Portal 2 postponed again: no cake until April

Valve should really just stop putting release dates on its products. The much-anticipated sequel to the company’s infectious Portal puzzle shooter was at one point expected to arrive this holiday season. Just prior to E3 this summer, Valve announced that the game would be delayed until next year. February, we were told. And now, just a few months short, Valve has pushed back Portal 2 yet again, this time until April of 2011. At least the press release finds some humor in the situation.

Valve today announced that Portal 2 — the sequel to the ground-breaking title that won over 30 game of the year awards, despite missing its original ship date — will now be available the week of April 18th, 2011. This two month slip not only marks the shortest delay in Valve’s proud tradition of delays, it represents the approaching convergence of Valve Time and Real Time. Though this convergence spells doom for humanity, it will not affect the new Portal 2 release date.

If you’re planning a vacation around Valve’s next helping of cake, note that the 18th isn’t necessarily the first day you’ll be able to get your hands on the game. According to Shacknews, Valve will have Portal 2 in North American stores on April 20 and on Australian shelves two days later. The press release doesn’t indicate when the game will be uncorked on Steam, but I’d expect pre-loading to begin in early April.

Of course, Valve is as infamous for delays as fans are rabid for its releases. The Valve Developer Community has a nice summary of the disconnect between the Valve clock and time as you and I know it. Half-Life 2: Episode 3, for example, was originally slated to arrive in 2007. I’m sure it’ll be out any day now.

Comments closed
    • swaaye
    • 9 years ago

    I still can’t believe Duke 4 is coming.

    • h4x0rpenguin
    • 9 years ago

    If HL2:ep3 (or HL3)’s release date is coincident with the rapture (according to the valve developer community), and the convergence of Valve time and Real time supposedly spells doom for humanity, doesn’t that mean HL2:ep3 will arrive when the 2 times converge?

    If the discrepancy is only 2 months now, does that pin the release date somewhere in late 2012? Time for someone with far too much time on their hands to plot a graph, me thinks.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 9 years ago

    So I’m confused how L4D 2 was a sequel and took 11 months to make, mean while the episodes aren’t and they always take a couple years or more to produce and are about the same length.

      • dashbarron
      • 9 years ago

      “Sequel” is an easy word to throw around.

      The game doesn’t have stunning graphics, audio, mechanics, as much per most of Valve’s games. There just aren’t much to them compared to other games.

    • cybot_x1024
    • 9 years ago

    it looks like we’ve gone from the release date of the game to the release date of the next release date.
    At this rate the next HL will release when my son is the age i was when i first played HL.

      • Chrispy_
      • 9 years ago

      This is the point that’s getting silly:

      The HL trilogy is getting alarmingly close to the same timescale as the generational gap. My Cousin had her baby the week before Half life came out. My 12-year-old nephew has already played half-life and enjoyed it so much that I gifted him the Orange Box a couple of weeks back. In five years time, when he’s playing the final episode of HL3, he’ll be the same age I was when Half-Life was released for the first time….

      Sad.

    • Krogoth
    • 9 years ago

    Portal 2 and recent TF2 stuff are just distractions.

    Valve is secretly working on HL3. FYI, HL2: EP3 became HL3.

      • Game_boy
      • 9 years ago

      That’s fairly obvious. They’ve refused to talk about it for years now, and Valve’s suprises never disappoint, so it must be a full sequel or as good as.

    • no51
    • 9 years ago

    BAWWW, WHY CANT VALVE BE LIKE COWADOODY AND RELEASE A SEQUEL EVERY YEAR.

    • bittermann
    • 9 years ago

    I guess that’s better than the ole “when it’s done” time line!

    Hint: DNF or Black mesa Mod… 😐

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 9 years ago

    Half-Life 2: Episode Whenever

    • astraelraen
    • 9 years ago

    A friend and I have conversations on Half Life 2: Episode 3 all the time.

    My opinion is that Valve is making the Half Life series obsolete. I know, it’s blasphemous, I’m a die hard HL fan, but hear me out…

    Half Life and its story/sequels was created a long time ago. Half Life 1 was before 2000, and Half Life 2 was what 2004?

    The first problem as I see it, is that Valve is going to try to continue the Half Life franchise with a new generation of gamers. Many of the same people who fell in love with Half Life are getting older now, with families, etc. Maybe that doesn’t necessarily mean they will forget Half Life, but it certainly means they have less time to devote to and play games.

