Friday, 18 June 2010

E3 2010: Portal 2

The long awaited sequel to the incredibly popular Portal was presented at this weeks expo as well as the reveal of the 'surprise' promised by the creators Valve. Just S&N brings you the details fans have been waiting for and without a single cliche'd mention of cake.....damnit.

The overwhelming success of the original Portal was, in some respects, unexpected. Not least by it's creators who opted to include it as part of the Orange Box bundle rather than release it in it's own right. This was clearly an underestimation of it's success as the title went on to be incredibly well received by both gamers and the industry in general. The long awaited follow up has now been scheduled for a release in 2011 and the anticipation grows as this game looks set to raise the bar on it's predecessor.

The game's story continues on from the previous title, albeit a very long time afterwards and the player controls the same character who has been in suspended animation since the close of the first game. In the previous title the character utilised the portal gun to solve a series of physics based puzzles, in this new installment the player will have a large amount of new toys at their disposal, these include tractor beams, concentrated lasers, launch pads, vacuum tubes and strange paint which allows the character to bounce off hard surfaces or move at very high speeds. All of these new features can be used in conjunction with the portal gun to provide an incredibly wide variety of solutions to the puzzles.

The other new feature is the inclusion of a multiplayer cooperative mode. A series of unique levels have been devised which have challenges specifically developed to be completed by two people either over an internet connection or locally.

The game seems to maintain the strange sense of humour popularised by the first and there are reports that Jonathan Coulton has returned for musical duties (which is unsurprising considering the popularity of 'Still Alive'), hopefully the balance of addictive gameplay and black humour will be successuly carried over into this new title.

The teaser trailer and early gameplay footage show an incredibly more complex environment and more 'behind the scenes' gameplay, allowing the player to escape the prying eyes of GLaDOS for parts of the story offering a new dimension to the story. All in all the game looks to be a step up from the previous title and shouldn't disappoint. Fans and newbies alike will HAVE to give this a look, on pain of death (and not understanding the torrent of internet in-jokes that are sure to follow).

Then came the surprise....Gabe Newell shuffled on to the stage during the Sony Press Conference and amidst a somewhat apologetic speech about his criticism of the PS3 announced that Portal 2 will be coming to Sony's console, with Steam support. To top it all off he also stated that he believes the PS3 version of the game will be the best. This remains to be seen but nonetheless, Portal 2 is already shaping up to be a triumph, only a year to wait.....

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