Best of 2011 Runner-Up: Portal 2

This week Shacknews finally reveals its top five games of 2011. Today we announce our first runner-up, Valve's Portal 2. Tomorrow, our Game of the Year for 2011 will finally be revealed.

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With Portal, Valve took the mechanic of shooting--something we're very familiar with--and used it in a whole new fashion. Using a gun that opened portals, Valve created a geometry-based puzzle game, the object of which was to use the openings to navigate increasingly challenging test chambers. With that starting point established, Portal 2 hits the ground running.

Portal 2 tricks you into thinking you'd never leave the unfriendly confines of the Aperture Science labs. Then the game blossoms, blowing down the very walls needed for its portals and opens up into a fantastic adventure. Breaking out of the test chambers feels liberating, answering the question: "what could I do with this portal gun in the world outside a test chamber?"

Peeking behind the curtain at Aperture Science offered an intellectual story that fits the puzzling pace just right. It's fun sci-fi, just campy enough, without becoming so silly it can't be taken seriously.

The crowning achievement of Portal 2 is its co-op mode. Working with a second player more than just doubled the complexity of the game. Solving a puzzle with a friend offered the same surprising, euphoric feel of the original Portal. For that feeling alone, Portal 2 stands as one of the high points of 2011.


The Shacknews 2011 Game of the Year awards are based on a weighted scoring system between all staff writers and editors [here's how it works!]. Last week we revealed our "Honorable Mentions," which include the titles that did not quite make our overall 'Top Five Games of the Year.' This week we reveal that Top Five list, with our Overall Game of the Year award being announced on January 20.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    January 19, 2012 12:00 PM

    Shack Staff posted a new article, Best of 2011 Runner-Up: Portal 2.

    This week Shacknews finally reveals its top five games of 2011. Today we announce our first runner-up, Valve's Portal 2. Tomorrow, our Game of the Year for 2011 will finally be revealed.

    • reply
      January 19, 2012 12:02 PM

      ohhhhhh wow. this is an interesting development.

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        January 19, 2012 12:03 PM

        #1 is Dark Souls, obviously.

      • spl legacy 10 years
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        January 19, 2012 12:08 PM

        Well IGN stole the thunder already on this one, so they had to change it up!

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      January 19, 2012 12:03 PM

      Uhh.. so GOTY is..... BF3?

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      January 19, 2012 12:13 PM

      Wow, I honestly thought this was going to be GOTY.

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      January 19, 2012 12:16 PM

      What happened to letting Shackers vote for GOTY? I can't remember when that last happened.

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        January 19, 2012 12:22 PM

        Must have been back in the Gibson era.

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          January 19, 2012 12:24 PM

          the site even had radio buttons and such. it was totally rad and sweet.

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        January 19, 2012 12:40 PM

        [deleted]

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          January 19, 2012 12:49 PM

          I didn't even see that, would have voted for Dark Souls. Oh well. No surprise Skyrim won here, people seem to really love it. I personally think it's pretty overhyped but to each their own, I'm glad there were so many games people enjoyed this year!

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          January 19, 2012 5:11 PM

          Oh, right. I forgot. It's "Us vs. You."

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          January 20, 2012 4:55 AM

          Much more interesting, thanks!

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        January 19, 2012 1:45 PM

        2008. DroidChatty still cannot post to news articles.

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      January 19, 2012 12:32 PM

      Serious Sam 3!

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      January 19, 2012 12:35 PM

      It's going to be Witcher 2

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        January 19, 2012 12:38 PM

        I just can't imagine how they came to that conclusion, assuming you're right. I mean, it wasn't a bad game, but aside from looking good and improving on the previous game in some ways, it's just not that spectacular compared to say, Batman, Skyrim or Portal 2, all of which are sequels that, IMO improved or changed far more and in better ways from their predecessors.

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          January 19, 2012 12:43 PM

          Witcher 1->2 changes were massive compared to Portal 1->2 changes.

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          January 19, 2012 12:44 PM

          Witcher2 was the best RPG to come out since planescape torment.

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            January 19, 2012 1:10 PM

            How so? I mean, it had multiple paths sure, but the story and gameplay didn't strike me as anything special.

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          January 19, 2012 8:50 PM

          I'm going to need a list of improvements.

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        January 19, 2012 12:43 PM

        Well I don't know if it was GOTY, but it was better than Skryim.

