Lab In The Dark: Portal 2 – Designed For Danger

By Adam Smith on October 29th, 2012 at 1:00 pm.

Until this weekend, I hadn’t revisited Portal 2 since the release of the Perpetual Testing Initiative. I vaguely assumed that user-built test chambers would fall, broadly speaking, into two types: so easy that they made me appreciate the complex genius of the originals, or so difficult that they made me appreciate the simple genius of the originals. Replaying Portal 2 at the end of 2011 also made me realise that the puzzles were the bits in between the prattling robots and the archaeological ascent through Aperture. I spent more time smiling than thinking with furrowed brow. Naturally, then, a set of user-made levels that form a story appeal more than standalone levels. Designed for Danger is such a thing and, from the little I’ve played of the eight levels, it’s high quality stuff.

Creator Patrick Murphy (also responsible for spiffy HL2 mod, Precursor) reckons this diversion from the game’s canonical happenings should last one or two hours, but judging by the scale of its chambers I think I might be scrambling about for a while longer. As far as light bridges and funnels are concerned, I panic when they’re placed in an expansive area. More space suggests more ways to fail, even if that’s rarely the case as far as Portal is concerned.

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15 Comments »

  1. NathaI3 says:

    After a couple of playthroughs of the SP and the co-op, I was bored with Portal but always vowed to return after a year or so to see what wonderful creations the PIT had spawned.

    With these things I can never be bothered to sift through the vast amounts of crap to find the real gems so this is a real help, I’ll try it pretty soon, cheers RPS!

  2. wccrawford says:

    For some reason, I keep forgetting that the workshop exists for Portal 2. Thanks for the reminder! I need to go back and continuing playing them. I had already found quite a few fun levels (even if they weren’t up to Valve standards) and I’m not sure why I ever wandered away.

  3. The First Door says:

    Oh, excellent! I haven’t played Portal 2 for ages, but I love going back now and again to remember how much it can make my brain hurt. Also, I just find the environments really interesting places to poke around.

    Incidentally, anyone looking for another good set of levels should check out 12 Angry Tests if you’ve not seen it before. I played last time I was in a Portal 2 phase and really enjoyed it. It is like a little Portal 2 story in miniature: http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=68540935

  4. Coccyx says:

    Just finished – this is an excellent bit of portalling action. Puzzles weren’t too taxing, I got stuck just the right amount. A larger, more complicated finale would have been appreciated, but aside from that the humours great ( I laughed out loud a few times) and the fairly minimalistic story is well executed. Always good to see more of the adventure sphere!

  5. Matt_W says:

    Any of the levels by Mevious are also excellent; Valve showcased several of them when the Workshop was originally launched. I go back to Portal 2 every couple months or so to check out new user created levels. When I choose top rated ones, I haven’t been disappointed yet.

    • Jahkaivah says:

      Yeah after playing just two of his Test Chambers I promptly queued up the rest of his stuff in the playlist so I could play them all, though I still haven’t gotten round to finishing them yet.

    • Pazguato says:

      Totally agree about Mevious. His collection “Aperture Employee of the Moment Award” have some of the best Portal 2 levels (including the original ones!): http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=68462137

    • Dervish says:

      For those unfamiliar, Mevious is the guy behind Portal Pro and the Resurrection map for Portal 1. His are the best puzzles to come out of the community in terms of requiring logical solutions instead of tricky jumps and angles.

  6. Jahkaivah says:

    On the topic of Portal 2 Workshop, anyone want to check out the Test Chamber I made a while back?

    http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=71838422

  7. x1501 says:

    Are there any good campaigns designed specifically for co-op?

    • Mr. Mister says:

      I hear Cyan Industries is pretty good, even though (IIRC, don’t kill me) it was made before the PTI, with Hammer. It consists of 3 levels,eah of them massive and very intrincated.

      And for a standalone level, Cubism can screw with your directional perception.

      • Sparkasaurusmex says:

        It would have to be made with Hammer to be co-op anyway

  8. Kollega says:

    I tried to play the first part, but the game just freezes up when i try to load it. Anyone else have the same problem?

  9. Beelzebud says:

    Synchronicity can be spooky. Just this weekend I got bored and decided to check out the custom stuff for Portal 2. The highest rated collection was this, and I played through it all on Saturday night. It’s a very quality set of levels.