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There is a lot of noise around Portal 2 these days. I've looked at several videos and I'm interested in buying it.
The "problem" (you'll tell me if it's one or not) is that I never played Portal, the first game of the series.
So my question is simple, should I play Portal before play to Portal 2 because:

  • The story is such that you'd better play the first game first to understand the whole plot.
  • Some concepts are explained in the first game and not repeated in the second one, which would make me miss some little things.
  • Any other things you might think of.
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38  
+It's only US$5 extra to buy a pack with Portal 1 & 2! –  elwyn Apr 26 '11 at 9:42
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@elewyn Really? Where did you look? –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 15:00
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@Justin: store.steampowered.com/app/620/?snr=1_4_4__100. Portal 2: $49.99 (USD). Portal Bundle: $54.98 (USD). Difference: $4.99 (USD). Pretty much $5.00 (USD) extra. ;) –  Jeff Mercado Apr 26 '11 at 17:54
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I should have ordered from Steam, but I ordered from GameStop. I was plying Portal 2 wishing I could relive Portal 1. –  Justin Apr 26 '11 at 17:57
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I was quite happy to find it for free on Steam as I already had a Source game in my library. And as it also uses the Source Engine, it comes for free! :) –  LudoMC Apr 26 '11 at 18:13

7 Answers 7

up vote 115 down vote accepted

I think it's definitely worthwhile playing Portal first. I just started Portal 2 and would probably have been a bit lost without having played Portal first. There is almost no introduction to how the portal-gun and other stuff works in Portal 2 and there are a lot of references to the previous game.

It makes Portal 2 an even better game if you have played Portal.

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24  
+1 for the recommendation. You can't appreciate the pure hatred in the antagonist's remarks without playing the first. –  Jeff Mercado Apr 26 '11 at 8:50
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This is a good response, and should be the accepted answer. The enjoyment of Portal2 is significantly improved with a play through of Portal. –  DavidYell Apr 26 '11 at 9:56
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Sorry, you're wrong. Portal 2 actually does a much better job of explaining the Portal Gun to new users than Portal 1 did. (I just re-played Portal 1 and after 2, and it's pretty poor in comparison. Plus you can hear Valve discuss how they improved the explanation in 2 in the developer's commentary.) –  Django Reinhardt Apr 26 '11 at 12:03
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@Django Reinhardt: If I remember correctly, GLaDOS explains stuff quite well in Portal (how the test chambers works, what to do etc.), whereas in Portal 2 she does almost no explaining.. but maybe I'll have to replay Portal as you did. –  bummzack Apr 26 '11 at 12:23
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No, GLaDOS doesn't explain anything! The game mechanics themselves are taught by the user experimenting (remember the room with the moving Portal Gun?). Portal 2 does a much better job of explaining the mechanics. –  Django Reinhardt Apr 26 '11 at 12:28

You should definitely play the first game.

Not only because it's important to understand the story, but also because its just as excellent a game as Portal 2 is.

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You can play Portal 2 without having played Portal first as every game mechanic is presented in Portal 2. However, you'll spoil the story of the first one doing that as it is a direct sequel (and there are many references to the first one, in the story and in some puzzle).

I think it would be a good idea to play the first one, because once you have finished playing Portal 2, you'll want to play it.

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Certainly a lot of the story elements will make more sense if you have played the first game, however I don't think it's absolutely necessary.

As for gameplay instructions and explaining how things work, yeah, you'd be much better off playing the first one first. Portal 2 drops you much more suddenly into the thick of things than Portal 1 did.

Those reasons aside, you should get Portal 1 simply because it's a kickass game!

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1  
And also cheap! –  Kzqai Apr 26 '11 at 15:55
    
Even free! (if you already had a Steam game based on the Source engine) –  LudoMC Apr 26 '11 at 22:23

Gameplay: Portal 2 can stand on its own. The first levels of Portal are also in Portal 2, letting people in on the basics. The later levels explore techniques and mechanics that are not present in Portal 2. Thus, playing Portal and especially mods like Portal: Prelude can give you false expectations for Portal 2.

Plot: this is not really true. Wheatley vaguely hints about what happened in Portal, then GLaDOS "gives it away".

So yes, play Portal before Portal 2, if you can.

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Portal 2 starts out fairly simply so, from a gameplay standpoint, you won't have a hard time figuring out the mechanics of the game.

However, Portal 2 continues the storyline from the first game. There are also many elements in the game that you wouldn't understand/enjoy/love not having played the first game.

Playing Portal 2 without playing Portal can be likened to hearing the punchline, but not the joke.

Furthermore, if you EVER wish to play the first one, it would be ruined by having played the second one first.

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2  
That’s the perfect simile. +1 –  Konrad Rudolph Apr 27 '11 at 10:36

As already suggested and accepted play the original Portal before starting the sequel is preparatory to have even a greater experience with Portal 2.

But suppose that you are so excited because of all wonderful reviews and nice comments you read around, and you really want to start immediately Portal 2, while the game is installing you can spend 15 minutes doing the following things:

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