Don’t Take Your Life Over Portal: Still Alive

Not doing any more science, in fact

The horrible rumour: a follow-up to Portal, available only on console. Well, that’s no rumour – Portal: Still Alive is definitely due to crop up on Xbox 360 later in the year. What we didn’t know was exactly what this apparent sequel would comprise. There’s been some outrage from the good people of PCinia, concerned that they may been shirked by Valve. Imagine – new levels, new GlaDOS, new Cube, new theme music, all denied to Portal’s true devotees.

The happy truth: nah. In fact, you can play Still Alive’s extra bits right now.

GameSetWatch’s redoubtable Simon Carless Chris Remo managed to squeeze more details out of Valve during an E3 interview. It turns out that the sum total of Portal: Still Alive’s additional content will be some of the best maps from a fan level pack. No new plot, no new GlaDOS barbs – just extra puzzles.

Specifically, puzzles from Portal: The Flash Version Map Pack, which contains 3D remakes of 40 levels from the 2D Portal remake. Sort of like the book of the film of the book. So you’re missing out on precisely diddly-squat – as you can grab the map pack from here. It’s between three and four hours of gratis Portalling, much of it very high quality. And very hard.

So go play if you’ve not already, then you can tell your 360-owning friends that you’ve played their super-duper-exclusive before they have, and they will weep and scream and grovel and proclaim you to be a superior species of humanity. Definitely. That will definitely happen.


  1. Andrew Wills says:

    God I love Valve… Releasing community made maps with TF2, hiring the guy behind Minerva, and now releasing more community content on the XBox 360, whilst simulataniously making us PC types feel all superior because we’ve played it first! *deep breath*

    Not to mention the fact that Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat and Team Fortress we’re all mods prior to Valve picking them up… Come to think of it… Do Valve actually *do* any work?

  2. Little Green Man says:

    Oh yeah, played that map pack. And are Valve charging for this or is it just free DLC for Xbox? Anyway, Wootings!

  3. Smee says:

    I love that the comment thread about this at the Steam Powered forums is entitled: “Thanks for spitting in the face of PC gamers, Valve.” It’s like a pack of hyenas over there.

  4. Noc says:

    Well if Valve likes the PC so much why don’t they marry it? Why didn’t you think about that?

    Actually, if we take that metaphor further, this development looks an awful like Valve getting caught with its pants down out back with the 360 and going “This isn’t what it looks like, damnit!”

  5. KruddMan says:

    Is there any free DLC on XBox Live? Can’t ever call it free with a subscription fee.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    i guess if it comes with silver its free?

    or dawn of war 2

  7. KindredPhantom says:

    Wow i just noticed you added link for previous and next articles. Bout time as well. It would be better for the previous article link to be to the left edge of the page and the next to be on the right side. If you get what i mean, instead of the links being centre aligned.

  8. Alec Meer says:

    Yeah, it’d be nice. Sadly it took me hours to hack this in (I have coding knowledge equivalent to that of a seahorse), so I need a few weeks to recover before having a crack at improving it.

  9. Sax says:

    So Mr. Meer ist the one and only webmaster of RPS?

  10. Cedge says:

    It was confirmed nearly a week ago that it was not a sequel, but just the original single-player game, plus some new challenge maps. I’m somewhat surprised that there are still people who do not know or understand this. Perhaps Valve should have made that more clear upon the original announcement, so that the PC fans wouldn’t be flipping out so bad.

    And to answer Andrew Wills’ question: Yes, they do. It’s a little game called “Half-Life” that you may have heard of.

  11. The Guy says:

    Or us 360 users have already downloaded and played the new maps on our PCs 9_9

    What’s with PC gamers not realizing a lot of console gamers have PCs AND Consoles? Unless you’re some little kid whose parents won’t buy him a computer and a 360. Well, then you wouldn’t be playing half of the worthwhile PC games anyway.

  12. Jetsetlemming says:

    Valve shoulda made this clearer when they announced us, but then again us TRUE believers naturally assumed that something Valve and “console exclusive” was gonna be some rehash of something available on PC or thrown together and unimpressive to our standards to impress the console dogs. :V

    There are a bunch of console gamers over on Destructoid bitching at this news that Valve’s not actually making them exclusive and polished content exclusively. Waah! Waah!

