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Valve Talks Portal 2’s Difficulty

Valve’s Erik Wolpaw, writer for Portal 2, spoke with Joystiq over the weekend at PAX about the difficulty of Portal 2. According to Wolpaw, the game will be more challenging, but players will be better prepared.

The trailers and gameplay footage released so far, like what you see in the video above, depict Portal 2 as a game that features quick mechanics and complex puzzle solving. The game manages to look tough on film, and to this Portal fan it looks even tougher than before. But, according to Wolpaw, player’s will be prepared.

“We’re going to train you…At no point are we going to ask you do something that we haven’t prepared you to do.”

As Joystiq spoke with Wolpaw, he talked about the challenging puzzles in the original Portal. Apparently, Valve has done great work by monitoring the progress of players as they solved the work of GLaDOS. According to Wolpaw, they even tracked when players gave up.

“One of the things we learned after releasing Portal 1 was that there were a couple puzzles in Portal 1 that required some sort of twitchy ninja skills to actually execute the solution…If you then struggle with the controller for twenty minutes to execute the solution that you already know…almost universally we found that it was frustrating people.”

Wolpaw went on to explain that they’ve made certain aspects of Portal 2 more forgiving. What they’ve built with Portal 2 is a more gradual training ground for solving puzzles later in the game. Players will be stressed by the thought required to work elements out, and not the frustrations they have with their controllers.

When it comes to the co-op functionality of the game, Wolpaw said that speed runs will require players to practically “dance” together with timing and precision. That, to us, sounds tough.

Portal 2 is due out for PC, Mac, PS3 and 360 on April 18th.

[via Joystiq]


Joey Davidson

Joey Davidson leads the gaming department here on TechnoBuffalo. He's been covering games online for more than 10 years, and he's a lover of all...

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