The Orange Box: What's Inside and why you should buy it.

Half Life 2 The Orange Box

Don't know what the Orange Box is? Well Its simply one of the best bundles out there and we're looking at it in more detail, starting with Portal.

Everybody loves walking away with a bargain. When there's potential to add more video games to your library, nobody wants to miss out on a good opportunity.

The Orange Box is really quite extraordinary and offers 5 rather unique games, and guess what? it's dirt cheap to pick up. But what is inside this mysterious "orange box"? It has a rather obscure and ambiguous title for a game bundle and it certainly carries an age to it, since it was released in 2007. 

The Orange Box contains 5 Games, two of which are standalone expansion packs. Half Life 2, Half Life 2: Episode 1, Half Life 2: Episode 2, Team Fortress 2 and Portal.The bundle itself can be purchased for under £5 for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC. 

Let's begin with Portal, which surprisingly happens to be the most popular addition to the bundle, even despite the presence of Half Life 2. Portal is an action puzzle/platformer game largely based on physics and of course, portals. It is played in first-person perspective.

In Aperture Science, an abandoned research centre controlled by artificial life, Chell, a human test subject, wakes up from stasis by several warnings and instructions from GLaDOS regarding an upcoming test, she is promised both cake and grief counselling if she completes the tests. GLaDOS however, is not being honest, and is programmed by default to manipulate the player.

"GLaDOS" is an artificially intelligent research assistant and disk-operating system created in response to Black Mesa's work on similar portal technology. It serves as an assistant helping Chell progress through the game. In spite of encouragement of success, GLaDOS is revealed to become more and more sinister throughout the plot not only increasing the difficulty of the tests but trying harder to kill Chell through putting her in impossible situations throughout the game. After completing the last mandatory test chamber, GLaDOS attempts to maneuver Chell into a pit of fire. Chell escapes and proceeds into the maintenance area causing GLaDOS to panic...

Chell receives a rather special tool during the tests, a portal gun which allows her to travel to unreachable spaces or complete tasks which would seem impossible.

There are two types of portal that the gun can fire, orange and blue. The only difference is colour but only one colour portal can be fired at a time. The portals serve as gateways, for example an an entrance and exit but neither of the colours serve a specific function.

Walking or jumping into a blue portal will exit you out of the orange portal and vice versa allowing you to complete the tests. Momentum and redirection are important features of the game's physics. "speedy thing goes in, speedy thing comes out." as GLaDOS puts it. Objects that pass through a portal exit in the same direction as the exit portal is facing and at the same speed in which they enter. Chell can fir a portal onto the ground, jump into it from a height and launch herself to reach areas that would be considered unreachable.

Chell is fitted with special heel springs which protect her from falling damage, however various other hazards such as turrets, toxic fluid, energy balls will be able to kill her. There are object which can crush Chell and objects that pass through portals can kill her. There is no damage indicator or health HUD, most fatal objects will either seriously injure Chell or make short work of her.

What makes Portal special is it's unique gameplay which is incredibly innovative, it is unlike that of what we have seen in any other game which makes the experience all the more enjoyable. It is not an easy game either, it requires you to use your brain and think so there is a strong element of challenge.

The mystery, lack of introduction or information regarding who you are and why you are in the Aperture Science Enrichment Centre plunging through each puzzle to find answers heightens the atmosphere of the plot. The portal gun is equally fun to use.

Part two coming soon.

 

Below is the Official Trailer for portal:

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