This page includes spoilers for Portal and mild speculation on the upcoming Portal 2.
Click on the pictures to see Portal 2 footage.
Almost everyone who has played the original Portal remembers it as a unique and exhilarating experience. Combining a simple and original twist on teleportation that could bend the player's brain into a knot, the dry wit of GlaDOS's disembodied voice, and a powerful atmosphere despite the minimalistic setting, all the while ending at the exact point where the game might overstay its welcome; Portal is an iconic game.
But where could Valve go from here? What is the next step from what started as a graduation project (Narbacular drop) by a handful of Digipen students, and evolved into such a gem of a game?
Why...the answer is in the title, of course.
Portal 2 promises us more characters, more puzzles, more gameplay mechanics, more gameplay modes, more narrative, more everything...
But rather than the laundry list of all the new features, it's the interaction of all these elements that will be crucial. Thanks to the capable hands and minds of Valve, we're hopeful that Portal 2 will be even more than the sum of its parts. Erik Wolpaw, one of the game's writers, has stated that each main game mode will take from 6 to 8 hours to complete.
GAMEPLAY & NEW FEATURES
Portal 2 will, akin to its predecessor, most likely be a puzzle game set in a series of test chambers which the player has to solve alone (or with the help of a friend in the coop portion), using a variety of game mechanics and tools:
In addition to its lengthy single player story, Portal 2 will feature a fully fledged two player cooperative campaign with its own storyline, entirely distinct of Chell's wanderings. Players will embody two bipedal robots, Atlas and P-body, and will have to use all their cunning abilities and teamwork to navigate specially designed two-player test chambers.
Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (ASHPD) aka "the portal gun"
What would Portal be without this magnificent piece of technology?...Chell's dessicated corpse in a featureless concrete room comes to mind.
Allowing the player to place gateways (portals) on solid surfaces in order to pass from one to the next, the ASHPD is at the very core of what makes Portal Portal. Through this simple mechanic, many presumably impossible acrobatic feats are now possible.
Valve having hired the former student team behind the brilliant game TAG: the power of paint, their inventive painting mechanic will be put to extensive use in Portal 2. In contrast to the original student game, the player will apparently only be controlling the gel flows indirectly, using portals to funnel them from environmental dispensers to wherever they are needed.
Different colours of gels have differing effects on objects that come in contact with the gel. Blue Repulsion Gel will make objects bounce high in the air, orange Propulsion Gel will make anything that touches it slide at breakneck speed across the floor, and many more colours have been promised.
Taking the shape of directional energy fields that can be diverted through portals, these bluish funnels will allow the transportation of various materials with little regard for gravity.
Pneumatic Diversity Vents
You may remember these transparent tubes transporting cubes and other objects through the chambers of the facility in the original Portal. In Portal 2, you will be able to use the tube openings' suction to handily dispatch hazards.
Aerial Faith Plates
These are simple spring-loaded floor or wall elements that will physically launch the player or any suitable object flying through the air towards a predetermined spot in the room.
Thermal Discouragement Beams
In layman's terms "big red laser of death", these beams will cut through most anything, including sentry guns and the player's limbs. they can be diverted by the use of refractive cubes, similar to the classic Aperture science Weighted Storage Cube, but with a series of lenses in its centre.
Similarly to Portal, Portal 2 will probably feature more challenging variants of test rooms, as well as other game modes. However, nothing has been officially revealed about them yet.
Three writers are tackling the task of hopefully making the game as memorable as its predecessor: Eric Wolpaw, Chet Falizek and Jay Pinkerton. The game is said to have over 13 000 lines of audio dialogue and monologue.
Not much is yet known about Portal 2's actual story beyond the accidental re-awakening of GLaDOS by Chell, and the latter's continued attempts at evading deadly traps in order to escape the psychotic AI's clutches.
Portal 2 most likely takes place entirely within the confines of the Aperture Science research facility. However, a century has passed since the events of the original Portal, and the years have taken their toll. The facility is dilapidated and overrun with vegetation.
The game will also feature a separate two player cooperative mode, starring two bipedal robots: Atlas and P-body. Little is known about them or their story.
During the time-span between the two games, robots (possibly Atlas and P-body) have been continuing the testing process within the desolate Aperture Science facility. The awakening of Chell will bring a new element of humanity to the experiment.
The protagonist of the original Portal will be making a comeback as the unfortunate playable lost test subject, as you guide her through hours upon hours of tricky puzzle rooms and uncover the secrets of the Aperture science facility.
The aforementioned psychotic AI created by Aperture research scientists went rogue and rid the entire of facility of all human life through the use of a deadly neurotoxin before the events of Portal.
After her presumed destruction at the end of Portal, she will be making a comeback as the evil overmind and probably main antagonist in Portal 2, terrifying the player with her maniacal ways and incisive comments.
Atlas (blue) & P-body (orange)
Respectively constructed from a personality core and a sentry gun, Atlas and P-body will have to help each other in order to manoeuvre their way through a series of challenges in the two player coop portion of Portal 2. They have a range of emotional responses available, from hugging each other to laughing derisively at the other one's misfortune. Being robots, they can be infinitely rebuilt while wading through a test chamber.
This loose personality core was at the core of Portal 2's first controversy, when it was first shown with placeholder voice acting by Richard Lord, a Valve animator, which has since been replaced by the voice of Stephen Merchant, a professional British actor.
Wheatley is possibly the first sentient entity encountered by Chell in Portal 2. He has a rather positive and over-enthusiastic outlook on life (as far as one can call a robotic brain "alive") and is said to be but one of the many loose personality cores to be encountered in the game.
Portal 2 will be released on PC, Mac, Playstation 3 & Xbox 360. the Plastation 3 version will include the Steamworks framework, allowing for automatic updates and other features on par with the PC & Mac versions, as well as cross-platform multiplayer.
It is available for pre-order in various stores as well as on Steam for the PC & Mac since February 14th 2011.
You can find more official information at Gameinformer.com, and also check out our video section [LINK INCOMING].
PC system requirements
OS: Windows 7 / Vista / XP
Processor: 3.0 GHz P4, Dual Core 2.0 (or higher) or AMD64X2 (or higher)
Memory: 1GB XP / 2GB Vista
Hard Disk Space: At least 7.6 GB of Space
Video: Video card must be 128 MB or more and should be a DirectX 9-compatible with support for Pixel Shader 2.0b (ATI Radeon X800 or higher / NVIDIA GeForce 7600 or higher / Intel HD Graphics 2000 or higher).
Audio: DirectX 9.0c compatible
Mac System Requirements
OS: MAC OS X 10.6.6 or higher
Processor: Intel Core Duo Processor (2GHz or better)
Hard Disk Space: At least 7.6 GB of Space
Video: ATI Radeon 2400 or higher / NVIDIA 8600M or higher
written by Brumisator
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