Strawpoll: Is Portal 2 a Puzzle Game



  • Honestly, until Bosman said that, I had never even conceived of notion that some people might not think it's a puzzle game. The whole thing is puzzles! I proposed we figure it out half-jokingly. But I'm glad you took my half joke and made it a full joke.



  • I am convinced Bosman sometimes just decides to be difficult for the sake of being difficult :laughing:

    Portal 2 is a puzzle game for sure. You are solving puzzles to progress through the game. It's an open-and-shut case.



  • No it is not, it is an Action Adventure.

    definition of Action Adventure:
    let's start with it's predecessors, the Text Adventure.
    A Text Adventure is a Text Based Game in which you solve puzzles with objects in the environment around you. you play the whole game via text input.
    then came the "Graphics Adventure" or how we now know it "Point'n'Click Adventure". instead of text based, these now use graphics and usually mouse inputs. the basic concept is the same tho, you solve puzzles with Objects in the environment around you.

    THEN came the Action Adventure, it too has all the elements of the Text and Graphics Adventure, but now with "Action" Gameplay.
    action gameplay in Portal being, avoiding and defeating the Turrets and the mild platforming.
    you still use objects in the environment to solve puzzles.

    Action Gameplay + Adventure Gameplay = Action Adventure



  • @Whoaness I'm also on the side that says yes it's a Puzzle game, but those are user-defined tags. It says it right there. That's not Valve calling it a Puzzle game, it's the Steam community.



  • After a day, its 31-2. That's.... telling. @kevboard I understand your train of thought, but I'm unclear on how applicable it is for other franchises. Per your understanding, is your definition applicable to others, or only to Portal? Example, using your definition, do you consider Uncharted, Tomb Raider or God of War puzzle games? I do not because even though they have puzzles, and some good ones at that, it is not the PRIMARY focus of the games. Which is where I believe the differences are born. Even though we can clearly identify that there is platforming and "Action" in terms of avoiding the turrets, it is a puzzle in order to "defeat" them, and it is this type of gameplay that is not what primarily Portal is about.

    More importantly, THANK YOU for your input! I really like there being a dissenting opinion as it fosters an educational discussion about what games should be categorized as.





  • @Brannox
    to answer your question about those games, Uncharted is a Third Person Shooter with terribly implemented Action Adventure elements, Old Tomb Raider (so 1-Underworld) are Action Adventures, New Tomb Raider = TPS with Metroidvania elements and God of War is a Character Action game with Action Adventure elements (especially GOW:Ascension)

    of course a game's genre isn't defined by the influences, but by its focus
    but Portal has strong Action Adventure elements. maybe a Puzzle Game + Action Adventure mix. it's not that easy to say of course in this case, but it has elements of both, especially Portal 2 has a lot of Adventure elements.
    the thing is, Puzzles are the focus of Adventures, and they are the focus of Puzzle games, so the question is, where we draw the line, when does a puzzle game become an adventure game? where's the border ^_^

    I mean, what u do in old Tomb Raider games isn't that different from what u do in Portal, is it? you move blocks, push buttons, jump around and use the space you are in to solve puzzles and get to the next level/area. both games have enemies and both have bosses (in Portals case 1 boss).

    so I really don't know where to draw the line atm ^_^



  • @kevboard Allow me to respond in order:

    1. I find your points on Uncharted and the new Tomb Raider interesting. I would identify both as Action-Adventure, but in terms of Tomb Raider and God of War, I agree, especially in God of War's case. I guess my only counterpoint on Uncharted is that becomes less and less the case the further the franchise goes. For Tomb Raider, your point about Metroidvainia is an excellent one, as I never really considered it that way, because I never found the need to revisit areas, even though I did have the capability.

    2. Completely agree about focus, hence my emphasis on primary mechanics. I would argue Portal 1 is more puzzle than Portal 2, (While I see both as puzzle games) because of story implementation. It is through story that Portal 2 forces the player to do things that are not necessarily puzzle related. However, it is the primary mechanic that I draw my line meaning...

    3. The distinction, in my opinion, comes down to each person's interpretation of what they feel should be that said mechanic. So, in effect, what do we as players think puzzle mechanics are? It is from this understanding that we make our decision, be it a single genre or a mix of styles.

    4. All of this being said, I feel Portal 2, first and foremost is a puzzle game because I believe puzzle mechanics are: tasking players to critically analyze a situation (be it lethal or nonlethal, indefinitely or under a time constraint, or other factors) that requires the manipulation of objects within an environment, or the environment itself, with only one, or a small amount of, solution(s) (less than or equal to 3 or 4) in order to progress in a game. Despite the fact that its first person, you shoot a device, interact with characters, and can undertake optional tasks, puzzles are the backbone of the game's design.

    I love this discussion. :-D



  • @Whoaness Yes. Also, that's a pretty definitive answer you've dug up. Good job.



  • It's an FPPS. First Person Puzzle Shooter....okay maybe not but it's definitely a puzzle game and a great one at that. Genres are allowed to evolve