Portal: Still Alive – Demo Impressions

Portal: Still Alive is a full fledged single player Portal experience that released a few years ago via Xbox Live Arcade. Having beaten Portal and Portal 2 (more recently) I was compelled to try out Portal: Still Alive’s demo. If anything i wanted to see if the puzzles were honestly anything special compared to the full games. Valve Software are the developer while Microsoft Game Studios the publisher. Like I typed earlier, Portal: Still Alive is a exclusive Xbox Live Arcade game. You can only play the demo or full game on the Xbox 360. It originally released back on Oct 22, 2011.

Upon start-up I was greeted with the normal menu options found in most XBLAGs. Start Game, Challenge Maps, Leaderboards, Achievements, Help & Options, Unlock Full Game and Return to Arcade. The button layout via Xbox 360 gamepad: LS-move, RS-camera, A/LB-jump, X-pick up objects, LT-fire orange portal, RT-fire blue portal and B-duck. The controls and button layout felt the same like with all Portal games. Simple accurate and precise can describe the controls. Whether playing Portal on KB/M or the Xbox 360 gamepad your getting the exact same great controls. Portal: Still Alive is no different.

For the trial demo you playthrough Test Chamber 00 Chapter 1. The demo took me about twenty minutes to play through it. The game starts out with the protagonist waking up to Glados’s voice. You get up out of your test-pod. Glados keeps talking and eventually opens the door in which time the tests begin immediately. Portal: Still Alive’s demo is about finding the Blue Portal device for the gun as well the Orange. The puzzles weren’t difficult at all since i have beaten both Portal games by the time I played this one.

Image from Portal: Still Alive

Puzzles ranged from gravitational portal jumps and manipulating energy balls to activate switches using portals. One test room had water you had to avoid. Since your just playing up to the point of getting your Portal gun’s abilities the puzzles were nothing special. I’m sure the full game has difficult puzzles but the first twenty minutes didn’t have any. I must say Portal: Still Alive hasn’t aged well. The textures were very washed-out and blurry. The game did stutter quite a bit which was unexpected. The sound design and voice acting was good. Glados made her witty remarks  in between test chambers.

It is Portal people and Portal is fun. Still Alive was fun. Its Portal’s formula for success that makes the game addicting and fun. Portal: Still Alive also had Challenge Maps that seem interesting offering a different gameplay experience. As far as the game’s entire presentation goes it seemed like its it’s own actual full game. I don’t know how long the full campaign is. Judging from the demo if it took me 20 minutes to find the Portal gun parts i’d assume the game should last a couple hours.

Portal: Still Alive’s demo was good. Its Portal after-all. This game may look bad at three years old but its still fun to play. Check out the trial demo or full version via Xbox Live Arcade when you get the chance. If you love Portal i’m sure you played this game three years ago. Thanks for reading.


Leave a Reply