PAX East Preview [and Interview]: Portal 2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PC)

Just weeks before the release of the highly anticipated sequel to the 2007’s groundbreaking 1st-person puzzler Portal, and moments after viewing the above preview video, we had a chance to speak with Valve’s Erik Wolpaw about some of the new features of Portal 2.  Read past the break for the full interview. The original Portal was first released as a part of The Orange Box and then, later, made available as a standalone purchase through downloadable services like Steam and XBLA.  Seeing as how Portal 2 is being released as a full retail title, how will the campaign compare to that of Portal?

Erik Wolpaw: The single player campaign in Portal 2 is about two and a half times as long as Portal.  And then there’s also the co-op campaign, which is a separate set of puzzles completely, as well as a separate story.  The co-op campaign is about the same length as the single player experience.

The star of Portal was a woman named Chell.  Will she be returning in Portal 2, or will we be controlling a new protagonist?

Chell will be returning as the lead.  We updated the end of Portal back when Portal 2 was first announced.  In the original end of Portal, you (as Chell) passed out.  Well, we extended the ending so that it shows the security escort bots dragging you back into the facility.  The robots throw you into a cryo-relaxation chamber of sorts.  And that’s where Portal 2 opens.

The two new characters you introduced in the preview – Wheatley and Cave Johnson – will they act primarily as narrators in Portal 2?

Well, they’re similar to GLaDOS in a way.  Wheatley is more present than GLaDOS was and Cave, Cave is sort of a proto-GLaDOS.  His role will be better explained in the full game.

Are there other voiced characters that we’ll encounter in Portal 2?

Yes, there will be others that you’ll come across, though we haven’t announced them as of yet.

Can you explain some of the features the PlayStation3 version of Portal 2 will include?  In what ways will it be similar to the Steam release?

The PS3 version will use Steam Cloud saves and, of course, Steam Play, which allows you to play the game on all Steam platforms.  So, if you’ve purchase the PS3 version, you’ll also be able to play the PC and Mac versions.  And there’s also cross play, which means that any combination of PS3, PC, or Mac players will all be able to play co-op together.

Will Portal 2 have co-op challenges similar to the challenge courses seen in Portal?

The co-op challenges have actually been integrated into the achievements and trophies.  So, specific tasks done in co-op, detailed by the achievements or trophies, will act as challenges this time around.

Will user-created content, specifically, downloadable user-created levels be supported on PS3?

We haven’t formally announced anything.  The PC will definitely be supporting this feature once again, however.

OK, thanks so much for your time!

You’re welcome.  Thanks for coming out!


* video courtesy of user PikiNetwork

Author: Aaron Kirchhoff

When not wasting his youth as a research assistant, Aaron escapes from the stress of real life in videogames, excessive alcohol consumption, and, above all, the internet. Should he be pestered enough by his fellow staffers, he may actually write an article or review for SideQuesting.

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