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When I first heard about Portal, Portal 2 was available and popular, so I bought it. I liked Portal 2 a lot because of its puzzles mostly, but the story and jokes are nice too.

I'm wondering whether I should buy and play Portal now, so what does Portal have that Portal 2 doesn't?

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    @MrLemon, you kidding me? Comparative analysis of two things is opinion based?? Chair has back and table doesn't - this is not subjective, since everybody would agree on this. Furthermore - that information would be useful to all who haven't seen chairs. That kind of answer I want - Portal has X and Portal 2 doesn't. – klm123 Nov 11 '15 at 10:53
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    Possible duplicate of Should I play Portal before Portal 2? – user101016 Nov 11 '15 at 10:59
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    "What does Portal have that Portal 2 doesn't?" is not opinion-based. "Should I buy Portal?" is opinion-based. Unless you are under the impression that Portal 2 is some sort of direct upgrade of Portal 1, in stead of a sequel (doing all the things you'd expect form a sequel). – DJ Pirtu Nov 11 '15 at 11:09
  • Portal is to Portal 2 as The Hobbit is to the Lord of the Rings. – Thorbjørn Ravn Andersen Nov 2 '19 at 15:40
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Mechanically, Portal has almost nothing that isn't in Portal 2. 2 was built upon the success of 1, expanding the story and gameplay. Where 1 takes about 1-2 hours to complete, the single player story in 2 has up to 10 hours of gameplay on a single playthrough.

In terms of design, 2 didn't deviate that much from 1, instead adding more of the same. The puzzles in 2 add new mechanical elemants (goo, for example) that weren't present in 1. As MrLemon pointed out, the energy ball was removed in Portal 2, but was replaced by the lasers which exhibit mostly the same behaviour in the puzzles. All that said, if you played and enjoyed 2, 1 will be mostly more of the same thing (which is a good thing).

What Portal 1 does have that 2 doesn't is the particular configuration of puzzles (such as the boss battle). More importantly, it has its own storyline and develops the characters, which leads directly into the next game. If you enjoyed the humour and characters, the first game has some of this and playing it will lead to a better understanding of the sequel.

An important point is that Portal is a short game and is available cheaply, so you're not at risk of spending a ton of money or time in trying it out.

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    Portal 1's Energy ball mechanic is not present in Portal 2, although it's mechanically largely equivalent to Portal 2's laser mechanic. – MrLemon Nov 11 '15 at 11:08
  • @MrLemon Right you are! – Samthere Nov 11 '15 at 11:09
  • @MrLemon Ain't it available in the workshop map editor? – BadAtPHP Nov 11 '15 at 12:45
  • The only thing that you seem to have missed is the storyline. The relationship between GLADoS and El. There are also references to the Companion Cube that make reference to Portal 1, and the story of the Ratman, but that is more of an easter egg than a plot point. – Ben Nov 13 '15 at 7:57
  • @Ben I don't think I missed that; I touched on it briefly in the third paragraph, but I focused on the mechanical content prior to that (although I didn't write about specific characters). – Samthere Nov 13 '15 at 9:31
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Imagine it's kind of like Sudoku or other puzzle games: You have the same set of rules but different "problems" to solve.

If you enjoyed Portal 2 go and grab the first part as well. Its fairly cheap right now ($2,49 where I am) so theres really not much to lose from just getting it

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    I downvoted this answer, because I feel it answers only the tittle of the question, ignoring what's written in the body of the question. Especially at the end of it. – DJ Pirtu Nov 11 '15 at 11:12
  • the question in the body was added after i finished this answer it wasnt there originally – Eumel Nov 11 '15 at 11:37
  • Hi Eumel, I think this is a pretty good answer, I just wanted to check to make sure I got the price symbol correct in my edit. Remember that Arqade is a site with visitors from around the globe, so the price may vary a bit around the world :) – Robotnik Nov 12 '15 at 7:29

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