This is a great deal for any PC gamer yet to sample Portal's puzzling delights, as after trying the first game you'll be eager to play the second one. You have a gun that fires two portals to travel around the puzzle rooms in one of gaming's most unique experiences. The robotic voice of GLaDOS 'guiding' you through the facility is the star of the show and is brilliantly matched in the second game with the addition of Stephen Merchant. There's a lot of space out there and you'll want to see it all.
Thanks to rugbytruck at HotUkDeals.
Portal 2's Aperture testing duo P-Body and Atlas are back on October 4th in a chunk of DLC titled 'Peer Review'. The best part? It's completely free! The add-on will download automatically via Steam on PC and Mac, and will be available on PSN and XBLA starting Tuesday.
Alongside the new co-op testing track, which will see you run into GLaDOS once again, the DLC will offer both singleplayer and co-op Challenge Modes along with Leaderboards.
Get testing on Tuesday!
Artificial intelligence is a key part of any game's mechanics... but also provides epic scope for unforgettable characters in their own right. The idea of self-aware programs becoming key players in a game's narrative has persisted for years, and this week, we're going to take a look at ten of the best.
And no, GLaDOS doesn't take the top spot. Read on to find out which piece of software manages to snag first place!
Note that this list is Portal 2 Spoiler-free, though it does contain a couple of spoilers for much older games. Robots are also disqualified, sorry HK-47!
Halo's popular personality construct was always going to grace this list with her translucent presence. She's a dab hand with a MAC cannon, capable of worming her way into enemy computer systems and a fantastic source of intel for lone cyborgs behind enemy lines.
However, though we concede that she brims with sass, wit and one-liners, we can't help but notice that she's a bit of a nag. Players actually have more fun when she's not around to boss the Master Chief about, so sadly, she'll have to make do with tenth place. Plus, the level named after her could well be the lowest point of the entire Halo franchise.
Eden sits at the core of Rez; a pure and trusting AI who's tasked with documenting humanity's data flow. However, the stress causes the kind and gentle program to shut down - with her defence protocols providing a serious challenge to any hacker suicidal enough to attempt to reboot her. The penultimate stage in which her shattered consciousness is restored stands tall as one of gaming's most powerful moments, and for that, we have to concede her a place in the list.Click here to continue reading this week's Top Ten! >>
The original Portal was inventive, quirky, thought-provoking and, quite frankly, mind-bogglingly good. It was the little game that could, in many ways, bundled in as it was with far louder, already-established critical darlings - three episodes of arguably one of the finest video game series that has ever existed and a beast of a multiplayer shooter sequel that has neither waned in popularity nor appeal. But when The Orange Box came out, Mr. Freeman and co. were seemingly critically sidelined, they were old news all of a sudden. All eyes were fixed firmly on the four-hour-long pristine, puzzling gem.
The basic premise provided by the small team working on it back in 2007 was perfect in its simplicity: armed with a gun that could place physics-bending portals, one created entry and exit points to navigate 'testing rooms', not to mention various lasers, machine gun turrets and other, often literal, pitfalls. It was glorious, a tightly wound, intensely focused treat and, in GLaDOS, Valve had unearthed that most rare of characters - a comedy gem, shot through with black humour, self-reflection and manipulative psychopathy.
If there was a criticism to be made, though, it was that we wanted more. Given the taste of this new gourmet, reality-bending delight, we gamers wanted to spend more time playing about with Valve's new toy. The tasting platter proffered in The Orange Box made us yearn for a full banquet. Thankfully now, with the full weight of Valve' focus behind it, the little game that could has spawned a far larger sibling. A beautiful melody has crescendoed into a magnificent symphony. And if you were one of those people who begged four years back for more, rest easy. Your prayers have been answered. Portal 2 is astoundingly good, and here are three good reasons why...Click here find out why you NEED to check out Portal 2...
After we got hands-on with the opening scenes of Valve's puzzler sequel at the EA Showcase a few days ago, we sat down to have a bit of a chat with Valve scribe Chet Faliszek about keeping people's attention, teaching people how to laugh and the trials of portraying a story through wall scrawlings...until we made him cross and he threatened to steal our stuff...
Matt Gardner: The original Portal was released to huge critical acclaim as part of The Orange Box, what was the thinking going into Portal 2? How did you want to build on the successes of the first game?
