An interesting mod, that is for sure. But my thoughts on this one are kind of neutral. These are the times I wish there was a thumb kind-of-in-the-middle rating. Because this mod has both good and bad qualities.
It's gunna be a long one, prepare yourselves!
When I first started this up, it looked great. It has a well-made feel to it, the maps look good and it doesn’t have any sloppy corner cutting or anything like that. You can see straight away that the graphics are an interesting twist on the usual lay out of the testing chambers that we know and love. There are some differences in this mod, the panelling surrounding the chambers are dark a lot of the time with very bright, almost back lit ones, to contrast.
It starts where Portal 2 left off, so I suppose it acts as a kind of “Portal 3 – What happens next” kind of thing. Obviously putting in mind that this isn’t actually officially what happens in the storyline, just a kind of “what if” experience.
The concept in general is very interesting and when I found this on Steam I was really quite excited to play. It gets straight into it and you get your new-fangled technology pretty quickly. One thing that bothered me is that you aren’t exactly welcomed into this new experience. There is no real tutorial on how to use your “time-machine”, you’re pretty much just thrown into it. Admittedly because of this I was wondering about a little while trying to figure how to work it. Old lady with the remote style. Not exactly a gripping start to a game/mod.
After faffing around for a while I realised that a screen in the first room with an animation playing on it, showing you what to do, actually had teeny tiny barely readable instructions on what keys you should be pressing to record, stop and replay you’re past self. First thought being, “Why couldn’t they just put those instructions on screen for a second or two?”
Once you get started the new game mechanic becomes quite enjoyable to play around with. It’s new and unseen in the franchise before so it is pretty nifty when you get used to it. The whole game kind of has a “co-op mode for one person” feel to it. You run around making a copy of yourself to help you through the puzzles. Which is quite interesting, but on the other hand it makes the portal gun feel kind of useless. There is always next to no panels you can actually use the portal gun with. Throughout the whole thing you don’t really use the portal gun that often and it just made me think it was a little pointless to actually have.
And with that, it brings a kind of change to how the game feels as a whole compared to portal 1 and 2. The other portal games are very much focused on the use of momentum and force to get around and solve puzzles. Whereas this is more… running around and hopping on your own back to get around and solve puzzles. Not really the same feel.
Story wise, I’m not even sure if what this has counts as a story. It makes several references and has a little dialog along the way, but ultimately I think this game was a lot shorter than I expected. I expected it to go into and explain what it was trying to get at as you progressed, but it just kind of… ended. Leaving me with “wut juss happen” kind of reaction. I still don’t think I understand what it was trying to get at…
…But all judgements aside, this mod was made by a few guys with a bit of spare time on their hands. Mods, in my opinion, never really have the highest of expectations. It’s a nice little add-on kind of experience for any major Portal fan. All in all I would say it’s worth a go. It’s free and you have nothing to lose.
TL;DR : It has good and bad qualities. No real tutorial, “what?” kind of ending and pretty short. But interesting new game mechanic, nice twist on usual graphics and an interesting concept.