Perhaps you should just spend a day at your friend’s place and play through it on their account. That what I did. Cook them dinner in return or something :)

  9. Dagda
    22 October 2007 at 13:25

    If you’re still debating: In half-life, you were a research scientist named Gordon Freeman at the Black Mesa research facility, which opened up a portal only to be faced with hordes of invading aliens. Equipped with a protective hazard suit, you proceeded to fight through the alien forces and close the portal, only to have a mysterious man in a grey suit congratulate you for your efforts and then place you in stasis. His motives are unknown, but the “G-Man” is certainly one hell of a jerk. Meanwhile, the enslaving masters whom Half-Life 1’s aliens were fleeing have now been tipped off about the existence of earth…

    That paragraph told you all you need to know about the first game. Heck, the NPCs of Half Life 2 are really just retroactive continuity. Half-life 2 may be amazing in terms of gameplay- which is much more than just shooting things- but it’s also worth playing simply for its immersive presentation of an orwellian sci-fi future. See http://youtube.com/watch?v=GGKw-6ElNKQ for a further example.

    Short version: Orange Box, definitely, in this reader’s opinion.

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