    They are going to market the next generation of Half Life to a generation who, the majority of, have never played Half Life 1 and many probably won’t have played all of Half Life 2. I still remember finishing Half Life 2 when Eli Vance died at the end. I was connected, involved and it pissed me off. I wanted to finish it and see it through. The majority of the next generation of Half Life players may not even know this or understand the story behind it.

    The second problem as I see it is that the Half Life’s method of story telling is becoming obsolete. Linear gameplay, as the Half Life engine is driven by is slowly being pushed out by open world and massive games. Maybe Valve can design a Half Life game in this manner, maybe not. If they did, would it still be Half Life?

    These are all questions I ask myself when thinking about what Valve has in store for Half Life… then I realize I need to go back to work and life.

      • indeego
      • 9 years ago

      How about just being patient, and waiting? I’ve never understood the call to arms for the next game, here/now. (get off my lawn kids! Back in my day we waited in the snow!)

      Nothing should ever push an artist to finish their task, not their customer, not the monetary value. Make the art right, make it as you want it, then release it.

      In Valve’s case, I know how they test, with the gamer, fun in mind first, and they *know* that will lead to the money. Just watch the commentary to see the mastery of how they game-test, it’s pretty impressive. Very particular attention to detail. Lot of ideas they have but don’t use.

      I’m in no rush for HL:3/HL EP3, Portal 2, etc. Take your time, Valveg{<.<}g

        • Preyfar
        • 9 years ago

        Nothing should ever push an artist, but… when it takes years to develop 3 hours of additional content in a game…

        I mean, all the assets are made. The models, textures. Pretty much everything is there. It shouldn’t take 1.5 years for 3 hours of extended game content when in 1.5 years entire sequels to games with 40+ hours of gameplay pop out of the woodwork.

        • Forge
        • 9 years ago

        q[

      • Preyfar
      • 9 years ago

      One of the biggest problems with Half-Life is as games become more story and narrative driven they’re going to need to adapt. Half-Life and Half-Life 2 were (and still are) amazing games, but probably had some of the worst endings in gaming history.

      Cliffhangers are good, but you still want to be left feeling feeling satisfied. Half-Life ends with you exploding a giant space fetus, and poof, you’re on train Old Spice style. The G-Man, with his trademark Shatnerian English, pops in, rattles a few lines and… that’s it. No real finale. Just a big feeling of “Huh?”. Half-Life 2 is a bit more cinematic, but bit it ramps up and builds up to this huge finale, then poof. It’s over. A giant freakin’ explosion which threatens to kill you, Alyx and everybody else… then it slows down into bullet time, G-Man pops up, Shatners, and that’s it. You’re left with this feeling of “All that, for… this?”.

      I think that’s what frustrates people with the lack of Episode 3. The entire series is based on cliffhanger endings (and not very good ones) and people really want an ending to the entire thing, something that offers closure and a feeling of completeness, at least for that part of the story Arc. Hence the incredible longing for Episode 3.

      Episode One had it right, with the train pulling out of City 17… the explosion. It felt a hell of a lot better than the official ending in the main HL2.

      Personally? I think Valve has no goal with Half-Life. No real story. No idea what the hell the G-Man is or what’s going on in the backstory. It’s got a great progression, but there’s no real over-arcing plot or reason to drive the characters forward. Half-Life is built upon good gameplay and gimmicks (but effective gimmicks) with the notion of alien slavery and a human rebellion sort of tacked onto it.

      Left 4 Dead was the same way. Gameplay first, story second. Valve’s always been phenomenal at making memorable characters, but it’s hard to drive a story on characters alone. All of L4D could be summed up as “GET TO DA [X] CHOPPA [ ] BOAT [ ] APC [ ] PLANE [ ] CAR.” The entire story was “get to the rescue mission/vehicle”.

        • Peldor
        • 9 years ago

        It’d be a lot easier to drive the characters forward if the main character wasn’t effectively a mute war robot.

          • Preyfar
          • 9 years ago

          I’ve made that argument before, too, but everybody seems to love a quiet Gordon. That, and the lack of cutscenes.

          I don’t mind a lack of cutscenes to a degree, but sometimes you miss too much story if you happen to A) look away at the wrong moment or B) not notice an important piece of story history in the background (like in Eli’s hideout in HL2, which gives you history into the 7 Hour War).

          It works for certain things (e.g. finding the G-Man watching over Gordon from random doors or ledges) because it’s an interesting little piece of plot going on in the background. But for the main story…

          Half-Life games are fantastic for story, but for plot… eh.

