Portal 2 More Complex, But not Necessarily More Difficult

A word from the developers on changes and difficulty.

Joey Davidsonby Joey Davidson

Portal 2 More Complex, But not Necessarily More Difficult

Valve’s Chet Faliszek, in an interview with VideoGamesDaily.com, spoke about Portal 2, the respect for the original and the challenges Valve faced when making the sequel. The site was brave enough to prod Faliszek about the decision to make a sequel to a game that was, in all honesty, perfect.

Faliszek admitted that the original was a standalone success, but that there was even more that could be properly said by a sequel without detracting from the original. Faliszek said that the Valve team held the original Portal’s success and story in such high regard that they didn’t want this sequel to affect the tellings of the original game at all.

That’s when VideoGamesDaily asked Faliszek about how they acheived that type of unique success with this sequel, and Faliszek ellaborated by highlighting the story while addressing the new puzzles.

How do you think you’ve achieved that with Portal 2, then? Avoiding narrative specifics, obviously.

Well first we respected the story we started with, and ran with that, so you kind of get some payoffs there if you’ve played Portal 1. And we expanded the world out a lot, and there’s just a lot of difference. In Portal 1 you saw the testing labs and behind the scenes, and in Portal 2 there are all these different areas you can go to, you can see all these different sides of Aperture Science, and learn all this stuff about that’s going on there, about GLaDOS, and [hesitates] other things going on there… it’s so hard to talk about! Expanding that all out.

And then it also comes with expanding the puzzles out. We didn’t want to just take the same puzzles and make them more difficult – we expand that out by giving you more to do, more complexity but not necessarily difficulty. So that you have all these different elements you have to pull in – you have hard light bridges now, you have tractor beams, you have all these different elements that you’re using in the game, and you add them all up and run with it.

More complex, but not necessarily more difficult. The implications are almost tiresome in and of themselves. Valve will surely have devised a new way to educate players for these new complexities, thus removing a lot of the frustrating difficulties that come with puzzle solving systems.

We’ll have more on Portal 2 as it comes.