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Portal

1 month ago

MacOS’s 32-bit-breaking Catalina update is live, wreaking havoc on classic game collections

Well, it's finally happened. On Monday, Apple released the feared MacOS "Catalina" update, killing compatibility for dozens of 32-bit games. From this week onwards, updated Macs just flat out won't run 'em. In the constant churn of developing newer, faster, and sleeker operating systems, the Mac makers have given curators of older games a simple choice: put in the work to bring your games up…

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5 months ago

Feature: Listen now and be intrigued

Podcast: The shipping forecast

 This is the shipping forecast; the synopsis at 5pm. Solid Snake just west of cloak room, expected to move towards Sam Fisher on dance floor before midnight. Wrecking Ball from Overwatch, mild at 1am, becoming rabid with lust at 3am. Agent 47 from Hitman: confused, occasional peeping, becoming horny later. Red Prince: cyclonic, mainly drinking alone, peering at Steve from Minecraft with questionable motives,…

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11 months ago

Charity speedrunning marathon Awesome Games Done Quick 2019 starts today

I hope you didn’t have anything planned this week, because speedrunning extravaganza Awesome Games Done Quick starts today at 4:30pm GMT. If you’ve never tuned in before, AGDQ is a weeklong, 24/7 marathon of games, all played as fast as possible, while streaming on Twitch and raising a whole shedload of cash for the Prevent Cancer Foundation. What’s not to like?

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Erik Wolpaw is working with Valve again, because he never really stopped

Hooting echoed across the virtual valleys and mesas of the Internet this week after those who pan the digital stream in search of anything ending with "3" got an inkling that former Valve writer Erik Wolpaw had returned to the Half-Life mob after leaving in 2017. And yep, Wolpaw has confirmed to me that he is doing work for Valve these days - because he…

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1 year ago

Valve demo new VR controls with Portal mini-games

It strikes me as very silly that anyone is trying to declare VR a failure or a success, given that we're still working out the most basic of control systems for it. Valve's latest VR project is a new alternate controller for the HTC Vive called Knuckles, and by all accounts it's a big step in the right direction, allowing complex finger motions to be…

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2 years ago

Wormhole Wars is the Portal arena deathmatch of your dreams

Not every game needs to reinvent the wheel. Or even involve themselves in this business of wheels. Sometimes you need only grab a few universally beloved things and jam them together. If you had an arena multiplayer shooter that combined the best levels of Halo with the constant world-bending of Portal and added a dash of the best parts of Overwatch, well, that's what Wormhole…

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Feature: Bridging the gap

Bridge Constructor Portal isn’t a rollercoaster of laughs, but it’s still good

It's not the Portal follow-up we were expecting, but it's the one we got. Bridge Constructor Portal is a crossover between Valve’s comedy science puzzler and the strut-straddling engineering of the Bridge Constructor series. You’re still making bridges that wobble from A to B, and sending small vehicles across your creations. However, you also have the distraction of portals, turrets, proulsion gel and catapults, as…

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Feature: the wonder of being weary

The Joy of Chell’s design in Portal

The Orange Box turned 10 years old this year, and by extension Portal celebrated its anniversary too. Sitting alongside continuations of well-loved games, the short puzzle adventure could have been quickly forgotten. Tacked on to bulk up the box. It was, however, a surprise hit, winning over players with its smart spatial puzzles and writing that fans continue to quote. And while I can list…

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Now you’re engineering with portals: Bridge Constructor Portal released

Two fiendish physics puzzlers come together today in Bridge Constructor Portal, challenging players to build bridges that shuttle vehicles through deadly labs with the help of Portal's teleportation portals and gels. And, of course, Ellen McLain returns to voice the dastardly AI GLaDOS and taunt us. I have enjoyed the recent resurgence of bridge-construction games, carefully balancing beams and lacing cables then watching it all…

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Portal returns! … as a Bridge Constructor spin-off!?

Here’s an odd fusion. Portal is being mixed with the Bridge Constructor series to create a spin-off game about making fragile bridges that transport forklifts from one side of the Aperture Science facility to the other. In Bridge Constructor Portal we'll see GLaDOS, the robot marm of the passive aggressive puzzler, return to torment the player with what I presume will be a characteristically snide…

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Feature: Bit drab, wasn't it?

