Portal 2 Without Portals? It Almost Happened

The original Portal released in 2007 to much, some would even say huge, success. Its sequel was officially announced for the PlayStation 3 at Sony’s E3 press conference this June along with Steam support, news which set the gaming world on fire. But the sequel we see today has gone through many different iterations, including a version without the now-iconic portal gun!

In speaking with PC Gamer recently, Valve’s Erik Wolpaw stated his team toyed with the idea that perhaps the franchise could branch away from using a portal gun and further develop the whole “human guinea pig” environment of the Aperture Science facilities:

“…one of the ideas was: what if the Portal franchise is, instead of always being about Portals – which’d be tough because it’s called Portal – but what if it was always about introducing a new puzzle element that you’re going through? it’s about Aperture Science, and now you’re going through this new testing track with this new element.”

As their team would quickly realize, while new elements such as the paint with cool properties such as the Propulsion Gel were exciting to play-testers, everyone would ask “…where’s my portal gun?” Portal just isn’t Portal without…portals! Software engineer Josh Weier also chimed in about how the portal gun really has to stay central to the game:

“I think Portal had this real elegance, where it was just: ‘I have my portal gun, and everything is dripping from that,’ And we didn’t want to lose that, right? We felt that was important, players understood it and we wanted to find ways to make you and your portals more powerful, but in ways that were really obvious to people.”

So Portal purists rejoice! Your beloved portal gun only disappeared during an Aperture Science-approved test for a brief moment, and it will be accompanying you on your quest to perhaps finally put an end to GLaDOS’ plans. Portal 2 is shipping on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Windows and Mac computers on February 9th, 2011.