I am a cynical bastard. There's no denying it, and I think that a lot of people here would probably agree with me . I am just very simply not satisfied with most of what popular culture or the entertainment industry has to offer. As such, my list of "perfect" games is very, very short.
This game is on that list.
I really enjoyed Portal 1. When I heard there was a sequel in the works, my cynical nature kicked in. "Why the hell would they need to make a sequel? The first one was perfect, how could you possibly expand on that? This is just an attempt to cash in on the popularity of the first game." Etc. I am very glad to say I couldn't have been more wrong. Not only did it improve on the first game, it DEVASTATED it. If Portal 1 was "great," then Portal 2 moved that bar higher to where Portal 1 is now just merely "good."
Before I played Portal 2 I heard all the hype about it (but thankfully none of the spoilers). I admit that I did let the hype get to me, which is dangerous (especially for a cynic) because things rarely live up to their hype. But not only did it meet up with expectations from the hype... it was actually better than what I had expected. That's never really happened with any other game I've ever played... except Portal 1 . Portal 2 really is just top quality all the way through.
I played it for about half an hour or so, but it was basically a boring cutscene that you move around in with some guy talking. And some easy "puzzles" from portal 1.
There are a couple reasons that you play the first Portal 1 puzzles over again at the start of the game... the first is that those puzzles are already pretty much the perfect way to introduce the idea of portals to people, so for new players that didn't play Portal 1 it's easy to get acquainted. The second reason is all atmosphere for those that did play Portal 1... you get to see a familiar environment from the first game, and how dramatically it has changed since last time you were there. That direct comparison with the old and the new is a pretty powerful tool. It is familiar, yet something is obviously wrong. It was a pretty smart move in my opinion, as it sets up the player with an uneasy feeling right off the bat.
Unless you just find it boring, I guess. Can't help you there, though.
At any rate, new puzzles pop up almost immediately after that. And later on the game diverges rather wildly from the puzzle-room setting, even more so than the first game.
As far as the "some guy talking" thing goes... well, if that really bothers or bores you then I guess you probably shouldn't bother trying to play through the rest of the game because you will have "some guy" or another talking at you all throughout. Portal 2 is VERY heavy on story. If you take the time to pay attention to the atmosphere and the story though I think you will be pleasantly surprised. It is surprisingly deep and engaging for a game such as this.
And remember, this is all coming from a cynical bastard who is never satisfied with anything.