  13. Al3xand3r says:

    Eh, would Valve suddenly be evil if they did make exclusive console content? Would that make you true believers whine as much as those “console gamers” or something? It sounds like it… Funny shit.

  14. Erlam says:

    No GLaDOS? Sadface.

  15. The Shed says:

    Wasn’t it already set in stone that Portal’s ‘new bits’ would be simply more puzzles? That news has been circulating X360 circles for ages now.

  16. Crash says:

    It’s hard to overstate my satisfaction..

  17. Andrew Wills says:

    To Cedge: “Yes, they do. It’s a little game called “Half-Life” that you may have heard of.” … Nope, never heard of it!

    Hehe! I am of course kidding, Cedge… Valve are incredible, and personally I think the best part about them is they have such respect for their community, rewarding hard working and talented modders/mappers/developers by publishing their work or hiring them… Hell, thats the sole reason we have Portal.

    Considering the success Valve have had from hiring / buying mod(s) developers, I’m surprised that so few other companies are willing to do the same. CS:S, TF2, Portal, DoD, L4D and the many other developers on staff, all come from modding or mapping backgrounds… So why do so many companies insist upon “5 Published AAA Titles!” before you can even consider typing up a CV?

    Can you tell I’m a frustrated, unemployed mod developer? Can you?

  18. Al3xand3r says:

    Go to Valve? :P

  19. malkav11 says:

    Oh, well, that’s good. I have a 360 and all, but I wasn’t looking forward to trying to play Portal content with a gamepad.

  20. kadayi says:

    I guess Valve will carry out a degree of repackaging of the levels themselves (maybe add some Glados voicing) , one has to wonder whether the guys who designed the levels (both flash & 3D interpretations) maybe got picked up like the Minerva guy as well.

    With regards to Andrew Wills statement. I’d say that Valve have a keen eye for projects that have potential and that they build upon them, and apply the necessary polish to turn them from good amateur projects into decent commercial ones. That in itself is no bad thing.

  21. Masked Dave says:

    Wasn’t this mentioned in the first few comments to the original post?

  22. Okami says:

    @Andrew: Don’t let yourself get demoralized by job ads that require 5 published AAA titles. Getting a job (well an internship at first) in the games industry is easier than it looks. You wouldn’t believe how easy it can still be to get a job.

    Of course you won’t be working on a AAA title with >90% metacritics score from the outset. But trust me, when I tell you that it really doesn’t take much to break into the industry. Otherwise I would never have gotten a job ;)

  23. RichPowers says:

    This just in: internet full of whiners *points to a Fallout 3 thread and runs*

    One of the many reasons I <3 Valve is because they hire from the community. Some of the best games I’ve ever played have been mods (Desert Combat comes to mind).

  24. Stu says:

    Kruddman: A subscription is only required to play online; a Live Silver (ie. free) account will suffice for downloading DLC, whether paid-for or free (such as, um, “Still Alive” for Rock Band).

    Cedge, Shed and Masked Dave: Although it was known that the new content would simply be additional challenge levels, it hadn’t yet been revealed that they would be levels already available to PC owners (for free).

  25. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    I’m pretty disappointed by this, I was hoping for some new Valve-designed maps which would eventually have filtered to the PC.

  26. Deuteronomy says:

    So where’s episode three? I’ll join in with Valve fellation if they give us episode three soon! Left 4 Dead isn’t pushing my buttons and Portal really didn’t blow me away.

  27. Radiant says:

    I don’t understand why some people either love Valve or they want to cook and eat them.
    It’s either or.
    Can’t /these people/ just play the games?

  28. sbs says:

    The map pack is absolutely sublime, I’m playing it at the moment. My jaw dropped when


    You crawl through that one vent and see the Borealis in a sort of dock, and then you can load some GLaDOS parts(at least I think they were) on it by pressing that button. I would call it an easteregg, if it wouldn’t tie in with the Half-life story so beautifully. Great stuff.

  29. Hermes says:

    What ever happened to that rumored tanker area in the original v1.0 half life. There were apparently dinosaurs and such and a briefcase containing a nuke. Perhaps it was a strange dream I had back then. But I also remember reading about the area being taken out with a subsequent update.

