Portal 2 Preview - PAX
PAX Prime 2010: We get to see some Co-Op action in Portal 2
Valve was showing off some new aspects of Portal 2 at PAX 2010 last weekend chronicling the game’s full-length cooperative game mode officially titled the “Cooperative Testing Initiative.” After being shuffled into a small room inside Valve’s expo booth and sat down alongside a small group of fellow game journalists and PAX attendees, one individual was chosen from the audience to play alongside a Valve team member while a Valve representative narrated the demonstration.
Prior to the actual demo, Valve showed off their newest trailer for the game which, like most of Portal’s trailers, was equal parts laugh-out-loud hilarious and mind-bendingly epic. Although not much of the story behind Orange and Blue, the two player robots, was revealed, the trailer made it evident that this mode will be more than simply a series of challenge rooms but as much of a narrative as the original game. The two robots are being tested by Aperture Science for some greater purpose possibly relating to the plight of the main character in the singleplayer campaign.
From the beginning of the actual demonstration, it was apparent that Portal 2 retains the distinct visual style of the first while seeing some great graphical improvements. Lines are crisper and textures are at a much higher resolution (or at least, appear to be). The slightly damaged and constantly malfunctioning nature of this game’s version of Aperture Science lends itself to more visually interesting level design as well.
The “Cooperative Testing Initiative” allows for each player to use two separate sets of portals. It’s no surprise that 4 portals makes for far more complicated puzzles than two, but a new set of portals isn’t all that players will be manipulating in Portal 2’s cooperative mode. Several quick and simple stages were shown to introduce some of the new mechanics such as lasers, reflection cubes, and laser receptacles. In the stage shown, the two players had to use portals to punch holes through two walls and then use a reflection cube in order to redirect a laser coming down from the ceiling through all of the portals and into a laser receptacle.