PAX East: Portal 2 Story Footage Impressions

Published 4 years ago by , Updated May 22nd, 2011 at 8:15 pm,

portal 2 story preview

We’ve already received a sneak peak at what to expect from Portal 2, in the form of the recently unveiled achievement list, but a number of story details still remain a mystery.

While Valve has already revealed that fan-favorite killer AI GLaDOS and protagonist Chell will return for the sequel, the development team has been keeping a lot of Portal 2 story-details under wraps.

Many details are still under tight wraps, but PAX visitors got an early glimpse at the opening moments of Portal 2 – including the introduction of Wheatley, the personality sphere voiced by Stephen Merchant as well as the reveal of a new character, Cave Johnson, the founder of Aperture Science voiced by J.K. Simmons (J. Jonah Jameson in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films).

The new footage showcases Valve’s interest in improving story-telling in Portal 2. Sure the story in the original Portal was engaging and kept players chuckling as they were drawn farther and farther into the story – however, aside from the homicidal robot GLaDOS, there weren’t any other characters to interact with. As a result, the first game was a somewhat isolated journey about exploring and discovering the world of Aperture Science – and subsequently short on interaction with other self-aware characters.

To help immerse the player in Portal 2 - as well as add a thick does of humor (not to mention teach gamers the basic game mechanics) Valve has created Wheatley – who is one of the GLaDOS personality cores that has learned to act independently. In the opening minutes of the game, Wheatley awakens Chell from her sleep – and helps her escape the crumbling confines of her quarters. The one-sided Wheatley banter (against Valve’s traditional silent protagonist) hits the same quirky tone as GLaDOS from the first title – and helps the player get up to speed on the events between the first and second game.

Portal 2 Video Preview Dialogue

Portal-fans who have been following the game’s development closely will probably remember hearing about Wheatley; however, Valve’s latest reveal came in the form of a disembodied introduction to Aperture Science founder and CEO, Cave Johnson. While the character was not shown on-screen, relying on PA announcements, his presence is almost larger-than-life – with a number of hilarious one-liners that hint at much larger, and infinitely more bizarre, experiments (than just portal guns) at Aperture Science. I won’t spoil them here but, for the record, one topic may or may not involve praying mantis/human hybrids.

Stay tuned for a full interview with the Valve writers – regarding their approach to developing characters, story, as well as blending the worlds of Portal and Half Life.

Follow us on Twitter @benkendrick and @gamerant and let us know what excites you most about Portal 2.

Portal 2 will be opened, I mean released, for  Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and Mac on April 20, 2011.

TAGS: Portal 2


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  1. I want this game so bad! Looks absolutely fantastic.

  2. Cave Johnson isn’t the guy who made all of those rat dens in Portal is he? And wrote on the wall in blood saying that “the cake is a lie”.

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