Feature Article

What We'd Like to See in the Next Portal

We do what we want because we can.

Warning: This editorial contains spoilers for Portal and Portal 2. If you haven't played those games yet, you should download them instead of reading this anyway.

Portal 2 doesn't need a sequel, and I wouldn't even want a Portal 3.

Making a sequel that's able to compete with the nearly perfect original Portal was already a nearly impossible task as the game's writers discussed during 2012's Game Developer's Conference. And chances are, Valve still has no plans to jump directly into another Portal sequel. But just because I don't want to see a Portal 3, that doesn't mean I don't want to see more from the Portal universe.

Continuing experiments

The magic of Portal hasn't ended completely yet anyway. Fan-made mods aren't held to the same standards as the in-canon adventure, so even if they might not be quite as good, you can escape into Portal's world by either further exploring the game's fan fiction or facing even more ridiculous puzzle challenges.

Was that me behind me?

The time travel hinted at in a portion of Portal 2 has been covered through a mod called Thinking with Time Machine [sic]. Other fans made a prequel that sets up the events of GlaDOS' creation in Portal: Prelude. And the Portal 2 map editor pretty much ensures that any time I just want to flex my brain against challenges that surpass even Valve's creation, I can find a map to play.

Of course, things have been kept vague enough in Portal's story that Valve could always potentially return to the game and its characters. GlaDOS is still alive. The main character Chell is somewhere out free in an unfamiliar world. And we have no reliable way of knowing how much time actually passed between the events of Portal 1 and Portal 2. Another Portal game could take place pretty much anytime, including well after the culmination of the Half-Life series.

Aperture Science in Portal and the Black Mesa facility in Half-life have already been explicitly linked in both series. And having Chell explore the world long after the events of the alien Combine invasion from Half-Life 2 could provide an interesting narrative way to bridge the gap between the two franchises and give us insight into what happened after Half-Life 2: Episode Two.

But could that be called a Portal game? Portal is more about combining comedy and puzzles, in contrast to the seriousness and shooting gameplay of Half-Life's world. Any time spent exploring the world outside the facility makes the "Portal" moniker sound out-of-place. I think we're still going to see GlaDOS, Chell, and the portal gun, but as cameos in a Half-Life game proper.

Those wonderful toys?

The portal gun is such a clever tool, and while it has obvious limitations on what types of surfaces can be used to make its dimensional portals, creating short chapters that use the technology in a limited way makes more sense at this point than trying to craft another entire game around the tech. And that's where I'd most like to see the continuation of the main Portal story extend anyway.

While Half-Life's Gordon Freeman probably wouldn't run through a full Aperture testing lab with the gun, it's possible that more of the devices exist somewhere in the world, and who better to explain the device than Chell?

In Portal's conception as the game Narbacular Drop, it may not have been originally intended to fit into the Half-Life universe, but the two series are inextricably linked, and I'd liked to see that connection extended even further. Trying to make a full Portal 3 in the same testing facility with yet another battle against rogue AI, it would be almost impossible to capture the same sense of newness and surprise that made the previous games so good.

A handheld Aperture Science Testing Device

So how could GlaDOS and the testing chambers continue without overreach into the Half-Life lore or just rehashing similar stories and ideas? The answer's simple: A mobile game.

Portal has always been more about the puzzles and humor than anything else, and I'd rather any efforts towards a full 3D release go towards Half-Life. But there's always room in my life for a great mobile puzzle game, and that's something Valve could easily fit into the Portal universe.

Hitman GO, a recent mobile title with a board game aesthetic, provides an excellent example of staying true to the feel of a series' source material while simultaneously taking the gameplay in a completely different direction. And what is GlaDOS' ultimate goal if not to pit able-minded test subjects against one another in a set of grueling mental trials?

All hail the Turret King!

Portal's iconic turrets would fit perfectly into a standalone mobile outing. And at the end of Portal 2, they had even created their own form of civilization--singing an operatic farewell to Chell. Slides in the science facility revealed a massive Animal King turret that's able to command the worship and fear of entire governments, who would make a great comic character to expand on through short games.

Valve isn't known for making mobile games, but neither was Blizzard, a company that recently spun off their popular Hearthstone game to mobile. Fan reaction to a mobile Portal game would be initially negative, but I think it'd be possible to make a really great, novel experience that way that doesn't have to be called Portal 3.

But then again, given how effectively Blizzard is able to siphon money out of my wallet through Hearthstone and how Valve empties my accounts through their regular Steam sales, maybe I shouldn't give them more ideas on how to make me go broke.

Written By

Senior Editor, Earthbound fan, and snazzy dresser.

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Discussion

153 comments
kxd500
kxd500

I thought going to the moon was cheesy when it happened, but I suppose I would have put it in the game if I was developing it too haha. Now though I imagine a sequel where chell is compelled to portal to the moon and have the game played there. Would be an interesting dynamic having puzzles with and without gravity as well as vacuum-filled chambers needing to be filled with oxygen either by buttons or through portals or whatever it takes. It could even carry on to mars. Maybe you would have to acquire a gun for red surfaces too.

There is still loads of room to expand this game and storyline, we just havent thought of it yet.

grayxxxdemon
grayxxxdemon

I actually have an idea for the plot of portal 3.

hitomo
hitomo

'Valve has proven with Half-Life 3 they're not in a hurry to cash-in on their franchises'


isnt that a bit of an exegeration ? ... NaissanceE is like a talented developer would make a portal-game

shreddyz
shreddyz

ppl pining for a half life 3 game are pathetic. HL-2 a was long time ago. it was fun but yikes 



sorry to be a bit of a downer

LtReviews
LtReviews

Valve pretty much already gave us Portal 3. They did what very few other studios ever do- gave us the keys to the franchise and said "have fun!"


