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Why Valve Nuked Portal 2's VS. Multiplayer Mode

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 25 comments
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The competitive multiplayer aspect was a "hot mess."

Valve Software writer Erik Wolpaw revealed that Portal 2 almost had a competitive multiplayer component, however it was removed after early tests. The news came during 1UP's visit to the developer during its 1UP Cross Country Game Tour.

"Along with co-op, [we had] the idea of sort of a competitive Portal multiplayer," he said. "We went down that path, actually, for a little while and had something up and running--the best way to describe it is sort of speedball meets Portal. You know, a sports analog."

Called "spite-your-neighbor," the multiplayer mode involved moving a ball from one end of a space to the other using portals. Competitors would attempt to stop the player by using portals as well--an example described trapping the player with a portal shot onto the ground.

"It quickly became apparent that while it's fun for about two seconds to drop portals under people and things like that, it quickly just devolves into pure chaos," he admitted. "It lost a lot of the stuff that was really entertaining about Portal, which was puzzle-solving. Cooperative puzzle-solving was just a much more rewarding path."

Portal 2 will "ship" with a longer campaign than what was experienced with the original Portal. The sequel will also provide players with a cooperative multiplayer experience when it launches in February 2011.

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Top Comments
  • 10 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 27, 2010 6:41 PM
    trialskingGreifing with the Portal gun would have been fun.......


    You can probably still greif in the Co-Op. Just because its not VS mode doesn't mean that your portal gun can't shoot portals under the person just to screw with them.
  • 10 Hide
    Trialsking , August 27, 2010 6:28 PM
    Greifing with the Portal gun would have been fun.......
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    Trialsking , August 27, 2010 6:28 PM
    Greifing with the Portal gun would have been fun.......
  • Display all 25 comments.
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , August 27, 2010 6:29 PM
    Goodness gracious great balls of fire.
  • 2 Hide
    NapoleonDK , August 27, 2010 6:32 PM
    Oh wow... No wait seriously they should give us that VS. gameplay, I want to try it!
  • 10 Hide
    jimmysmitty , August 27, 2010 6:41 PM
    trialskingGreifing with the Portal gun would have been fun.......


    You can probably still greif in the Co-Op. Just because its not VS mode doesn't mean that your portal gun can't shoot portals under the person just to screw with them.
  • 2 Hide
    braneman , August 27, 2010 6:42 PM
    but if they gave us vs. multiplayer they would spend more time balancing it than the rest of the game Team portal two isn't something I'd like to wait ten years for.
  • 0 Hide
    Acert93 , August 27, 2010 6:43 PM
    The problem was trying to make it a sporting event. Straight up DM would work. "Tag" and Team objective gameplay would also work wonderfully. I think this is an example of Valve thinking too hard. Maybe a portal sucked them out of the box?
  • 1 Hide
    kezix_69 , August 27, 2010 7:04 PM
    yeah a simple deathmatch mode would do the trick. Let modders figure out the other popular game modes....
  • 0 Hide
    bv90andy , August 27, 2010 7:04 PM
    meybe they'll add MP later in an update?
  • 0 Hide
    shotgunpadre , August 27, 2010 7:14 PM
    if they limit player number to 4,8 maybe the chaos will cease considerably? 16 ppl throwing portals at each other really doesn't sound good but it wouldn't hurt to add a simple vs mode like that.
  • 0 Hide
    mikem_90 , August 27, 2010 7:16 PM
    Damn. I can understand building games for being a game with more longevity... still would have been awesome cool for a short while.

    Maybe they could find a way to revisit the game in both Cooperative and "Deathmatch" style? I for one really enjoyed bizzare fun games like Rocket Crowbar for Halflife 1. Some of those maps and games were pretty close to a "Hot Mess"

    Maybe add in puzzle traps into the maps to make it more fun and more interesting?
  • 0 Hide
    hellwig , August 27, 2010 7:16 PM
    Acert93The problem was trying to make it a sporting event. Straight up DM would work. "Tag" and Team objective gameplay would also work wonderfully. I think this is an example of Valve thinking too hard. Maybe a portal sucked them out of the box?

    Exactly, Capture the Flag, King of the Hill, these were Mods. The original games (Quake, UT, etc..) were straight up deathmatch. True, deathmatch isn't exactly in the Portal storyline, but that doesn't mean people wouldn't want to play it for a little while. I guess the biggest problem would be how you keep all the portals straight with so many people running around shooting them.

    Give the portal beam a little force, and you could knock people off their oh-so-carefully prepared trajectories, etc.. etc... You don't need guns to make it fun.
  • 0 Hide
    retrac1324 , August 27, 2010 7:20 PM
    What about a race mode? Two players have isolated, identical courses they must try to get to the end. But instead of normal portal style maps, it's more of a linear arena with less depth
  • 7 Hide
    Dirtman73 , August 27, 2010 7:21 PM
    Who cares? The focus should be on single/co-op anyway. Makes for a better game overall, and there are a bazillion multiplayer games for us to partake in anyway.
  • 1 Hide
    Tmanishere , August 27, 2010 7:44 PM
    I don't know why they couldn't find a way to limit the number of portal you can shoot. Say you got X amount of charge on your portal gun and you would have to get an item to recharge it accordingly. I think it could work...
  • 0 Hide
    borisof007 , August 27, 2010 8:30 PM
    I'm sure someone's going to make a mod that will enable a sort of multi-player mode. Essentially, griffball with portal guns.
  • 0 Hide
    beayn , August 27, 2010 9:18 PM
    Competative multiplayer didn't have to consist of dropping portals under other people but racing to complete a puzzle before the other guy. The maps could be identical and separated by glass so they can see each other. Complete the puzzles before the other guy and win the round.
  • 2 Hide
    invlem , August 27, 2010 10:07 PM
    Pure chaos is a bad thing?
  • 0 Hide
    adikos , August 27, 2010 11:36 PM
    the SNES version of lemmings had a multiplayer component. amazingly, it too always devolved into sheer chaos. most maps put your lemming entrance near your opponents exit... so you see the dilemma. it even featured one called 'rope bridge', yeah my brother didnt just wreck that bridge.

    i can see how a portal multiplayer could just turn into griefing of a new level. thankfully they acknowledged that, but perhaps they could also come up with something else that is competitive-ish. look at all the modes they come up with for TF2. valve can do it :) 
  • 0 Hide
    eklipz330 , August 27, 2010 11:39 PM
    well im glad they destroyed it altogether rather than pasting a half-assed multiplayer into the system

    *cough cough**bioshock**cough cough*
  • 0 Hide
    dEAne , August 28, 2010 3:10 AM
    much longer campaign, I will count for that.
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