Portal 2
PAX 2010: Portal 2 Co-Op Preview - It Takes Two Baby, Just Me & You
Written By

Portal turned heads and captured the attention and praise of the gaming industry back in 2007 with its physics-defying, puzzle solving gameplay and off-beat sense of humor. We’ve been eager since its announcement to see just how Valve would work that gameplay into a cooperative experience, and got our chance at this year’s PAX.

Based on player feedback, Valve felt the original Portal already was a co-op game as they had often heard numerous stories of gamers sitting down with their friends, sisters, or girlfriends and playing through the game together. This time around, Valve wanted to put a controller in that second player’s hand, to make Portal's puzzle solving antics an even more collaborative experience

Our hands-off demo opened with two robots held in glass tubes. One robot is tall and skinny, while the other is short and pudgy, that is if a robot can be described as such. Each is designed with an art style that harks back to the turrets from the original Portal, with smooth, rounded sheets of metal serving as a “skin” over most of their mechanical workings.

Glados instructs the pair to wave at each other, demonstrating the new gesturing system integrated into gameplay. Upon release from their prisons, the orange player makes her way down a hallway to pick up the iconic portal gun. After using the gun on a wall dead ahead, and another above and to the left to get to the next floor, Orange – or Mr Skinny if you want – reached a dead end, where we caught our first glimpse of the new ping ability.

Communication is key for success in Portal 2‘s co-op, and this ping tool allows players to easily mark locations where they want their partner to place portals, represented by an eyeball icon. Blue demonstrated this by using Ping to mark a wall near his position, and another wall on the opposite side of an energy shield. After Orange created a pair of portals for Blue to proceed through, Blue returned the favor, and the pair were able to move on to the next test chamber.

A laser beam shooting its deadly red energy into the ground was the distinguishing feature of the next chamber. Also in the room was a new type of cube, called a reflector cube, which has the power to reflect lasers wherever players choose, though caution is needed, as the laser can damage your partner.

To escape this chamber, one player needed to reflect the laser’s beam at a nearby wall, and then create a pair of portals so the laser could pass through to trigger a switch. While this is going on, the second player needs to use their own portals to allow it to pass through another wall to activate a second switch. With this simple mission accomplished, both players were able to pass through a newly opened door toward elevators leading to a new test chamber.

“To reiterate, this is not a competition,” said Glados with her trademark passive-aggressive humor, “Still, if it were, Orange would be winning.”

“It’s not, though,” she continued, as the duo continues on their journey to the next chamber, which introduced a new gameplay mechanic: the light bridge. These light bridges can be projected through portals to create a walkway to previously inaccessible areas. After using portals to project the bridge to a new platform, the light bridge needed to be moved around a corner to allow safe passage over a room with lethal slime covering the floor.

In the process of trying to realign the bridge, Orange fell into the slime and suffered a timely death, which allowed us to see how failure is handled in Portal 2. Gamers will be happy to know that Portal 2's co-op is essentially penalty-free for failure. Instead of having to restart the test chamber, players simply respawn and can walk right back to where they were, making it possible to focus on puzzle solving and not stress over potential failure. Once Orange returned the light bridge, a simple redirection of Blue’s portals allowed the pair to cross over the slime and make their way into the final test chamber of the demo.

Valve concluded the demo by showing off a new use for the infinite fall technique introduced in the original Portal. By creating a portal on the floor and another in the ceiling, players have the ability to fall indefinitely, generating massive velocity for their character. The only way to clear this test chamber, in fact, was to build up momentum using an infinite fall, then have the other player redirect portals so the individual falling would get catapulted through a wall and across a pool of slime to a safe landing zone. The first time the pair attempted this, Orange got launched into a glass wall and fell into a pool of lethal slime.
Not wanting there to be any animosity between the two, the Valve representative urged them to “hug it out.” Yes folks, you can hug your fellow robot in Portal 2, and the camera will pan out to allow you to see the exchange of warm and fuzzy feelings. Trying again, Blue pressed a button jutting out of the floor to remove the wall of glass impeding Orange’s line of flight, then redirected portals to send Orange sailing across the room to another button. Upon pressing this button, the glass wall retracted again, and Orange could redirect portals from across the slime to help Blue fly over the gap. It was on that victorious note that our quick look at Portal 2‘s co-op ended.