Basically, that's what the "Perpetual Testing Initiative" DLC was. 


It didn't just give you the ability to make new maps, and easily download from a near-infinite selection of others, it actually integrated them into the Portal universe. They gave it official dialogue and everything. 


So, in reality, we already have Portal 3.


Now, seriously, someone go out there and sacrifice themselves to the sentient cloud, before it comes in under the doors and leeches off all our skin. ALL HAIL THE SENTIENT CLOUD!

prats93
prats93

Portal was perfect, Portal 2 was bloated, A Portal 3 would be silly and completely unnecessary.

Apastron
Apastron

1. Half-Life 3 please.


2. Someone (I think Gabe Newell) originally said that Chell had a major role to play in the events of Half-Life, but I think that was retracted somewhere along the way.


2. Mantis men + combustible lemons please.

theprismhead
theprismhead

Did Valve even release any games in the last few years? (DotA crap doesn't count)

Arsyad00
Arsyad00

i would like to see half life 3

robertcain
robertcain

What would I like to see from Portal 3? At the moment, NOTHING! Because it's just another project that will distract Valve from making what the fans have been waiting so long for!!!

syler4815162342
syler4815162342

I can't wait for it! I know they will make it Great Valve is smart!

playstationzone
playstationzone

I would like see another Half Life as well Portal 3 for next gen but aslo like see remake of half life 1 but not going to happen because this game company not game company anymore because makeing money on stream.

GinsuVictim
GinsuVictim

"The answer's simple: A mobile game"
Trolled me good.

fatee
fatee moderator moderator

Valve doesn't do "3". 

Sorry guys. 

TommyT456
TommyT456

The Portal devs are creative enough that the idea of a next gen Portal is very exciting. I can't imagine what they can do to make the next Portal truly next gen but that's why I'm not a game designer. They always seems to surprise us so I bet they come out with that none of us could have even imagined.

jimy1475
jimy1475

you dont allways get what you want, you know

Chaos_1990
Chaos_1990

I recently played the 1st Portal game, I got it from Steam Portal bundle for 4,74€, it was great but short. I hope Portal 2 is a bit more.
As for Portal 3...I really don't know if making it a mobile game would be a step in the right direction.

NULUSIOS
NULUSIOS

No.

Expand HL.

Then add now fully fledged Portal in the same VERY reach (and vague enough) universe.


TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

I'm sure someone's mentioned it already; Valve doesn't know how to count to three. 

Thanatos2k
Thanatos2k

Sometimes we all need to listen to that part of our brain, the one that says


We better not

groowagon
groowagon

half-life 3 > second coming of jesus

groowagon
groowagon

people would go crazy if the mobile Portal would be called Portal 3. they would propably declare Portal dead. it definetly needs to be called something else so fans wouldn't explode. 


i'd love me some mobile Portal, but Valve doesn't seem to be very interested in mobile development, seeing that they have made approximately zero mobile games. wich is actually not a bad thing; i'm glad they keep their focus on PC.

phbz
phbz

I would LOVE and be completely mind blown, if Portal 3 and Half-Life 3 were release as the same game. 

PS4andXoneGamer
PS4andXoneGamer

Portal 2 was better than Portal 1. There won't be a 3rd until Valve can count to 3

IronOnion
IronOnion

They could always do a Portal prequel set in the past when the Enrichment Shafts were fully operational and Cave Johnson was still running the place. We only ever went into two of the nine shafts, and there's surely plenty of other horribly deadly vintage Aperture Science inventions to test, leaving plenty of room for story and new gameplay mechanics. And since it would be a prequel, they wouldn't even have to call it Portal 3.

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

I'm really hoping for a portal 3.Portal 2 was one of my favorite games of all time.

I don't understand the hype about half life 3 though.I think a game like half life was great years ago but in this day and age I don't think it would have anything original to offer.

prats93
prats93

Oh so DOTA is "crap" now. Is this a new trend?

shreddyz
shreddyz

@Arsyad00  I hardly remember anything about HL-2, so many years ago now. it's just history. I would rather see a new Fallout. Which we probably will this or next year!!!

shreddyz
shreddyz

@fatee  Fine. Then can call it III ;)

TommyT456
TommyT456

@Chaos_1990  Portal 2 is one of the best game of last gen. Portal 1 was kind of an experiment, trying out the idea of Portal in some puzzle scenarios. Portal 2 is where it became a fully fledged game imo. You have to play it

robertcain
robertcain

@phbz  Well Portal is in the Half Life universe. Imagine if they had an extended ending to Portal 2 where Chell gets out of Aperture, only to find a platoon of Combine forces patrolling the fields. That would be insane!!!

eldanon
eldanon

@Sun-Tzu-GE  In this day, HL would still be a shining example of a great game. HL2 was a fantastic game from almost every angle... Unlike the vast majority of boring shooters that have been released in the last decade, HL2 had a good story, great weapon variety, fantastic enemy variety, excellent set pieces, superb level design, etc etc. 


There's a reason why everyone gets worked up at a bare mention of a hint of HL3. That's because many many people consider HL2 among their top 3 games of all time. I still play HL2 every couple of years. I must've gone through the game nearly 10 times now. The only other game I bothered playing more than twice was The Witcher 2. Very very few others have ever gotten a second play through.

theprismhead
theprismhead

@prats93 Ok, that was uncalled for. Still, they didn't release anything for a while, are they working on something?

phbz
phbz

@PS4andXoneGamer @phbz  No, I´m saying the story of both converged into one game. It could just be named 3. :D 

phbz
phbz

@PETERAKO @PS4andXoneGamer @phbz  Not really a problem. 


1st- "probably"


2nd- G-man