One of the most popular games of last year was Portal 2. The game was insanely well received by fans and critics alike. The release of the game was preceded by a massive alternate reality game (ARG) that was run by Valve. After release of the game, Valve added some extra stuff, like a time-trial mode with leaderboards. More recently, Valve added the “Perpetual Testing Initiative” to the game, which added a level creator, allowing people to create and share custom levels easily. Now, Valve has announced on the Portal 2 blog that the game will be getting another update – the developer is adding co-operative modes to the Perpetual Testing Initiative.

This would allow players to create and share levels that can be played co-op. To promote the new co-op feature in the Perpetual Testing Initiative, Valve has given everyone who already owns a copy of Portal 2 a discount coupon that would get them another copy of the game at 75 percent off. Another major feature added to the game in the update is “Quick Play”. Quick Play creates never-ending, automatically generated playlists of the top rated maps in a variety of category.  All these updates are completely free.

Up, up and away

User created levels will now get co-op

Portal 2 is a game in the first person perspective that is, surprisingly, not an action game. The game focuses on puzzles revolving around physics and a gun that lets you shoot portals you can pass through. The first game was released in 2007 in The Orange Box as an extra game and was only around three hours long if you didn’t know what to do. The first game was a critical hit because of the tight gameplay, great pacing and witty dialog. The sequel took it up a notch by being a fully featured eight hour long game. Though not as well received as the first one, Portal 2 still got enough acclaim to be counted as one of the best games of 2011.

One of the other games Valve has updated in recent times is Team Fortress 2. The game has just received the Mann vs. Machine update which adds a new game mode. The new game mode is a co-op mode where you and five friends have to team up to fight a “desperate battle to stop a lethal horde of robots from deploying a bomb in one of Mann Co.’s many strongholds,” according to the official page for the update. Players can upgrade abilities and weapons in the breaks between waves. Surviving all the waves in a variety of missions earns the players new loot.

Valve had hidden clues for the Team Fortress 2 update in what it said was its biggest ARG yet. Valve admitted to the ARG recently. The Valve team was concerned that players would take weeks together to figure out the puzzle. According to an official blog post, the puzzle was the team's “most fiendishly difficult ARG yet, involving roughly 5000 individual pieces of data that had to be painstakingly collected and decoded by equipping specific items and then performing even more specific actions in-game.” The post states that the puzzle may have been needlessly complex and that some among the Team Fortress team were worried that they might have gone to an extreme with this ARG.

However, in only twelve hours, players and ARG enthusiasts put the community’s collective brainpower together to solve the puzzle, which uncovered a mysterious link at 2:46 AM PDT on August 12. “Also, if we're being honest, a little giddy at the possibilities, because if you can apply yourselves this commandingly to a goofy online puzzle for a war-themed hat simulator, next time we'll think big and ask you to construct a manned space shuttle to Mars or something”.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,