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          January 19, 2012 12:45 PM

          I thought it was pretty damn awesome. I think the only part I didn't like was the comic-book-style cutscenes. The music was great, the graphics were great, the story was great, and I preferred the fighting mechanics in W2 over W1.

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            January 19, 2012 12:46 PM

            I liked the anime style cutscenes, gave it the brief narration some style, but weren't long enough to be annoying.

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            January 19, 2012 12:47 PM

            It also blows my mind a little bit that I'm missing roughly a third of the game because I haven't replayed and made different decisions.

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              January 19, 2012 12:49 PM

              [deleted]

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              January 19, 2012 12:50 PM

              Yea I was waiting for the DLC to do that myself, I need to get on that. Going to go all alchemy this time, went pure sword last.

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              January 19, 2012 1:16 PM

              Yeah, my friend chose a different path than me, and I watched him for about 20 minutes and he was like "hey where do I go next?" I didn't have a freaking clue.

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        January 19, 2012 1:02 PM

        Witcher 2 supremacy.

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        January 19, 2012 1:15 PM

        I hope so, it easily deserves it. I came home everyday and couldn't wait to fire it up and forget to eat, or use the restroom. I even bought a new power supply and video card just for that one game. It had difficulty, story, graphics etc etc.

        Easily my GOTY.

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      January 19, 2012 12:55 PM

      well, I'm stumped. The last three are the three games I would have thought would be the #1.

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      January 19, 2012 12:58 PM

      for rpg newbs that loved skyrim would witcher 2 be worth checking out?

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        January 19, 2012 12:59 PM

        Yes

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        January 19, 2012 12:59 PM

        its definitely worth checking out. some characters and their interactions won't make total sense, but it's really rewarding and has great set-pieces.

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          January 19, 2012 1:00 PM

          well that's not a glowing GOTY type recommendation sir

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            January 19, 2012 1:01 PM

            he didn't ask for a comprehensive game review, he asked if it was worth checking out.

            verdict: yes.

            ????????

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        January 19, 2012 1:05 PM

        well shit it ain't out for the xbox until may?!

        lame. and no i don't have a valcan computer.

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        January 19, 2012 1:09 PM

        A lot of things are better in Witcher2. Namely the voice acting, art direction, animation and combat. It has decisions that affect huge sweeping arcs in the game. Each arc has it's own things going for it.

        It doesn't have a lot of the content that Skyrim has, and it's not nearly as open, but the content that is there is polished. It's an extremely solid 30-40 hour game.

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      January 19, 2012 1:53 PM

      The perfect game only ranks runner-up? Weird. ;) I mean, even the post-release support was perfect: free, awesome DLC!

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      January 19, 2012 2:49 PM

      We're working on a recap video of the Game of the Year for Monday. Here's a little tease!

      http://chattypics.com/files/GOTYbf3PNG_8h0qeprhsn.png

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        January 19, 2012 2:51 PM

        Train Simulator 2011!

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        January 19, 2012 2:51 PM

        oh fuck off if its bf3 you guys are a joke

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          January 19, 2012 2:53 PM

          more like awesome !!!! I LOVE YOU ALICE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will totally protect you while you use the MAV or mortar !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          January 19, 2012 2:53 PM

          Whatever do you mean?

          I love you guys/gals.

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            January 19, 2012 2:55 PM

            I'm half expecting this to be a huge troll and you actually award GOTY to Minecraft (which would be a controversial but great game)...

            But BF3? Oh my god, you can't be serious.

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          January 19, 2012 3:15 PM

          Settle down MercFox1, there's no way they're giving GotY to a game where you have to literally walk for hours to get into the action.

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        January 19, 2012 2:55 PM

        Also, before this gets out of hand... Do not pay attention to the URL of the image.

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      January 19, 2012 3:28 PM

      Chances of a "Portal Kombat" 1-2 finish?

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      January 19, 2012 7:32 PM

      I am very happy my favorite web forum totally agrees with my choice for number 1 and number 2 game of the year. Although both are so close, I call it a virtual tie.

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      January 19, 2012 8:12 PM

      Jesus.. this is still going on?

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        January 20, 2012 4:56 AM

        My thoughts exactly, this is a pretty ridiculous overkill way to do it. We're closing in on February here.

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      January 20, 2012 1:39 AM

      Portal 2 was enjoyable and interesting, but after I finished it and played all cooperative games, it rest on my library untouched. I think other games have had a much wider impact on my gaming life...

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      January 20, 2012 4:29 AM

      I knew it was gonna be Duke =D

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