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Portal 2: The Details, the Comic, the Mysteries

To celebrate the release of the sequel to 2007’s game of the year; this article will talk about all things revolving around the upcoming (and inevitably great) Portal 2, from the announced comic, to the newly announced Steam/Playstation 3 cross-over.

So, the premise, players reprise the role of the games heroine Chell, after being under stasis for 700 years, after the events of the first game. During stasis, psychotic AI named GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) and the rest of the Aperture Science facility has fallen into disrepair. However, both Chell and GLaDOS are soon woken up by one of GLaDOS’s personality cores. Displeased at the return of Chell, GLaDOS unleashes a new range of chambers, where challenging platforming and complex physics-based puzzles (with the use of the infamous portal gun) are the only way of escape.

Now that’s out of the way (without spoilers). Let’s get on with the rest of the feature.

The Steam/Playstation 3 cross-over

It’s only fitting to start off with the latest news in regards to the upcoming first-person action/puzzler. The games developer, Valve, also known for the excellent Half-Life series, has just revealed more details about the Steamworks integration into the Playstation 3 version of Portal 2.

And it must be said, there are some fantastic features coming our way, including;

  • Play cross-platform from your PlayStation®3 with Steam friends on Windows or Mac.
  • Access your Steam friends list, enabling you to chat with, add, or remove Steam friends.
  • Access redeemed downloadable content registered in Windows or Mac, and vice-versa
  • View your Steam friends’ community profiles.
  • View your earned Steam Achievements, as well as global achievement stats, for Portal 2.
  • See the latest news and announcements for Portal 2.

As soon as you link up your Playstation Network account with a Steam account, all the features will be open to you (easily done via the steam overlay, which is accessed by the simple push of the SELECT button, as soon as you start playing Portal 2).

To learn more about the Steam/Playstation 3 cross-over, and potentially have any of your questions answered about this revolutionary feature, click here to head over to Valve’s support page.


Since it started getting mentioned back in April 7th, an “alternate reality game” (ARG) seemed to have started getting fans revved up for the upcoming release of Portal 2, as various cryptic images have been seen through a series of independent games titled “The Potato Sack” in Valve’s Steam game service. Some of the images have also been emailed to many game sites via Valve boss Gabe Newell’s email address too.

The ARG, which was created by Valve, the developers and publishers of Portal 2 is part fantasy, part reality. It uses real-world connections as developers seed clues among the media and fans. Continued to be used as a long tradition in the game industry, ARG’s are tried and true ways to market a game or other product without spending a great deal of money, since interest spreads by word of mouth. The marketing campaign will likely reach its peak on April 19, when Portal 2 is released.

These cryptic messages may not seem like much on their own.

But put together in a particular variation...

When the image’s colours are inverted, it forms a bathysphere, or a deep-sea submersible. It is rumoured that this is a reference to the bathysphere that was discovered by a marine supply store in Seattle, not far from Valve’s headquarters. Thousands of fans are now picking up all of the clues and trying to figure out what the cryptic image means. Many (if not most) fans surmise that the message appeared to be GLaDOS, the murderous artificial intelligence from the original 2007 Portal game, trying to bring herself back to life. Another decoded message refers to the exact time and date of the release of Portal 2. April 15th. An update was found on an update to the game Bit. Trip Beat, part of the Potato sack collection leading to the same kind of comclusion. This has led to the question amongst fans and the media alike; does this mean that Portal 2 will actually get an earlier release than announced?

Still confused? Here is a summary of what has been going on revolving around the ARG:


Despite such mystery solving and deciphering by fans and critics alike, there is still uncertainty to whew the ARG is leading to. Oh how exciting.

The Comic

Just when you thought that the universe of Portal 2 was complex enough, then you get hit with the awesome announcement of “Portal 2: Lab Rat”, the upcoming comic, expanding on the Portal 2 universe, by the staff of Valve, with help of project leader and Artist, Michael Avon Oeming.

In a recent interview with IGN, Oeming stated:

“Valve did this. It's all being produced in-house. It's literally the same people who make the games making the comics. So we have access to all of the game attributes to use in the comics. Most game comics are done out-of-house, and most of those with little or no input from the game company, and that's why they often fall apart.”

 With this incredibly exciting news for any Portal fan (which should be all of you), It was however made clear by Oeming that “Portal 2: Lab Rat” is not a licensed comic book tie-in, but rather an in continuity extension of Valve’s own work on the franchise.

Sounds like an exciting read? Well, what are you waiting for? We have the full 26-pages of “Portal 2: Lab Rat” right here, courtesy of Valve. So read on, and enjoy.


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