Teleportation fans rejoice – Valve Software has once again given us a reason to wish we had all mastered in Bio-mechanical Engineering – the Aperture Science Enrichment Center is reopening! Strap on those Portal Guns, because it’s time for more tests!
Portal 2 puts players back in the shoes of Chell, the silent heroine from the original game. It has been hundreds of years since the robot in charge of supervising tests, GLadDOS, was “decommissioned” by players’ portal-producing hands. A downloadable patch, which was released just before the announcement of the sequel, fills in the centuries-long time span between the original and sequel by adding in a second ending. In it, players witness a figure, cloaked in shadow, dragging the heroine to an Aperture Science stasis chamber. Here she has remained, dormant, as years have elapsed.
Over passing centuries, the Enrichment Center fell into disarray. With no inhabitants or workers to maintain upkeep, it became a literal “concrete jungle”. Plants and green flora seeped through the foundation, while previously inhabitable areas gave way to natural decay. It is this general dishevelment that set in motion the events leading to the sequel’s beginning.
Wheatley, a personality core that managed to break free of the parasitic relationship it once shared with GLadDOS, awakens Chell in an attempt to hinder, and ultimately reverse, the current state of devolution. While on their quest (which doubles as the game’s tutorial) the two companions accidentally awaken GLaDOS. GLaDOS immediately begins reconstruction of the destroyed facility, in hopes of putting players through more tests. She’s quoted as saying, “I think we can put our differences behind us. For science. You monster.”
Also included for the first time ever, is a separate cooperative campaign. With its own unique setting and plot, players are planted in the battery operated shoes of P-body and Atlas, two robots dubbed guinea pigs in GLaDOS’ new “Cooperative Testing Initiative”. Shown in previews, the general behavior and interactions between the two robots suggest that they will function much like a comedy duo, even though their only form of communication will be through robotic whirring and beeping noises.
Though Portal’s addictive gameplay will remain much the same, Valve has divulged a few additions to the game. One of these, a paint-like gel, gives players and objects the ability to bounce themselves off of any surface, while another creates a slippery surface to zip across at high speeds. Expect more gameplay revelations to be available as the April 18th release date draws nearer.
Portal 2 grasps the bar set by its predecessor, and hurls it end over end to reach unmatched heights. With a solo and co-op campaign each set to last at least 6 hours (according to Portal writer Erik Wolpaw), more opportunities to snicker at knocked over complaining turrets, and a reunion with the ever lovable companion cube, Portal 2 is going to have no problem finding test subjects this coming April.
Portal 2 preview by ClassActGamer