Chet Faliszek: Well there were a whole bunch of ideas we had for Portal that, as a pretty small team, we weren’t able to necessarily deliver or execute on. So as we got the weight of Valve behind the full project, as we weren’t making ten games at once, there were a lot of things we always wanted to do that we finally got to explore. Like, the labs reconfiguring right in front of you. We wanted – with the puzzles – to increase the complexity, not necessarily at the expense of accessibility, but to really expand upon the world and the mechanics we created with the first game.
Matt Gardner: So how have you gone about maintaining the focus, the intensity, of the first game? How big a concern was keeping the player interested at all times, considering the expanded length this time around?
Chet Faliszek: Well, one of the big things for us at Valve is the process of play testing. We play test and we play test and we play test. We bring people in from the outside, who’ve never seen anything of the game, and they’ll vary – some will be hardcore gamers, others really not so much, and we’ll watch the way they play, how they react and ask them for feedback throughout the process.
So we look at the puzzles and how people go about solving them, but it’s also a good way of checking out pacing. I mean you’ll get sick of anything after a certain length of time (whispers) except for my wife (laughs) but everything else... So we look to shake things up and break up not just the action, but also make sure visual stimuli are varied , the same with audio, and the same with puzzle design.Click here to read the rest of our awesome interview with Chet...
The original Portal is rightfully hailed as being one of the finest games ever made, and a follow-up was inevitable. Portal 2 is one of the most anticipated titles of 2011, and we were delighted to play through its opening levels at a recent EA showcase in order to test out its new setting and tweaked mechanics in action. For the record, I tested it on a PS3 - which Valve promises will be the superior version.
Before we continue, dear reader, be aware that I'll be essentially recounting the first twenty minutes of Portal 2. Consider this a major spoiler alert, and purists might be better off reading Dave's less obtrusive look at Valve's emergent masterpiece that focuses on analysis rather than description.
Click here for a spoileriffic look at Portal 2's first twenty minutes...
A lot of time has passed since the events of the first Portal, in and out of the game’s universe. Outside, the title that was fairly experimental and never meant for glory blossomed and acquired a fanbase far outstripping the most optimistic projections Valve could have come up with.
Inside, Aperture Science has crumbled around your stasis-held avatar, the whole place wrecked by age and neglect. The only thing that seems to be working is a robot, Wheatley, voiced by Stephen Marchant, who (even if you’re not a fan) works well as the neurotic, nervous personality core that will act as both guide through the game and little orb chum.
As the world seemingly crumbles visibly around you, Wheatley explains (a little) what’s been going on and how you and he both have the same goal - getting the hell outta Dodge. A series of gentle puzzle rooms in the traditional Portal vein present themselves and you’re soon reacquainted with the gun itself.Click here to read the rest of Dave's hands-on Portal 2 preview....
Portal was arguably one of the most surprising things to come out of The Orange Box. I mean we all knew Half-Life 2 was going to be good, but no-one was really prepared for just how stunningly inventive and utterly captivating Valve's little mind-bending puzzler would be. The few videos from E3 were enough to send even the most casual of fans into a flurry of forum debate and we got to see a little bit more at Gamescom.
First of all, Wheatley, the comically-English hovering sphere that serves as something of a sidekick during the continuing adventures of Chell, is now voiced by Stephen Merchant. As we meet him he's cracking up because he's been incorrectly informed that turning on his own flashlight would kill him, after realising that's not true he calms down and floats along merrily beside you, insulting you accidentally one moment and endearingly apologising the next. Frankly, it's good to see his West Country burr being put to better use than advertising Barclays.
GLaDOS is back...and she's a little narked that you tried to kill her. Just as gloriously sinister and childish as before, she figures that you're actually the same...except you managed to kill her and she needs to return the favour. Cue a whole new array of perils to navigate, only this time you won't just have the Portal Gun and the Companion Cube to help you out.
This video was all about the goo, of which there are two types we saw in Portal 2: red and blue. The latter - Repulsion - is useful for bouncing around. Redirect one of the streams that come pouring from the walls and ceiling onto a surface and it immediately becomes springy which ,as the video demonstrated, is useful for dropping sentry guns onto and sending them flying.