Where the first game was a test-run of a risky idea, Portal 2 is the confident full-blown feature. Bigger, more complex and exponentially fleshed out from Portal's original snapshot, it's going to let us see and do more than the original ever hinted at. And according toa new, epic interview on Funambulism with writers Erik Wolpaw and Chet Faliszek, Aperture Science itself might be the biggest source of revelations.
It's no secret that Portal 2 is set an indeterminate number of years after the first game, with the Aperture facility in a state of decay. The smoke and mirrors have fallen away somewhat, dropping the veil between the safely controlled environment of its clinical test chambers, its rotten, secret industrial underbelly and the verdant sprawl of the daylit outside world. But there's a lot more to be revealed about Aperture than simply its supporting archetecture, as Valve's scribes explain.
Discussing new instructional messages that appear around the facility despite its state of degradation, Wolpaw explains,
"Aperture’s this absurd funhouse of science and they’ve planned that someday something’s going to blow up but for whatever reason they want people to keep testing so we’ll have messages to help you test even though there’s nobody around to deal with it"
"One of the characters in Portal 2 is Aperture Science itself. There is a lot you’re going to learn about Aperture Science, you’ll see a lot of the behind the scenes stuff, that’s just a hint of what you’ll be exposed to; the idea of a science company that’s gone mad with science, where they put that first in front of everything else"
The history, (d)evolution and self-contained reasoning for Aperture's descent into madness, revealed through my journey through its decaying latestiteration? I'm all over that. Also intriguing is the revelation that "there's a whole bunch more characters coming down the line as well". So, Chell, GlaDOS, Stephen Merchant-voiced personality core Wheatly (part of a full colony that has become independent in the centuries since Portal) and more characters to come? Aperture has turned into a full bio-technological ecosystem since Chell first took GlaDOS down, and I can't wait to explore it over the course of a full-length game.
Want more? Well there is more.Stacks of it. Art direction, GlaDOS' new personality, the slapstick comedy of the co-op campaign, and what sextech may or may not be are all covered, as is an absolute shedload more. Sogo and have a look. And check out ourPortal 2 hub pagetoo. It contains all of our Portal 2content so far, and will continue to do so at every new so-far we hit as we cover the game right up to its release.