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Portal 3 Is Long Overdue

It’s been more than 10 years since Portal 2 was released, and nearly 15 since the original. And despite that decade and a half being filled with the endless beating to death of “The Cake Is a Lie” and “When Life Gives You Lemons…”, we’re no closer to any fresh material.

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I’ve had a new computer – the most powerful I’ve ever owned. It outguns the Series X and PS5, so naturally I wanted to test out all that incredible potential. Portal seemed like the obvious choice. Then Portal 2.

It was no surprise that it was funny. That’s what it’s known for. But I’d forgotten how funny and, outside of the memes, exactly what the jokes were. It feels so fresh, maybe because in its own way it brought this style of humour to video games. Would Borderlands have headed off in this direction without Portal leading the charge?

My playthrough has been mired by a single thing: the lack of a new entry.

Portal – Proof Valve Can’t Count to Three

So there’s a number of strings to the “why” Portal 3 doesn’t exist. Arguably, narratively, a threequel doesn’t need to exist. The second game wrapped up all the little bows. That’s never been a problem in the history of sequels, but there you go.

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On the other hand, Valve hasn’t exactly been spitting out new games. Half Life: Alyx – a VR exclusive – is a rare sojourn back into the world of making video games. For the most part Valve has been focussing on Steam and the various money-making parts of that.

There are plenty of “why nots” surrounding Portal 3. It doesn’t make it any less of a desirable product.

The franchise was never going to take off in the way that something like Spider-Man did. It’s a big player in a niche market, bringing snappy controls and great writing to what in other hands would effectively be an indie puzzle game. The market for a new game is millions, not necessarily tens of millions.

For those millions that’d line up to buy it, Portal does things no other game has managed to do. Get away from the laughs and you have a decent, unique puzzle game. The platform elements are made by the hook – the ability to conjure up two connected doorways in order to solve a puzzle.

Nothing else can really take its place. A new title in the franchise is extremely obvious by its absence.

Now, I’m not a big fan of VR currently, but Alyx is about the only big game for it. It stands to reason that Valve will want to follow up its Half Life success with something else…

Could Portal be the answer? If so, let’s hope they give us non-VR players an option to get involved too.

Conclusion

Portal has long been a fan favourite. Ever since the original came out in 2007, its unique charms and gameplay loop has led it to being highly regarded by just about everybody that plays it.

Having replayed them both recently, I can say they still stand up. Portal 2 looks like an early PS4 game – incredibly playable and not at all dated.

But just imagine what could be done with today’s technology and those sexy SSDs that come included with the latest consoles.

But, alas, it seems all of this is but a dream. We forgive you Valve. You monster.

 

Article By

blank Mat Growcott has been a long-time member of the gaming press. He's written two books and a web series, and doesn't have nearly enough time to play the games he writes about.

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