Mar 19, 2011

Preview : Portal 2

2011 seems to be a good year for new games. Personally I am looking forward to two games specifically, Mass Effect 3 and Portal 2. I will be discussing Portal 2 in this article and talk about some great mods for Portal 1 to kill the time until Portal 2 arrives.

Apart from the graphic update Portal receives, it will also feature new gameplay elements to make the puzzles even harder. Not to forget a multiplayer function, can't get better working with 4 portals to solve the most complicated puzzles with a friend right?

So what are these new gameplay elements exactly? Lets take a closer look :

1. Excursion Funnels - The Excursion Funnels acts like a beam that can manipulate gravity, you will be able to travel through them and use portals to connect the beam all around the room. You can also move objects through the beams, making the beam act like an elevator.

2. Aerial Faith Plates - The Aerial Faith Plates act as some sort of trampoline. You stand on them and get shot away, making a big leap in the process. Some of them are chained together which makes travelling through the room a lot easier! Again, objects can be shot by using the Aerial Faith Plates.

3. Thermal Discouragement Beam - The Thermal Discouragement Beam acts like a laser, a very deadly laser. By shooting portals or by moving boxes through it you can make this laser move whatever way you want. The goal seems to be to lead the laser to an end destination to activate a door/switch. It is almost the same as the energy balls from portal 1 except the laser is active the whole path it follows. Funny little addition : you can burn through turrets killing them in the process!

4. Pneumatic Diversity Vent - Definitely my favourite. The Pneumatic Diversity Vent is some sort of tube that sucks everything in it. Placing a portal at its entrance is guaranteed sucking power at your other portal. A new way of killing those poor little turrets is born. Who wants to flip them over if you can suck them into a vacuum tube?

Repulsion Gel in action
5. Repulsion Gel - Repulsion Gel acts like an automated jumper that can launch you to amazing heights. The gel will be released from a tube and falls to the ground. You can place a portal just below the tube and move the gel to any place you please. This way you can reach higher platforms with every jump without using the fling tactic ( Speedy thing goes in, speedy thing goes out )

6. Propulsion Gel - Propulsion Gel acts like an accelerator, if you stand on it you start moving faster and faster until you reach velocity, this way you can get to insane speeds by just moving horizontally. The gel will be released from a tube just like Repulsion Gel.

I made you guys a playlist on Youtube so you can see all these new mechanics in real time, credits to the creators of those vids. CLICK

The best new feature in my opinion is the multiplayer function, I just can't explain how awesome it would be to fix all the puzzles with a friend, having an extra pair of portals at your disposal will surely help. I am expecting some real hard puzzles, since the possibilities with 4 portals are endless, and with all these new mechanics I think it will be the best multiplayer experience I had since I started gaming. CLICK for mutliplayer video.

Release date USA - April 18
Release date Australia - April 19
Release date Europe - April 21

Since we need to wait another month until we can play this masterpiece by Valve I will recommend you two mods I found for portal 1. Both of them are genius, funny and can be pretty tricky.

The first mod I recommend is called Portal Prelude ( CLICK ). In this mod you play as a test subject at the time humans were still monitoring all the tests. At the time you are progressing through the chambers you will hear that a new AI is going to take over the testing soon, guess who? Drama guaranteed!

The second mod I recommend is called Portal Pro (  CLICK ). This mod is all about placing intelligent portals, and not so much about making hard fling manoeuvres. This is where you really need your brain to survive the testing labs! I played a lot of custom levels/mods but I have to admit this is simply the best based on the puzzles, some real outside-the-box thinking is required.