Portal 2 is coming.
After years of fans crossing their fingers and a week of deciphering curious images patched into the original Portal, Valve has confirmed that a sequel is on the way.
Portal is a shooter without bullets. The player's gun fires dimension-bending doorways that allow the main character to instantly travel from one area to another. Trapped in a labyrinthine laboratory, the protagonist must puzzle her way through the game's many traps. Simple yet canny – and with a healthy dash of humor – Portal surprised many gamers. Some even argue that this stocking-stuffer title outshone the more anticipated Half-Life and Team Fortress games that came bundled with Portal in the 2007 hit Orange Box for PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3.
News of Portal 2 came Friday via Game Informer, a magazine that's heavy on scoops, yet light on journalistic vigor. Run by retail megachain Game Stop, it's a regular platform for early peeks at games – just remember that the magazine's publisher has an interesting in convincing you to buy those games.
Game Informer's April issue features a "12-page cover story [that] gives you the first details on Portal 2's new gameplay mechanics, storyline, and some surprising new twists." To whet gamers' appetites, the magazine released its cover illustration Friday. The image shows Portal's classic sterile walls leading to a brand new terrain for the game: a lush, leafy forest.
Valve signals that Portal 2 will be a holiday release, and hints that it will not come bundled with other games, as did the original. "A small-scale experiment that was squeezed into 2007's The Orange Box alongside some powerful heavyweights, the love Portal received from fans was beyond anything Valve could have imagined, winning it a full-fledged, standalone sequel," writes Game Informer.
No word on which platform Portal 2 will warp to. PC seems a given. Valve regularly releases its games for Xbox 360, so it's a safe bet. But while the original Portal landed on PlayStation, Valve has since stepped away from that console. The PS3 version of Orange Box ran much slower than its counterparts, and Valve said it would not release future titles on Sony's system until the developer could ensure a worthwhile product.