Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Details on Portal 2 Surface, World Grinds To A Halt

Ooh boy. Grab some paper towels, Portal fans, cause this link may literally make you drool. Kotaku brings us the casting notice for a primary character in PORTAL 2, that's right, the sequel that Valve has been super tight-lipped about, that they said wouldn't be coming out until 2009. This notice includes a LOT of info about what we can expect from the sequel and one of it's main characters, who is neither GLaDOS nor Chell. It IS, however, someone that will ring a bell for crazyfans, but I won't say any more in case you think you can wait a year without getting spoiled about this sort of thing. You're only fooling YOURSELVES, people! Hit the link for the pic and character description, then come back for some classic Geekanerd analysis...

Fan theories and conjecture after the jump...

The character description indicates pretty strongly that the writers be using a similar format to the original; it sounds like Cave Johnson will guide you through the game much like GLAdOS does, as she could also be said to go from "sidekick to principal antagonist". I'd even go so far as to guess that we never see him (he is described as "dead", after all), and our only visual clue is portraits like these throughout the game. The fact that he's dead might be intended as a surprise, but whatever, I knew the ending of Portal Classic before I played it, and that did little to dampen the impact of how it all unfolded.

As the Kotaku article says, this sounds like a prequel. I think that's an excellent way to go about expanding the franchise, since both in-game dialogue and the aforementioned website give a ton of implied history to build on. It does present a possible problem in giving us new features of the Portal Gun, since presumably the model we've played with would be the best of all possible Portal Guns thus far. Maybe we'll see an experimental prototype with features that were later deemed unreasonably dangerous. And will we see a bustling new vision of Apeture labs, with labcoated people milling around? I kind of hope not, but we'll see.

And in all of this excitement, wither GLaDOS? And Chell, for that matter. Maybe we'll see in the background of Aperture Science at some point, verifying my personal theory that she's was a janitor. But since Cave is the "principal antagonist", we can assume GLaDOS will be regulated to a secondary role, if not less. I don't know if I can handle that kind of disappointment. But I can't believe the writers could resist the chance to give us a look at GLaDOS in her early stages; as the Aperture website states, she was originally created as an AI unit to run fuel-line de-icers. So depending on how far back in the Portal chronology we are, a glimpse at her first Neruo-Toxin massacre may be too much to ask.

This rant can also be found on our Portal Round-Up page, Portal Authority.

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