When considering the classics of modern video games, few titles come to mind as quickly as the portal series. What once started as a student project has been upgraded to a full Half-Life spin-off and bundled with the first releases of Half-Life 2: Episode 2 and Team Fortress 2. It wasn’t always necessary to use physics-based puzzles. New, but with a truly unique atmosphere and tight pace, Portal has become a true standout in its early collections. For the first time, Portal has added the Portal Companion Collection to Nintendo’s platform. Not only does this collection bring two of the greatest puzzle games of all time to Switch, it also reminds us why these titles have been worshiped for nearly 20 years. If you haven’t played either game before, this is a great starting point for beginners.
I usually start these reviews with a brief plot summary, but the portal doesn’t really require a referral. Controls a woman named Shell who is being tested for a series of chambers that require the use of a handheld portal device. This portal gun allows you to create a portal and shoot holes that allow users to walk between two points instead of bullet holes. While this mechanism is seemingly simple, the test chambers are challenging and each adds a creative twist to the way portal guns are used. All the while, you’ll be guided by the ironic and somewhat demonic voice of the robot. The original portal has various twists and turns that you can see using the portal gun in combination with blocks, turrets, rockets, and more. Portal 2 refines movements and puzzles by introducing a number of new mechanics such as gels, lasers, and bridges with different properties. Portal 2 relies heavily on the player who played the original game and will be even more grateful for all changes after playing the original game.
There has always been debate among fans about which of the two titles is better, but my personal preference is always Portal 1. Portal 2 is absolutely great, but Portal 1 is a paced master class. The original game will finish in a few hours. This helps give each chamber its own identity. Portal 2 has some stunning sequences, but it tends to drag in the middle and late in the game. Thankfully, with the companion collection, you don’t have to worry about which title to choose. These can be considered the “final editions” of both games. Each game has all the additions added over time, including bonus maps, developer commentary (definitely worth playing if you’re already familiar with Portal 1), Portal 2’s multiplayer components, and more. Features are included. It’s a little.
It’s not surprising that the game runs fine on the Nintendo Switch. Portal was released in 2007 and Portal 2 was released in 2011. Both have been ported many times before. The source engine in which they are built works well on the switch. You may be surprised at the frequent load times between chapters and test chambers, but these are the same as the latest versions of Steam and high-end PCs. Frankly, the Switch version of Portal is perfect for playing on the go. If you like it, there is also compatibility aimed at the motion of both games.
However, a distinguishing feature of Portal 2 has always been multiplayer mode. This is a completely independent mode with unique challenges and puzzles that need to be solved by two players. Playable online or in local co-op, it’s one of the most satisfying co-op experiences I’ve had. If the main game has already required some ingenuity from the player to resolve the test chamber, multiplayer mode doubles the number of portals that can be placed. This mode really relies on communication and I think in-game ping does the right job, but it’s best to play multiplayer with friends while using the voice chat service.
The Portal Companion Collection only offers Switch two of the best games of the last 20 years at an affordable price. They have been offered on multiple platforms, but it’s great to eventually have both portal games on the Nintendo console. The port works fine on the Switch and provides a great overall experience. If you’ve played countless times before or are jumping portals for the first time, Portals 1 and 2 make a great addition to the Nintendo Switch lineup.