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Let’s Start a Fight: Portal 2 vs. Skyrim

(In which I am super mean in an attempt to make you all explain to me why anyone with half a brain would prefer Skyrim over Portal 2. See? I AM DOING IT ALREADY.)

Listen up, nerds. I may not have a fancy Nerdist video game podcast or a regular column in the New Yorker or a steady income or any income or high self esteem or wear real pants on a regular basis but I do have the courage of my convictions and neither Kumail Nanjiani nor Emily V Gordon (both of whom I love in a creepy stalker way) can sway my opinion on this matter. The Best Video Game of the Year (announced during the Year in Review BBC America show which was so, so good you guys) should ABSOLUTELY have gone to Portal 2 and not effing SkyYAWN.


At this point you guys are either nodding along, muttering, even perhaps yelling “YES! EXACTLY! I AGREE! YOU ARE A GOLDEN GODDESS KIALA KAZEBEE HOWEVER THAT IS PRONOUNCED,” or you are slumped in a bean bag chair, drooling over some cabbages you found in an armoire and muttering about a fireball cat bandit cheese wheel spell thing you would like to cast upon me. Because if you prefer Skyrim over Portal 2 you are a complete moron, is what I mean to say. In a loving manner. But still. Moron.

I assume you want to know my reasoning behind this even though, duh, it seems pretty goddamn obvious, but I’ll tell you anyway in list format, because lists are easy to comprehend for tiny Skyrim loving brains and I have little to no patience for willful ignorance of what is a perfectly simple concept even a child could grasp*:

1. Portal 2 is so funny it could just be a thing you watched for 12 hours without ever touching the controller or solving one puzzle and it still would have had more exciting game play than 5 minutes of Skyrim.

2. In Portal 2, there are no mountains I am forced to run around and around and around until I find a stupid cave or something and finally get to do something other than CHOP MOTHEREFFING WOOD OR WHATEVER. Not one mountain. I hate mountains. And wood. Now.

3. Wheatley.

4. No one really cares about Norse fantasy except maybe hardcore Tolkien fans and they’ve already got ALL THE THINGS.

5. Wheatley.

6. In Skyrim you collect potatoes. In Portal 2 there is a sentient genius mind inside a potato who passive-aggressively tries to get you killed multiple times because its feelings are hurt. That is my kind of potato.

7. Something something lemon metaphor, Cave Johnson, and hobos. You guys know what I’m talking about. It’s awesome.

8. I spent three hours trying to make my elf look reasonably attractive in Skyrim and she still scares the fuck out of me anytime I switch the camera view to third person. Chell, on the other hand, is lovely. (Don’t pretend like you all didn’t do the same thing making your characters into something other than the scary dude from Goonies. If you say you didn’t, you are lying and will not get into Valhalla, so shut up.)

9. Singing Turret Choirs. I mean… what? This game is the best.

10. There is an overwhelming amount of cake in Skyrim, I’ll give it that, but who really wants that much dessert? And isn’t the lesson here that it’s not the illusive cake we’re all desperately seeking… but love? All Skyrim taught me is that I really, really hate uppity mages who won’t share their arcane knowledge with me even though I asked nicely. Twice.

So. There you have it! Now put that science in your bindle and go warm your cold skyrim hands over a hobo fire! (I mean, disagree with me in the comment section)

*I really like Skyrim. I am just playing the Devil’s Avocado. God. I’m really hungry.

UPDATE: My gaming friend Veronica Belmont has posted her own rebuttal to my (incredibly awesomely) right opinion. It’s embarrassing how wrong she is but whatever. Read it at your own risk (of being wrong).


  • As much as I love Skyrim, even to the point that a nice gentleman and I ended a relatively new relationship so we’d both have more time to play — I still have to agree.

    No, wait. Hear me out.

    Portal 2 – Roughly 12 hours of game play. Witty banter, puzzles to solve.. good times.

    Skyrim – Completely immersive world in which you can do whatever the fuck you want. Even if whatever the fuck you want is plucking fish out of a river for 12 hours. Hundreds of hours of game play, right? Surely, you say, this must be the better game.

    I would have said yes, until about two days ago. I love Portal 2 JUST AS MUCH as I love Skyrim. Less content, limited playability, shorter game time… and I still love it every bit as much as the 90-some odd hours I’ve spent playing Skyrim thus far.

    So yes. Portal 2 should have won, in my opinion. Not because it’s a better game… but because it’s just as good a game with way less involvement. And it never kept me from getting laid.

  • Skyrim was pretty and vast. Portal 2 was innovative. But Arkham City was by far the best game of the year. It was more like an interactive movie than a game, but still had everything I love in a good game.

    That being said, I have to admit to not playing the Potato Collector archetype on Skyrim, just sticking to sneaky archer, battle mage and farmer assassin, so my opinion is colored by my inexperience.

    Time to start a new Vampire Potato Collector character. I will name him Spud Boiseidaho, and he will bring great honor to his family name.

  • Unbelievable. You, [subject name here], must be the pride of [subject hometown here]!

    Somebody has to play Devil’s Avocado and I’m glad you stepped up. While I have enjoyed my time spent w/ Skyrim, my Portal 2 memories are significantly warmer and/or fuzzier. Skyrim I can forget about for days in a row, it has not demanded obsession, whereas my copy of Portal 2 has been forced on many a doubtful friend, always with joyous, thankful cheers upon its return.

    Portal 2 is totes my Game of the Year.

  • I have to file both under Games I Haven’t Completed Yet Because I Can’t Get The Xbox Away From My Kids. I’m about 3/4 of the way through Portal 2 and I like the game. But, I like the story more than the puzzles which I get aggravated with because they’re just an impediment to me getting more story. I’ve had Skyrim for two days and have been able to play for about 45 minutes. I’m not even through character creation yet. Not enough experience to say how much I like the game.

  • There is no definite game of the year, it’s all preference of genre.
    Portal 2, Skyrim, and Batman were all just very well made and thought out.

    Personally, Portal 2 was the complete package. People are just still Sky-crazy because it just came out a month ago.


  • For me it comes down to replayability, in Portal 2, I would be playing the same maps over in the same way, with both single and mulitplayer. While I may be playing the same world in Skyrim, I’m not necessarily approaching it the same way twice.

    Also Skyrim doesn’t need multiplayer, Co-op would be nice, though.

  • This is like comparing apples and oranges. These are two completely different types of games. For the record, I hated Portal, so never played Portal 2. That sort of game just does not appeal to me. However, Skyrim has claimed my soul.