    And before you go and say that I’m thinking about the half life 2 beta or somesuch, I am referring to a rumored section in the original first version of the 1998 half life.

    any ideas or am I remembering incorrectly.

  30. Ryan says:

    I just started the map pack, and I’m seesawing between mild amusement and blind rage. There are some awesome moments (starting with the appearance of the portal gun at the beginning), but the puzzles so far seem to be about 25% cool stuff that makes good use of the new elements they’ve added and the rest of the time puzzles where the solution is incredibly obvious or provided to you outright with way too many conveniently placed icons, but execution relies on perfect timing or finicky portal placement or else you die instantly and have to start over at your last save. I’m all for harder puzzles, but I wish they were harder to plan through, not harder to execute.

  31. Alex says:

    Thought it might be worth mentioning that Chris Remo, not Simon Carless, squeezed those details out of Valve. Simon merely re-posted the detail squeezing that originally appeared on Chris’ blog, this information is even noted.

  32. DraconianOne says:

    Worst post title yet, Mr Meer.

  33. There Is No Glass says:

    So the total game lenght is five hours now? One more expansion pack like this and Portal will actually be a videogame! Go Valve!

  34. bonuswavepilot says:

    @Alec: Shouldn’t be too hard to align things thus. If you aren’t averse to using tables, for example, where you currently have your bit that displays the links, you could instead make a table with one row, two sets of data in that row. Each td element can have its own align= attrib, so you just make the left one align=”left” and the right align=”right”, and put one link in each.

    Though this loses you your nice red links ’cause they’re in the paragraph style in your css, and paras don’t play so nice with tables, in my experience. Thus, you need to add some rules for links in tables, similar to what you have in the div.block ul a:link section. So, adding something like;

    div.block table td a:link {margin:0 auto;padding:0;border:0;text-decoration:none;color:#8a0a00;font-weight:bold}
    div.block table td a:visited {text-decoration:none;color:#8a0a00;border:0;}
    div.block table td a:hover {text-decoration:none;color:#ffa42f;border:0;}
    div.block table td a:active {text-decoration:none;color:#8a0a00;border:0;}

    To your style.css file ought to do it.

    (Tried this out, seems to render ok in firefox at least. Would have posted the actual html, but tricky to put it into a comment without it just being rendered.)

  35. Alec Meer says:

    Eeee. Basically, I use a system of trial, error, copy, paste, Google and intermittent disaster. So while I’m generally fine with tweaking style.css these days, I’ve no idea how to implement a table. Cheers though. I’ll get around to it eventually, I’m sure.

    (The chap who designed the site is busy with other projects, hence I’m not bothering him about minor tweakery).

  36. phuzz says:

    @Hermes: iirc the Borealis was originally supposed to be in HL2, but was cut later. You might be interested in the mod Missing Information, which is basically a collection of all the bits of HL2 that were cut out (so it includes bits from trailers and gameplay vids). It’s buggy as hell, but interesting, in a “crawling through valve’s bins to see what they threw away”, kind of way…

  37. Hermes says:


    thanks I actually have gone through that area in hl2. What I am referring to is a rumored part of version 1.0 Half-Life (1998) which was removed in a subsequent patch.

  38. Walter says:

    I had never heard of that mod, downloading now.


  39. Saflo says:

    Hermes, are you thinking of The Gunman Chronicles? It had dinosaurs in it and ran on the HL engine.

    link to

  40. MetalCircus says:

    I still have my copy of Gunman Chronicles in a huge cardboard box… i loved that back when it came out. I was such a massive HL freak. I should fire it up again sometime.

  41. GeorgeR says:

    Groveling here we come. Downloading now!

  42. Hermes says:


    I think you may be right, I think I still have gunman chronicles laying around somewhere.

  43. alphaxion says:

    @Okami my girlfriend is currently trying to get a works placement at a development studio but has not had any response back from any of them so far :(

    She is currently working on a game concept to show off to sumo should they call her in for an interview, it’s a great idea she has and I keep telling her to make a scan of one of her drawings and send it in to her contact in that company…

    But, she’s understandably worried about either being told it’s a waste of time or the idea getting pilfered >.<

    If you have any suggestions I’d love to hear from you and can pass them onto her – just add to my name to get my email addy :)

  44. Supertycoon says:

    @Andre Wills Sometimes they make the game.