The Orange Box Part Two – Porteam Fortral 2

June 29, 2008 § 2 Comments

Once again, I’m a little late to the party.
It seems everyone with half an internet connection and a copy of the Orange Box is raving about how Portal is the greatest gift ever bestowed upon humanity by the demi-god that is Gabe Newell. I have noticed that after the recent Portal 2 casting call, people have been flinging their retarded theories about like postulating monkeys, and the ears of sensible people are being assaulted with idiotic ideas like Portal 2 going to Xen, or Gordon somehow getting his grubby mitts on the Portal Gun.

Never one to be left out of the loop, I have spent the last five minutes TWO DAYS coming up with my own list of things both most and least likely to appear in Portal 2. I’m not putting them in any kind of order, though. You should be able to decide for yourself by now, god damn.

1)Seeing Gordon

Some people think that some kind of interaction with Gordon Freeman is in any way likely. This is bollocks. Aside from the fact that he is lacking in a set of vocal chords, it would shatter the illusion that you and Gordon are the same person, and Valve clearly value that above all else, because it gives them the edge over much more high-tech games. They just about pulled it off in Opposing Force, but I don’t think they’d try it again. Believe it if you want, but you’re stupid if you do.

2)Fighting Combine

No. I don’t care how funny it would be, the Source engine cannot handle NPCs (non player characters) in portals. Anyone who has played Garry’s Mod for five minutes knows that NPCs assigned to ragdoll models are not physics-enabled save for a simple hitbox. So turrets and rollermines go through portals fine, soldiers and antlions not so much. If that’s not excuse enough for you, I reckon that there’s another reason Chell never fights the combine. The point of Opposing Force and Blue Shift was to give you another point of view on the events in Half-Life 1. When you look at it this way, and consider the predator-prey nature of Portal’s story, it seems likely that Portal 2 will take place during, or leading up to, the 7-hour war; it being the only blank space in the Half-Life story. So, possibly running from the combine, but no fighting.

3)More Portal Tomfoolery

I’ve been thinking about this kind of thing for a while. We’ve fucked about with the principles of gravity and momentum, so where can Portal go from here? Assuming Valve can bring some new ideas to the table there should be no complaints. I thought it would be cool to have different-sized portals, so you go into the big one and emerge in a world where you’re tiny, or vice versa. Also multiple portal sets please.

4)Multiplayer

No no no no no no no no no no it would not work. The capacity for griefing is ridiculous, and the numerous different portal renderings would eat up fps like there’s no tomorrow. Also it would distract from Team Fortress 2. Also it wouldn’t be fun. Stop asking.

See http://www.exitemod.com if you’re desperate (Note: it’s dead now, but the links are still up).

5)Gman

I honestly am still on the fence about this. I reckon maybe you could catch a glimpse of him at points, but I don’t think he’d take an interest in Chell at all. She doesn’t seem to be the empire-toppling type. I do think he would be after the portal gun though. My brother has a pretty good theory-type-thing that the Gman’s power revolves around teleportation, since they seem to be the only times he can interfere. That’s why I reckon he’d want the portal gun, either to use it or destroy it to prevent competition.

I only have time to do a small bit on Team Fortress 2, so I’ll talk about something which has caused a great amount of ire in the community lately. I don’t know why, but ever since the unlockables for the pyro came out, I haven’t been playing as much. I think maybe because the pyro was my favourite class before, and I would often be the only one on the team. This gave me an edge because the pyro’s main weakness is other pyros. Now that there’s so many, it gets frustrating not being able to have an impact.

Another problem is the number of servers with instant respawns active. I understand it can be annoying when you have to wait 15 seconds to get back to playing again, but Valve put the 15 seconds in for three good reasons:

1)Time to Think

When you rush out and get yourself killed for no reason, you are given time to stop and figure out what your mistakes were. That way, when you come back to life, you have some idea of what you want to do now. You also have time to consider what class you should be playing as, and which will help your team more.

2)Time to Breathe

When you finally infiltrate the enemy base and get ready to make an impact, you don’t want to see the guy you just backstabbed come running out straight away to reveal your position. You also don’t want the engineer you just blew up to instantly run back to his sentry with a full tank of metal, ready to undo everything you’ve achieved. You especially don’t want to see the two heavies you just desperately managed to burn to death to rush back out and fill you with hot angry lead. These people need to stay dead, or you get a ridiculous meatgrinding stalemate; especially on symmetrical maps like 2Fort.

3)Time to Talk

The importance of teamwork in this game is constantly misinterpreted. You don’t need to coordinate and perfectly time your actions, but you can’t expect to win the game as an unruly rabble. When you die and stay dead, you can decide who you’re going to keep an eye on in the next round, for example, a medic could heal a heavy, while a pyro gives him cover from spies and snipers by spraying fire everywhere. Likewise, a demoman could team up with a spy to destroy sentries while they’re being sapped, so he doesn’t just get pasted against the back wall by the little bastards.

Well, that didn’t really constitute a review of anything, but those are my thoughts.

Have a nice day.

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§ 2 Responses to The Orange Box Part Two – Porteam Fortral 2

  • Hailogon says:

    So on the subject of the Gman having an interest in Chell, I believe it’s entirely possible, seeing as we know nothing of her past. How did she get into Apature science in the first place? Why was she the only one left alive? There must be something significant about her if she was the one who managed to destroy at least a part of GLaDOS (even though she is of course “Still Alive”)I think the use of portals to guide inanimate objects through space is a pretty interesting one. We had this to an extent in Portal 1 with the energy balls, but what about if you had to guide a roller-mine through? I thought about the possibility of suggesting a friendly NPC that had to be guided through levels, but the AI would have to be truly incredible to pull it off. Good to see you’ve posted after all this time. Peace out.

  • Trolleydude says:

    Actually, there was a really good portal gun for Garry’s Mod a while back. Prop-based NPCs like rollermines and turrets could use portals perfectly well, but ragdoll-based ones, like rebels and combine, freaked out.Also, never doubt my posting ability. I was fully occupied this weekend though. Check your email.

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