Valve made a name for itself with the Half-Life series, amongst other titles, but one series, the Portal series, seems to be making waves. A new web-comic debuted this week, adding back-story to an already rich story, before the release of the widely anticipated Portal 2.
Along with the game's release next week, Valve has debuted a tie-in comic, titled "Portal 2: Lab Rat." IGN is hosting the first issue which is told from a Rat Man's point of view during Chell's time with GlaDOS. The Rat Man talks with the Companion Cube, and is witness to Chell's activities during the first Portal, and provides an interesting look from a different perspective, offering up information on the events leading to and almost immediately after the first game.
Anyone who has played Portal knows about Chell (the game's protagonist), and her Saw-like "Let’s-Play-A-Game" adventures with GLaDOS, the sinister AI who orchestrates the events of the first game. Tempted by the offer of cake (and let’s face it, who isn’t?), the player takes on the challenges, using her Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device (or, "portal gun") to create portals on flat surfaces to move from one area to another. Real world physics apply, allowing for innovative gameplay, and more amusing, time-consuming activities, e.g., planting a portal on the ceiling, and then firing the second portal onto the floor, and diving in. Admittedly, it’s childish, but I’m sure everyone who has given this game a go has done it at least once.
The webcomic paves the way for Portal 2, as the Rat Man (assisted by his CC) watch as Chell is pulled back into the Aperture Science facility. The two rush to find where she is, to rescue her, and discover Chell to be in a broken life-support system. Using his incredible ninja skills, the Rat Man is able to bring her life-support unit online, but indefinitely. The Rat Man, after one final chat with his Cube, climbs into a stasis pod of sorts, and has his final rest. Well deserved, I think.
Judging from these comics, there appears to be an immense amount of story to the games, and a lot of incredible story all over. If you're a fan of Valve's growing catalog of games and the shared universe, be sure to read our interview with Valve writer Erik Wolpaw.
Head to IGN to read the full comic. Part 2 is also now available.
Portal 2 releases April 19, 2011, for the PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and PS3.
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