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Valve Won't Let Us Sleep: Portal Updates

Valve appear to have decided to own March, in what’s an increasingly frightening/thrilling internet invasion. Yeah, that’s two Valve stories in a row – but we can’t not post about such things. Just a few minutes ago, Portal updated itself again – the patch notes reading simply “added valuable asset retrieval.” What could it mean? Is it the final piece in the (potentially) Portal 2 puzzle? Given Valve’s predilection for making TF2 update drip-feed news last a week, I suspect we’re not quite at the end yet. What this is, though, is a clear sign to load up Portal and hunt for mystery changes right away…. Already, I’m told, facepunch.com and Steam forumites have uncovered two new dinosaur.fizzle files and the ominously-named body_drag_01.wav. I’m hearing hints there may be a new map in there too.. Ooh! Ripe for mystery-harvesting, surely?

Update: it’s a (slightly, but tantalisingly) new ending. Video beneath the cut. German robots? Parties? Oh yes. Portal is getting a sequel – which leaves the resounding question of whether it will, as is widely speculated, be linked to HL2: Episode 3 or not…

You can assert until the cows come home that you don’t find PR gimmicks or ARGs interesting, but this is something new – updating the game itself to lay its treasure trail, rather than relying on external websites or hype. Big budget games are generally considered static, fixed – this is making full advantage of what the internet can do when made intrinsic to a game.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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