The year was 2007. The Orange Box had just reached the shelves of our favorite stores for Xbox 360 and PC. The great assortment of titles included Half Life 2, along with the extra Half Life 2 Episodes 1 and 2, the immensely enjoyable Team Fortress 2 and a brand new game unlike anything we’d ever seen before, Portal.
It may have been the other games included within this Orange Box that initially attracted the public’s eye, but it was the introduction of Portal that held us engrossed. This new first person puzzle-solving game involved running around with the ‘handheld portal device’; a piece of technology that allowed us to bend space at our bidding, instantly teleporting between the orange and blue holes that could appear at the gentle press of the trigger.
Although the original Portal game could be completed within a few short hours, the puzzles presented were captivating and mind-bending. But more than this, Portal introduced the concept of a rogue and somewhat psychotic Artificial Intelligence named GLaDOS. The perfect blend of action, comedy and problem solving created a game that was instantly popular; one that left the public desperate for more.
And more we were given! In April of 2011 Valve released the highly anticipated sequel to Portal, Portal 2. With a far more developed story featuring incredible dialogue and characters so memorable their sayings have become cult classics for a whole plethora of t-shirt designs, Portal 2 was an instant classic. Featuring both a solo campaign that brings together all the best bits from the original Portal along with a load of extra functionality and some story-telling brilliance, and a multiplayer mode for split-screen or online entertainment with your friends, Portal 2 contained many hours of entertainment. Extra downloadable content was also provided to both Xbox 360 and PC users, providing an extended play-life to one of Valve’s most popular creations.
But what’s next for the series? Will the companion cube ever come tumbling down onto our screens again? How will Valve keep us interested in the same puzzle-solving concept that has seen them successfully market two titles so far? The following are just a few of the areas that we’d love to see Valve work in for the release of Portal 3 to either the Xbox 360 or the Xbox One depending on its targeted release date:
- Bring back Cave Johnson. For those that have played through the Portal 2 campaign you’ll know that the character of Cave Johnson really stole the show. “We haven't entirely nailed down what element it is yet, but I'll tell you this: it's a lively one and it does not like the human skeleton.” Cave’s quotes kept us continually amused as we made our way through the bowels of Aperture Science and we hope that he can make an appearance in the next game.
- User content creation. The second lump of downloadable content for Portal 2 already grants PC users with the ability to create and share their own levels, but we’d love to see this come to console as well. The world of Portal is a perfect environment for community driven level creation, and we’re confident that it’s something that could be ported across to console if it sees enough success through Steam.
- New concepts. From the orange Propulsion Gel that allows you to shoot along a surface incredibly quickly, to the blue Repulsion Gel that provides the ability to jump incredibly high; Portal 2 introduced a range of new concepts to work alongside the Portal gun in creating exciting levels. We hope to see some extra enhancements in the next game; what about a Portal that could bend the laws of time as well as space? What about extra player abilities to allow for extra maneuvering around the various environments? The sky is the limit! So get your creative hats on Valve; the strength of this series is in its diversity.
Article by - Rebecca Waterman
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