You know? When I started this game, I automatically thought "ripoff."
Test chambers? Portal.
Unknown, mysterious speaker? Portal.
Interesting invention being tested? Portal.
Creepy atmosphere? Portal.
But then I got to the part where the ceiling collapses, and someone else was talking to me. There was a shift of attitude, and then that BAD-A MUSIC STARTED PLAYING!, and then I realized off the bat that I gave this game way too much discredit.
And, really, this has been done before, also. Someone ELSE unknown interfering with the test, but this person is the good guy? The concept's been done before.
But the music--that's what did it for me. When this story concept is being done, the main character is always struggling to survive the test, and the attitude is always morbid. But, man, when that music started playing. Instead, this game turned into a journey. You had hope--you could do this!
But enough about that, how about actually playing the game?
The gameplay is also brilliant. It's an action puzzle game, I'd like to call it, because in many of the rooms you need to have a certain skill level, but you also have to find out HOW to beat it in the first place. Each room provides fresh, new challenges that don't just over-complicate past test chambers.
And I really liked the feature of letting you skip the room. I REALLY wanted to find out what happened, but I was just completely stumped on the last room. Eager to find the ending, I skipped it. Great way to avoid frustrating players.
Anyways, this game is just great. Everything you incorporated in it--music, dialog, gameplay, visuals--added to the game to create a fresh and original story and rewarding and enjoyable gameplay.