Valve is a developer who is notorious for creating great games and sequels but not quite finishing with a third. Team Fortress, Half Life, Left for Dead and Portal are all games that we love to play, but haven’t had a chance at enjoying a third installment. In my 3 part article I will go over my top 3 Valve games that need a sequel.
First off is Portal 3. The portal series started back in 2007 with Portal – a game released as part of the Orange Box, or collection of games. Considered to be a rather short game – the main character of Chell was put through a series of test chambers by GLaDOS, an A.I. that was testing Chell, with the promise of cake as a reward. The setting for the game was the Apeture Science Laboratories and the primary tool for the test was the portal gun – a device capable of creating to portals in which the player would be able to move or teleport between spaces instantly. Level design mirrored that of a test facility with basic layouts with surfaces to which you could make portals, and others that you could not. Later levels in the game showed variations as well as additional tools such as the companion cube. The story followed that GLaDOS is in control of the facility and hints at disliking Chell and wanting her to lose (and even die). Turrets are added later with motion tracking machine gun fire. In the end the player out smarts and seemingly destroys GLaDOS, only to be brought back into the facility by unknown sources. We also didn’t get the cake – leading to numerous memes The Cake is a Lie!
Valve followed up with a much lengthier, in depth sequel in 2011 – Portal 2. Copying the same elements from Portal 1 as far as gameplay we were introduced to Chell yet again asleep in her chambers which resemble a hotel room. After some questions she is put back to sleep only to be woken up seeing the facility in a much worse and seemingly abandoned state. Right away we are introduced to Wheatley who helps Chell to get out of her room. Through play and introduction to the new landscape, they reactivate GLaDOS who starts to rebuild the facility and begin testing again. The setting here is vastly different from Portal 1, with much more detail and massive level scale. Chambers are destroyed and disheveled covered in overgrown plants and moss, water has pooled in places as well. In the game we are introduced to new elements like lasers and light bridges. We have the energy ball used to charge doors as well as moving platforms. Later in the game we are given Paint like gels that either bounce Chell, or make her move much faster. All of these elements expand on the game play and puzzle varieties. In helping Wheatley, he is plugged into GLaDOS main operating system and becomes instantly corrupt and inheriting the need to test. The following levels take us deep into the facility where we learn the history of Apeture through its CEO Cave Johnson. This is a real treat as we learn about the origin of Apeture as well as GLaDOS through hilarious stories and one liners from the increasingly crazed Johnson. The end battle culminates with Chell defeating Wheatley and restoring GLaDOS to power, in which she releases Chell to the surface. The game ends with Chell in a wheat field and standing next to a companion cube through to have been incinerated in Portal 1.
Co-Op was an addition to Portal 2 and while some feared it was just because everyone else was doing it – Valve did it right. It was a blast being able to play with a friend and be challenged with puzzles that required us to work together toward a common goal. The storyline was excellent as well, as 2 test robots that were more or less pawns of GLaDOS in a test facility long absent from human testers. It expanded on the single player as far as levels and puzzles, but the added need of helping each other. Along with this came user mod capabilities where folks were able to create and challenge other gamers on home brewed maps. The Co-Op had an individual story of its own culminating in the discovery of a storage area of humans – and the scraping of the robots.
So what do we want? Portal 3! Favorites of the series are just dying to start testing again. One thing we learned from Portal 1 to 2 was that the facility was infinitely larger than originally designed, giving way to numerous settings for a final chapter. Unresolved issue with GLaDOS and even the return of Wheatley are all plausible. The introduction of new elements whether in the scientific realm, such as the gels, or simple changes such as making companion cubes from square to round or perhaps a new shape like triangle. Perhaps we have another long lost tester recently discovered that can be played either in single player or drop in/drop out co-op. Enhance the portal guns capabilities that perhaps cause rifts or portals to other dimensions. The possibilities are endless! What would you like to see in a Portal 3 game – comment below!