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Valve: Portal 2 "Will Train You" With A Considerate Difficulty Curve

Jonathan Lester
Difficulty curve, Games news, Ninja skills, Portal 2, Valve
Portal 2

No "Twitchy Ninja Skills" Required

Valve: Portal 2 "Will Train You" With A Considerate Difficulty Curve

We're incredibly excited that Portal 2 is finally set to release on 18th April, but the precision platforming and insane acrobatics that we've seen in the trailers have left many players wondering if it'll be a difficult and occasionally frustrating experience. Many players rage-quitted the original after failing to complete two "twitchy" puzzles that required split second reflexes to solve, and Valve have spoken out to state that Portal 2 will feature a much more generous learning curve and accommodating physics. You won't need those "ninja skills" here.

Speaking to Joystiq, Valve writer Eric Wolpaw states that Portal 2 "will train you" to use all of the abilties via a finely-honed difficulty curve. Rather than drawing on insane reflexes, Valve have put the emphasis on the "a-ha" moment where clever planning and an understanding of the game's mechanics provide the solution to a fiendish problem. There's nothing more annoying than knowing how to complete a puzzle but being unable to pull it off thanks to twitchy mechanics, and this should now be a thing of the past.

One of the things we learned after releasing Portal 1 was that there were a couple puzzles in Portal 1 that required some sort of twitchy ninja skills to actually execute the solution.

If you … struggle with the controller for twenty minutes to execute the solution that you already know, almost universally we found that it was frustrating people.

We’re going to train you. At no point are we going to ask you do something that we haven’t prepared you to do.

The physics engine has also been tweaked to make it more generous and forgiving of smaller aggravating mistakes. Wolpaw explains that the basics are much easier to pull off - and that the action in the trailers doesn't necessarily represent the cerebral experience of the game itself.

If you were flying through a portal and you sort of clipped it a little bit, chances are you'd bounce back out and have to redo it, so we made that a little more forgiving.

Someone slowly thinking about a puzzle [isn't very exciting in a trailer]. You have to sweeten it a little by having someone do some crazy ninja moves.

These considerate design touches should let everyone enjoy the game, whilst letting the hardcore twitchy ninjas take full advantage of their skills in epic speed runs. We're convinced that Valve are on to a winner by making Portal 2 more inclusive... and we can't wait to give you the full lowdown when April rolls around. [Joystiq]

Add a comment 1 comment
Jinxy  Apr. 19, 2011 at 16:27

What a dissapointment that portal doesnt reference EP 3 in any god damn way.

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