What is Portal: Revolution?

Ashley_Buckwell
edited January 15 in Gaming

Portal: Revolution, a free community-made mod for Portal 2, released on January 5, 2024. The game is a fully fledged prequel campaign for Portal 2 and will feature original characters and mind-bending puzzles in eight hours of all-new gameplay.

The Portal game series

The Portal game series is a critically acclaimed collection of puzzle-platformer games developed by Valve Corporation. The series consists of two main titles: Portal and Portal 2, and several spin-off games. In the two main titles, the first of which was released in 2007, players assume the role of Chell, a test subject trapped in a mysterious research facility known as the Aperture Science Enrichment Center. Equipped with a device called the Aperture Science Handheld Portal Device, or simply the portal gun, players must navigate through a series of test chambers by creating portals on certain surfaces and using the portals to solve puzzles and overcome obstacles. The game's ingenious mechanics, darkly humorous narrative, captivating puzzle designs, and memorable characters have made Portal one of the most popular PC game series of all time.

Portal’s popularity and impact on the gaming scene began with its fresh and innovative concept of using portals as a primary gameplay mechanic. Furthermore, its challenging yet enjoyable puzzles, which require critical thinking and problem-solving skills, increased the overall appeal of puzzle-platformer games. The game’s darkly comedic writing and memorable characters, particularly the enigmatic GLaDOS, became instant favorites among fans and influenced the narrative approach taken by other game developers. Portal impacted the indie game scene in particular in a number of ways.

  • When released, Portal’s combination of physics-based puzzle-solving and first-person platforming was at a depth not seen before. Several indie games, such as Q.U.B.E. and The Talos Principle, drew inspiration from Portal’s gameplay mechanics, further expanding the genre and challenging players to think creatively. 
  • Portal’s structure as a contained experience, focusing on a single-player story-driven campaign, showcased the potential of creating impactful games within a relatively small scope, inspiring other game developers to focus on delivering short and strong narrative experiences. 
  • Valve’s commitment to community engagement paved the way for fan-made content through the Steam Workshop. The release of Portal 2’s level editor, known as the Perpetual Testing Initiative, allowed players to create and share their own puzzles easily and fueled the desire for modding and user-generated content in other games.

Who made Portal: Revolution?

Portal: Revolution is developed by Second Face Software, a team of global volunteers and fans of the Portal series. The team comprises just seven people: core developers Stefan Heinz, Rory Lambert, Dustin Oakley, and Tristan Snartt, composer Jared Poolaw, and voice actors Will Neal and Sarah Jacklin.

The team has pointed out that it is not associated with Valve Software, and its mod is not an official installation in the Portal game series. 

Portal: Revolution gameplay and storyline 

Portal: Revolution comes complete with eight hours of gameplay, which includes more than 40 new test chambers. It takes place before the events of Portal 2 in the ruins of the dead and decaying Aperture Science facility. The story brings in new characters, with your primary companion being a personality sphere named Stirling. Together, you and Stirling set out with the goal of restoring the Aperture Science Enrichment Center to its former glory. Built using a modified version of Portal 2 Community Edition’s engine (a custom, Valve-licensed branch of the CS:GO Source engine), Portal: Revolution’s developers were able to introduce many mechanics and improvements to create an experience that would have been impossible in Portal 2.

The team says the game’s puzzle difficulty starts where Portal 2 stops. The team has stated that the game teaches players the necessary mechanics and portal tricks as it progresses, and the team has also ensured through vigorous playtesting that every player should be able to solve the puzzles. A select few chambers require portals to be fired mid-air; however, none of the puzzles require advanced, tricky movement, so players need not worry that they will have to be expert speedrunners to see the entire story play out.

Portal: Revolution release date

Portal: Revolution released on Friday, January 5, 2024, on Steam. It is free to play, although you need to own a copy of Portal 2. Head to the game’s Steam store page to start playing now.

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Ashley is a technology writer who is interested in computers and software development. He is also a fintech researcher and is fascinated with emerging trends in DeFi, blockchain, and bitcoin. He has been writing, editing, and creating content for the ESL industry in Asia for eight years, with a special focus on interactive, digital learning.

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