Wondering just how long the co-op in Portal 2 will last? “The co-op experience in Portal 2 is about double the length of the original Portal game,” said the Valve representative. “There’s a lot more content this time around,” and from what we’ve seen, Valve clearly aims to make co-op an integral part of the Portal 2 experience, with puzzles designed to be impossible to solve without the cooperation of both players.

Portal 2 is scheduled to be released on February 9th, 2011.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 39
Comment #1 by antanater
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 05:39:12 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment

Forum Posts: 626
Comment #3 by collin232
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 05:43:16 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Can't wait for this game. Just wish valve would announce Half Life 3/ Episode 3 already.

Forum Posts: 6935
Comment #5 by Nevander
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 05:45:09 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Comment two deleted, lol probably a FIRST fail...

Anywho, sounds good. I just hope we won't have to do ALL the gold medals again because they were a pain in the @$S to do in the first Portal.

Forum Posts: 6935
Comment #8 by Nevander
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 05:47:09 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Why was your comment deleted? rofl... also I hope they bring out HL2 EP3 as well, I'm eager to see how the events of HL2 will continue on.

Forum Posts: 1460
Comment #9 by SideDish120
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 05:47:16 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
The blue orb reminds me of Mike from Monsters Inc. lolol

Forum Posts: 1
Comment #11 by Teraph G
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 05:49:50 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Nice...To robots have a gender?

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #12 by l.maciver
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 05:54:03 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
#8, lets hope it doesnt take aslong as Duke Nukem.
#9, ive been sayin they looked simular then mike came into my head too.

Forum Posts: 24
Comment #13 by Rogue Gamer 23
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 06:09:09 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
after im done finishing my pre-order of NFS: Hot Pursuit, im deffinatly getting this game love the first one, then rage.

Forum Posts: 192
Comment #14 by Corpse87
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 06:11:02 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
will I have to share the cake now its co-op? looks good cant wait!

Forum Posts: 232
Comment #16 by TigerII
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 07:00:22 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Im still mad the PS3 gets exclusive content. Sony paid for exclusive in Dead Space 2, this, and several others. I mad

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #17 by owenping
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 08:02:51 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
It will be a very good game, for me its the most anticipaded 2011 game

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #19 by LEGO_MAN
Wednesday, September 08, 2010 @ 08:59:50 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment

Forum Posts: 155
Comment #23 by Akatsuki Sw1tch
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 12:08:28 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Not sure what all the fuss is about this game, The 1st was ok'ish but would never have played it if it wasn't bundled in The Orange Box

#16 Don't worry they have an inferior console anyhow (Have both & 360 is Waaay better)

Bring on half life EP 3.

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #24 by MepsiPax187
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 05:17:27 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Player two should be the companion cube.

Forum Posts: 47
Comment #26 by Akatsuki Cybi
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 07:31:17 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I bet there is already Rule34 stuff about this!

Forum Posts: 12
Comment #27 by Lex54
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 11:19:24 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I agree, player 2 should be the companion cube or at least the same design

Forum Posts: 46
Comment #28 by xtkbilly
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 11:20:36 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Fun fun fun. I wonder if co-op is online also, or just LAN/splitscreen.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #29 by Denzel 515
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 11:29:24 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
THIS LOOKS SO AWESOME. Haha, me and my mates loved sitting down and timing ourselves to see how fast we could complete the original game! Now we get to PROPERLY do it together ;)

Forum Posts: 50
Comment #30 by Zappa Power
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 01:00:14 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Does humor belong in the gaming medium? Why yes. Yes, it does. xD

Forum Posts: 106
Comment #31 by saberwolf00747
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 02:10:34 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
the yellow robot reminds me of bert from sesame street lol

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #32 by KrizchyN
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 02:24:08 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@26, im gunna get on that right now.

Forum Posts: 47
Comment #33 by Reaper Xan
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 04:09:34 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
wowowowowowowowowowowwwooooooooowww!!!!!!!!!!!! :D

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #34 by Spartan Reach
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 06:22:18 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
A fat and skinny character, I would prefer to be the fat one. Looks fun!

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #35 by NolanCraig94
Thursday, September 09, 2010 @ 06:56:10 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
this is gunna be fun, cant wait, i loved the fist portal

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #36 by funymoose
Friday, September 10, 2010 @ 05:28:03 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
im only buying this if there will be cake

Forum Posts: 144
Comment #37 by I Gil Galad I
Friday, September 10, 2010 @ 05:55:13 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@ 23 First one okish? Are you crazy?

