Imagine a Portal 2 with no GLaDOS, Chell, nor portals. Set in the 1980s. With competitive multiplayer and quantum co-op. And multiple endings. At various points, those were all things that could have hapened, as revealed by Valve last night in San Francisco.
Our German-speaking audience might be scratching their heads right now, wondering what the big deal is. Well, the big deal is everything, video game or not, sounds much more intense in your language. The sinister sounds more sinister. The humorous sounds... well, more sinister, but in a funny way.
My birth father was born in Germany, so I feel a deep connection to the country. I planned on learning the language myself, though I'm afraid it would lose its magic if I suddenly understood what it meant.
I guess that's how German-speaking folks feel when watching this video. It's up to the rest of you to tell them how amazing their language is. I'm counting on you.
Portal 2 started off as a very different game: one without Chell, GLaDOS, or even portals. Speaking at Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Valve writers Chet Faliszek and Erik Wolpaw talked about the many concepts they had to throw away before they crafted the game that ended up being one of the best games of 2011.
For example, what's that above? It's a rare look at the game's canned competitive multiplayer mode. "While it's fun for about two seconds to drop portals under people and things like that," Wolpaw explained. "It quickly just devolves into pure chaos."
The original concept for Portal 2 featured a different main character, but the concept behind how the game would start was largely the same. Here, the player is waking up in a gorgeous environment designed to look like paradise--but it quickly falls apart in The Truman Show-fashion, revealing that the player has been trapped in a relaxation chamber for an unknown period of time.
Before deciding on reviving GLaDOS for the sequel, Valve explored setting Portal 2 in the past. It would be a prequel without portals, one where Aperture Science's Cave Johnson would be the villain. Without an ominous robotic overlord threatening your life, Valve played with a number of ideas for robotic partners--like Betty, seen above.
The co-op story was also different. Originally set after the events of Portal 2, GLaDOS originally sent the robotic pair on quests to find human "artifacts" in order to become more human. One such artifact was this comic, obviously inspired by Garfield.
Portal 2's original ending was quite the opposite of the astronomical finale gamers were ultimately presented. One concept had players needed to use a voice command to take back control from the game's final villain. Poking fun at Chell's apparent muteness, the game would fade to black as Chell uttered one word that would close the game--"yes."
My admirable, handsome, humble, delightful paymaster Mr. Walker already mentioned the remarkable looking Mari0 in October, but it wasn’t out then. Truth be told, it’s not quite out yet – but at about 10 tomorrow evening, this amazing mash-up of Super Mario and Portal 2 will downloadable. I point out it’s Portal 2 to make a clear distinction: it has the gel and it will eventually have online co-op (currently it has local) in addition to the Portal gun. It also has Super Mario Bros, but let’s not hold that against it. Even more moving imagery of it exists through this portal. Come… 0
While NECA rolled out a bunch of impressive Valve-licensed stuff, I was still charmed by the Portal 2 offerings shown by ThinkGeek. Along a Companion Cube cookie jar and talking turrets, they also had Aperture Science cores that blurted out phrases from the Portal games. But the highlight had to be the Science Fair kit that you could plug into a potato, calling back to one of the best moments in Valve's teleportational sequel. (Potato not included but the poster backdrop is)
ThinkGeek also had Minecraft wares on display, too. Those wall-hangings should keep the Creepers away, no?