Saturday, March 19, 2011

Portal 2 Preview


We make the leap into Valve Time for a quick glimpse at their highly anticipated first-person puzzler.
What we're talking about: Portal 2, the much buzzed-about (and oft-delayed) sequel to Valve's wildly popular puzzler.
Where we saw it: At Valve’s booth on the PAX East showroom floor.
What I knew going in: Quite a bit. I loved every moment of the original Portal, and was lucky enough to spend some time with it last year at PAX Prime, where I got to glimpse at its co-op campaign in action.
PAX East: Portal 2 Preview
What you need to know:
  • While we didn't actually get to see a live demo, we were treated to a couple of lengthy clips of never-before-seen content from Portal 2's single-player campaign. Valve writer Erik Wolpaw was on hand, and told us that the game's single-player campaign will be about two and a half times longer than the original Portal.
  • First off was (roughly) the game's first six minutes. Chell wakes up from her suspended animation years after the events of Portal, and is discovered by A.I. personality Wheatley (voiced by actor Stephen Merchant), who ushers the ever-silent test subject into a tour of the ruined Aperture Science. Time has not been kind to the once pristine testing grounds, and it's alluded to that our protagonist is the last surviving test subject. "Aperture is currently in a state that's kind of like when you unplug your laptop, and it goes into hibernation and slowly runs out of power," explains Wolpaw. "The power's about to go out permanently, which is going to be catastrophic. Wheatley wakes you up so that the two of you can beat a hasty retreat and get out."
  • Valve won't say exactly how long after Portal that Portal 2 takes place. "We're not necessarily putting a number on it, but a significant amount of time has passed."
  • In the second clip, we were treated to an assortment of brand new puzzles -- or "tests" -- guided by the voice of Aperture Science founder and president Cave Johnson (voiced by actor J.K. Simmons). "He was never directly referenced in Portal," notes Wolpaw, "but some of the supporting stuff around Portal referenced him. He's kind of the proto-Glados; before there was Glados, there was Cave."
  • We got to see two new puzzle elements in action: the propulsion gel (launches Chell in the air when touched down on) and repulsion gel (shoots Chell off in a given direction). "Also, if you drench an object in the repulsion gel, that object will start bouncing around the playing field," adds Wolpaw.
  • When asked if there'd be any crossover between the single-player and multi-player campaigns: "In the sense that the stories do connect, and you'll understand how when you actually play them."
  • One of Portal 2's more player-friendly additions: Glowing outlines have been added to both the orange and blue portals that shine through the map, regardless of where Chell's looking, making them much easier to locate after they've been shot. "Keeping track of which portals you fired and where was never something people enjoyed," explains Wolpaw. "We have some bigger environments as well in Portal 2, so we want to make it easier to see so that you can concentrate on solving puzzles, not on 'portal management.'"
  • Wolpaw says that we're going to see much more of Portal's fan-favorite enemies, the turrets. "The turrets are definitely back," he notes. "You're even going to learn a bit about turret culture."
Point in development cycle: Portal 2 is a done deal. It's wrapped up, and just about ready to ship come April 19th on PC, PS3, and 360.
My take: Can't. Wait. I've cleared the first Portal more times than I'd care to count (Oh, it's free on Steam? Better download and beat it. Oh, it came pre-installed on my new laptop? There goes my afternoon.), and with a campaign that's much lengthier and even more steeped in Aperture's madcap lore, I'll be counting down the days until I get Portal 2 in my hands.

Funny Portal 2 Valentine's video:


40 comments:

  1. I wonder how mind blowing this will be. I get dizzy whilst playing the first Portal :D

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  2. Good review sir, definately gonna buy it!
    following up!

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  3. Tons of good info there, thanks for the update!

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  4. I don't know if they can really "capture" the feeling of the first game in this sequel... a LOT of sequels suck so mch

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  5. Man, I can't wait til portal 2!!

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  6. I loved portal 1 so much, looking forwatd how its going to be with number 2!

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  7. Oh man that video made me L O L irl.

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  8. ive got a bad feeling portal 2 is gonna be a let down. The greatness that was the first portal was completely unexpected. I just dont think that 2 will have that same magic. Im fine with being wrong though!

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  9. VERY happy to see the progression in the game. Glad they improved and added stuff we could never have thought of.

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  10. I can't wait for Portal 2....It looks amazing

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  11. portal 1 was really good. i hope portol 2 can manage that

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  12. Cant wait for Portal 2. *drools* :)

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  13. chocolates are for fat people..lol

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  14. cool blog
    following and $upporting

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  15. portal is always awesome game +followed

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  16. Man this game is going to be awesome I cannot wait for it!

    I have a gaming blog check it out!
    http://trapper02.blogspot.com/

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    just wanted to inform you about this "top10"-counter, its pretty useful! Keep on the good work (:

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  18. I'm sure this'll be great but I can't wait for Half life 3.

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  19. Portals, portals, more portals aargh :D

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  20. good post, nice blog.. following

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  21. man, i can't wait for portal 2 to come out.

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  22. Portal looks better than I thought! Thanks for sharing

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  23. Never been a fan of portal, lol

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  24. if you play this game while tripping balls you will oddly understand it better and beat it quicker.

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  25. I want this so badly T_T

    I think I should re-install Portal 1 and start again with it. Definitely.

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