PAX Prime 2010: Portal 2 Co-Op = Mind Blown!

As I stepped into Valves booth, I felt like the rotten apple among the hard core fans just waiting to get a peek at the new co-op feature in Portal 2. To be perfectly honest I like Portal but my level of interest in its sequel was medium at best. In my mind I wasn’t quite sure if there would be something that would make me put down the cash for a day one purchase. With a little skepticism I was very much expecting more of the same. Once the room was packed we were shown our newest victims from Aperture science, a robotic buddy due that would serve as your avatars during the independent storyline that flows within co-op mode. The trailer automatically kicked into that charming humor Valve has been known for, while establishing a personality to these robots that made you both interested and care about them. Everyone in the room busted into laughter throughout the opening trailer and with that Valve had us.

Before we got to see the demo Valve stated that, while many Portal fans enjoyed Portal and its arcade release, fans felt that it was little short as far as contents was concerned. With Portal 2’s release Valve promises over 4X the amount of content found in the first Portal. While constructing Portal 2’s co-op content Valve wanted to formulate a family style co-op experience. This of course meant using both split-screen playability as well as on line co-op. The complexity of the levels shown differentiated in difficulty and will really task both co-op players to work in tandem to overcome the levels obstacles We were shown a unique ping feature that players can use to help each other by marking where they should place a portal with the simple click of the right analog stick. This simple feature should help to get rid of “Dude..over to the left…not that left, your other left.” Valve has put together a co-op experience that really emphasizes the need to work together, without over frustrating players as the subtle infusion of humor that breaks up tension and adds amazing charm. It is vital and necessary for players to work together and think out the puzzles as a team. While so many games that feature co-op often fall into two players just occupying  a games space, Portal 2’s co-op make playing with a friend a fresh new experience worth every penny. As one of my TOP games at PAX Valve has done it again and I simply cannot wait. Here is to hoping the rest of the game will be as great as what I was shown.

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