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Valve Announces Portal 2 – Joy Ensues

In Videogames on March 5, 2010 at 9:10 PM

All the rumors regarding Portal 2 have been confirmed today, as Valve issued an official statement announcing its intended release for the 2010 holiday season.  Just last week, Valve patched Portal including ARG elements and a slightly altered ending that hinted to the announcement.

The announcement of Portal 2 brings up questions regarding the highly anticipated final episode of the Half-Life 2 saga.  Elements of Episode 2 and Portal’s recent viral marketing suggested a possible tie in of the two franchises, but Valve has stressed that Episode 3 would likely see a 2011 release at the earliest.

Game Informer's April 2010 cover

Game Informer’s upcoming cover features the only official artwork associated with the game at this time, depicting what appears to be GLaDOS or another version of the same machine in an outdoor environment.  The new ending suggests the same, meaning Portal 2 could be entirely narrative focused, opposed to its predecessor, which was primarily a puzzle game until the contextual narrative began in the game’s waning moments.  Early details from the ARG suggest Portal 2 will feature cooperative based gameplay and my tie in further with the overall Half-Life 2 story arc.

If Valve releases Portal 2 as a standalone game, that draws even more questions to the fate of Episode 3.  Episode 2 and Portal were originally packaged together in the widely praised and extremely successful Orange Box.  Valve had originally stated potential plans to implement this strategy in the future, but with the news of Portal 2 on the heels of last year’s Left 4 Dead 2, Valve may have changed their mind of the box strategy.  Needless to say, more details will come next week at the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco on Portal 2 and hopefully Episode 3.

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