This game looks sweet!

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #38 by smithstrings
Friday, September 10, 2010 @ 03:39:05 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
this is going to be one crazy mind-bending awesomeness. . . hope there's enough cake to go around.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #39 by I Solace I
Saturday, September 11, 2010 @ 04:54:17 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Portal was a landmark...Portal 2 will be amazing

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #40 by Coupland1095
Sunday, September 12, 2010 @ 07:32:35 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This is a day 1 buy whatever happens, but I wonder if Valve could include some structured multiplayer modes, and if so, how would it work? No? Just me? *sigh*, well I can dream, can't I? ^_^

Forum Posts: 51
Comment #41 by Cerichsen
Sunday, September 12, 2010 @ 02:01:57 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I cant take it anymore.. i cant look at this game serious, they look to much like Ernie and Bert.. Look at the picture and think about it :(

Forum Posts: 546
Comment #42 by o D M C o
Monday, September 13, 2010 @ 05:52:29 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Insert cringe worthy, unfunny, unimaginative and quite frankly embarrassingly outdated 'cake' reference here.

Cant wait for this game, spent many hours on the first getting those golds. With a decent co op partner this game will be phenomenal.

Forum Posts: 31
Comment #43 by RunDMC
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 @ 07:26:28 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
So what? We have exclusive CoD:BO Maps for three years. It will only be a matter of time 'till it rives on Xbox.

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #44 by MrCcrazyAL
Wednesday, September 15, 2010 @ 04:20:11 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I can't wait for this, and I can't wait to see what funny things GlaDOS has to say in this one. Feb. 2010 isn't that far away.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #45 by LedForeigner
Thursday, September 16, 2010 @ 01:13:03 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Thank G! I didn't think they were gonna make another one, now I'm really psyched!!

Forum Posts: 51
Comment #46 by Islandboi96734
Monday, September 20, 2010 @ 04:03:07 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This game looks awesome and I cant wait for it, but I hate how PS3 is getting steam works and not the 360. I know that M$ is all "closed" about their stuff, but if PS3 get the TF2 updates, I'm gonna be fucking PISSED (I know that last bit was off topic, just felt like saying it.).

Forum Posts: 89
Comment #47 by rowain
Tuesday, September 21, 2010 @ 10:34:57 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
How does someone look at the first game and say "I don't get why this was so popular" or look at the second game and say "I don't get why people are so excited".

REALLY? In a world of Call of Duty rehash after rehash, where every blockbuster is yet another grim shooter, you don't understand why people would freak out over a puzzle game as funny, original, and innovative as Portal? You're either slightly stupid, willfully ignorant, or extremely cynical, I don't know which! BAM!

Forum Posts: 27
Comment #48 by dnieloo
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 10:18:11 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
perfect, my 18th birthday and on of my favorite games coming out :D shame it wasn't GoW thou.. ^^

Forum Posts: 255
Comment #49 by X nosgoth X
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 04:13:13 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
#41 - You're a champion. Now I will never be able to think of these robots as anyone other than Bert and Ernie.

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #50 by AzureDragonGod
Wednesday, September 22, 2010 @ 08:16:12 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Cant wait for this game. Really want to try the new physics they have added.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #51 by MidasMakeItRain
Thursday, September 23, 2010 @ 03:36:43 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
definitely not the most anticipated game of 2011, Gears of War 3 will be!*Slight spoiler* I MUST KNOW IF THE REST OF THE CARMINES MADE IT TO THE BOAT!

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #52 by brooksy
Saturday, September 25, 2010 @ 12:44:34 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
kool cant wiat completed number 1 just hope this 1 is a gd

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #53 by MidasMakeItRain
Saturday, October 16, 2010 @ 07:55:48 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
ripe for some screwin about, "ima just press this button... GOD DAMN IT MAN, why would u put me in the acid?"

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #54 by projectspawn
Sunday, October 24, 2010 @ 01:08:01 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
huh i only played the demo for portal is it any good? i liked the demo but it was too confusing :D at first but im kinda getting used to it now.but this one is co-op that sounds like its going to be great!

You need to register before being able to post comments.


Game Info
Electronic Arts


US April 19, 2011
Europe April 22, 2011

You need to log in or register to use MyAchievements.
Related News




You need to log in or register to rate games.

User Score is based on 1140 user ratings.