September 22nd, 2008

Or will it turn stale with bad techno music?

While the trailer for Portal: Prelude, the Valve-okayed mod that will give Aperture fans another 8 chapters and 19 test chambers of hole-in-the-wall fun, may prove that the game is “still alive” in the hearts and minds of the video game industry, it lacks that sense of irony that made Portal itself so stellar. Sure, the original title had amazing gameplay, but what it really stood out for was its writing, its story, and above all its sense of humor. This new footage, however, seems much more focused on the Portal mechanic than the playful spirit of the game:


Portal: Prelude Official Trailer from NykO18 on Vimeo

Granted, this is not an official prequel to the game, but there has been talks from Portal‘s Kim Swift about a proper Portal 2. Will the game keep its succinct, witty charm when it becomes a series? Its understandable — if strangely disappointing — that Valve would want to milk the game for more, considering the fan response it still stirs up (plush Weighted Companion Cube, anyone?). I had more respect for them when they left their goldmine at one short, funny, compelling little game, though. Here’s hoping that little game won’t get ruined in the future.

What do you think: would a bad — or even mediocre — Portal sequel annoy the gaming community? Or would everyone be content with more puzzles, with or without the standout content?

Tags: new games

7 Responses to “Will ‘Portal’ lose its sense of humor?”

  1. Fortyseven Says:

    The trailer for that did very little to get me interested. Compare it to the trailer for the original game, where it mixed both these sorts of visuals with the creepy/insane wit that we’d come to love.

    Portal is fun, but if it wasn’t for the subtle story being told, and GLaDOS herself, I’m not entirely certain I would have plowed through the game as eagerly as I did.

    If ‘Prelude’ even attempts this, it would have been in their favor to show off a hint of it (outside of the Aperture Labs human models just standing around) instead of pounding us in the face with visuals that could have just as effectively been copy/pasted from the first game…

    Here’s hoping. :|

  2. The Guy Says:

    The market of people who’re going to play this game are mostly going to be people who want more puzzles, not story.

    When Valve does a Portal sequel I have faith that it’ll keep the dark funny writing while providing an entirely new gameplay mechanic.

  3. Duoae Says:

    I’m not sure how much success the design team would have in replicating what made portal so great. It seems to have been a case of ‘more than the sum of its parts’ rather than methodically planned genius – taking from what’s been said in interviews with Kim and the guy who helped flesh out the story (i forget his name).

    IMO, it would be nice if they were able to keep or evolve the game (if they can identify exactly which components, in the correct proportions made it enjoyable), however i believe that perhaps it’s best that they leave Portal as a stand alone experience and instead integrate it into the Half Life universe more (e.g. move over to the Half Life style completely).

  4. Sean Says:

    I have faith that Valve will maintain the qualities of atmosphere and writing in the official Portal sequel, but I’m also sure it will take forever to come out.

    In the meantime, while the story was certainly the best part of Portal, the gameplay was great fun and had tons of potential for more puzzles. I am glad that extra content along these lines is made available by the modding community; more puzzle-solving fun while I wait for the next real game.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Valve playtest a lot. If it doesn’t evoke the desired emotion, or response in playtesters then it doesn’t go in the game.

    I don’t expect it for another 2-3 years because this requires a lot of trial and error.

  6. Dan Says:

    I’m sorry, but where do you see evidence that this is even “Valve-okayed”? It’s not in Steam’s “Mods” section, and the game’s website talks only about how it’s unofficial and how they hope Valve doesn’t mind.

    I also think it’s important to consider context. Most of the fan-released maps for Portal have *no* story and focus entirely on gameplay.

  7. AssoniBionerm Says:

    I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too…

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