At PAX, Valve showed off a demo of Portal 2’s co-op mode. Co-op is separate from the main storyline but developers promise each mode will be about twice as long as Portal 1. One of Valve’s goals after feedback from the original game was to formalize co-op after hearing stories about friends working together to figure out Portal’s challenging puzzles.
In co-op mode, players taken on the role of robots for players avoid excessive blood and gore that one player would see while the other has an untimely demise. To keep failure amusing and not necessarily a negative, Valve included gesture animations for the characters. You’ll see a robot player briefly look up before being crushed by a trap from above or when one player comes back to life, the teammates will hug and high-five in a third person view. Though, the actions much be initiated by both users or you’ll be left hanging with arms outstretched.
To overcome in-game communication challenges, there is an included “ping tool” to mark where teammates can aim their portals. With four portals instead of two, expect more difficult puzzles in co-op but co-op will share the same gameplay elements as single player. One example seen in the demo was to create an infinite drop but then the second player shoots a portal in the path, launching the dropping player to a high ledge on the other side of the room. During co-op, shooting a portal on your teammate’s portal will replace it instead of going through it.
To top it off, a completely fresh gameplay element was shown off during the demo. Gamers will have to utilize the hard light bridge, an energy walkway suspended in air between two points. Use a portal at the end of the walkway and you can place it elsewhere but once that portal’s gone so is the pathway. Portal 2 also features lasers that can be refracted using cubes with crystal in the middle that don’t look so different from companion cubes; but get too close and you’re dead.
Portal 2 arrives on February 9th, 2011 on PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and Mac. Video to come.
Written by Tom