Have you played… Portal?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time. Is there any greater testament to the power of writing in games than all the fandom that spilled forth from Portal? Valve's first-person puzzler recently turned ten years old, and when I think back on it, so much of what I remember is…

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Feature: Three to one

Making The Orange Box: how 3 Valve games became 1

The Orange Box is one of the strangest quirks of gaming history. Never before had a developer released three brand new, entirely separate games at the same time in one package, and thanks to digital distribution, it probably won't happen again. What makes The Orange Box truly remarkable though is that it contained two of the most-anticipated games of 2007, and what proved to be…

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Feature: Author = Final Boss?

Death To The Author: killing creators in Dishonored, Portal and BioShock

When we meet the creators of fictional worlds, we often want to kill them. Whether its Bioshock's Andrew Ryan and his deadly Rapture, GlaDOS and the sadistic test chambers of Portal, or Kirin Jindosh and the Clockwork Mansion. The urge to destroy these builders is partly down to the nature of their constructions - deathtraps and mazes that make the architect a cruel overseer -…

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3 years ago

Feature: Keep your finger on the pulse without giving up sleep

The 23 best bite-size games for busy lives

I am dad, hear me whinge. Too many games, not enough spare time, for all my non-work hours are spent kissing grazed knees, explaining why you cannot eat the food in that cupboard, constructing awful Lion King dioramas out of toilet roll tubes and being terrified that the next jump from the sofa to the armchair will go fatally wrong. I'm lucky in that my…

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Feature: Puzzles (puzzles) are (are) difficult (difficult)

Premature Evaluation: ECHOPLEX

Every week we expose Brendan to the radioactive chemicals of the early access laboratory. This time, the time-bending puzzles of ECHOPLEX [official site]. I am stuck. There are 15 short levels currently available in ECHOPLEX, a first-person puzzler along the lines of Portal and Antichamber, and I am stuck on level 11. It is a toughie. The thing is, I’m not sure if the game…

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Happy Birthday! Valve Turned 20 Yesterday

Happy 20th birthday, Valve! Yesterday. Happy 20th yesterday. Sorry, I only just saw the Facebook notification. On August 24th, 1996, ex-Microsoft employees Gabe Newell and Mike Harrington made a beautiful baby who was mighty eye-opening. In the dreamy game of "What if...?" one curious hypothetical is: what if Valve never existed? There can't be many companies who've had nearly as much impact. Steam (eventually) revolutionised…

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4 years ago

Feature: Aperture Science does Angry Birds

Wot I Think: Valve’s Portal-Themed VR Suite The Lab

The Lab is a free, semi-Portal-themed collection of minigames and vignettes from Valve, designed to show of the capabilities of their new VR headset, the Vive. It's out now, but clearly most of you won't be able to try it - even if you ordered a Vive, you're weeks or more away from receiving it. Given this is, in theory, the first new Valve game…

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J.J. Abrams: Half-Life & Portal Movies “In Development”

Half-Life and Portal movies are "in development", according to JJ Abrams. The director told IGN that "We've got writers, and we're working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update." Which means clearly Abrams isn't familiar with Half-Life fans, who can see excitement in a cloud shaped like Gordon Freeman's face.

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Rocket League Portal DLC Doesn’t Contain Portals

A free Portal-themed set of cosmetic items and flourishes will arrive in Rocket League [official site] tomorrow. There are gel trails for your nitro boosts, cake hats and decals, and heart-breaking Companion Cube antennae. There's plenty more along those lines as well, and it's all free, but I'm perhaps unfairly disappointed by the lack of actual portals. I hadn't even considered how amazing it would…

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Sonic 2 Hack Gives Hedgehog A Portal Gun

If you were a Mega Driver back in the day (or Genesis-er if you live Stateside) then you'll know Sonic 2 was the best Sonic. The original Sonic the Hedgehog introduced the concept and set the tone, whilst Sonic 3 tried too hard with its dodgy boss melodies and pain-in-the-arse bonus levels. Anything after that was mince. Sonic 2 was the sweet spot in the…

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