            • ludi
            • 9 years ago

            /[

            • Game_boy
            • 9 years ago

            Yes. I wish more games kept the silent protagonist thing, it means you are the character. So you get immersion and you get to live the gameplay, as in “I did this and then I went there” rather than the movie-like “this happened and then that did”.

            Metroid was ruined for me when they did Other M for that reason. I don’t care about Samus; I (as me) wanted to explore the world myself, not have Samus choose to cry about events unfolding or disable weapons because she wants to.

            I think this explains the massive sales of Wii Sports or Wii Fit or Minecraft or even Call of Duty (for the multiplayer) or GTA.

      • Shiobock
      • 9 years ago

      Yeh, a friend and my theory is that valve is just too busy making hats for TF2 that they couldn’t be fuked to make another HL

    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    The release date is a lie.

      • ClickClick5
      • 9 years ago

      This!

      Valve enjoys perfecting each pixel.
      As for HL2:E3…Valve is writing the entire game in assembly.

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        pssssh valve hasn’t made a GREAT game since HL. HL2 was meh, and the episodes even more so. I’ll never understand what you nerds see in their games!

          • DancinJack
          • 9 years ago

          For once I agree with SSK.

            • rxc6
            • 9 years ago

            For me it is just SSK trolling. Nothing to see here… bussiness as usual.

            • DancinJack
            • 9 years ago

            Trolling doesn’t always imply that the statement is false.

            • no51
            • 9 years ago

            Disagreeing with me means you’re a troll.

            • DancinJack
            • 9 years ago

            +1 😉

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            -1 ;(

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            I have made, many times, legitimate reasons why HL2 is not an amazing game. we’ve discussed many times. The graphics for 2003 were great, the physics great, the dialogue OMG SHOOT ME IN THE FACE WHY CAN I NOT SKIP THIS ANNOYING 15 MINUTE DISCUSSION OF NOTHING?!?!?!!?!? CROWBAR EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!! DIE ALYX DIE!!!!!! CROWBAR TO THE FACE!!!!!

            like i said, i did like the first, didn’t like the second as much. I still beat them all, but didn’t really like them after the first one.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            dancin, we agree all the time.

            you win +1 clan invite.

          • DaveSylvia
          • 9 years ago

          Really? I loved HL2 and thought they did an awesome job with it. Sure it wasn’t as groundbreaking as HL1 was but it is still a great game in its own right.

          I would agree that the episodes are not as good as HL2 proper.

          As far as the engine goes, it’s definitely been my fav for a long time. I like it a lot more than any id engine since Quake 3 and I prefer it over any Unreal engine. It’s not that I think it looks better – I just prefer the movement and playability of the engine. That and I STILL think faces and facial expressions look much better in the Source engine than pretty much any other engine out there right now.

            • ludi
            • 9 years ago

            Agreed. HL2 was a reasonably good game. If the “Episodic Content” promise had panned out, instead of turning into a DNF-style joke, it would have been a pretty good diversion for a couple years.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            I agree reasonably good. just not the second coming it’s made out to be.

            • DaveSylvia
            • 9 years ago

            I suppose I’d be down on HL2 as well if that was the message I was getting. It’s definitely not the second coming – just an enjoyable, solid game and engine. The thing to remember is that the game came out in Nov 2004. What else had come out the year before and months after?

            May 2004 Nintendo announced the Wii
            August 2004 Doom 3 was released
            Nov 2005 Microsoft released Xbox 360

            *[

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            I actually find gabe to be the sex. It’s the fanboi’s that bug me.

            • Disco
            • 9 years ago

            While I do agree that a lot of current games could take a few lessons from Valve regarding their facial animation systems and also the physics (objects felt that they had real weight, and didn’t bounce around like styrofoam), that engine did have its flaws. I really enjoyed the HL games and am looking forward to HL3, but all the shadows through walls and clipping constantly brought me out of the immersion in HL2.

            I can’t believe we’ve been sitting on the cliff-hanger ending of Ep2 for over 3 years!?!

            • DaveSylvia
            • 9 years ago

            Very true and definitely a good point – shadows and lighting in Source is definitely a major weakness compared to other engines.

            You summed up my thoughts better than I could on why I enjoy Source:

            q[

        • bios_hazard
        • 9 years ago

        I lol’d. Like, this was perfect. Writing it in assembly.

        Either that, or they took a break to for DNF back into existance.

    • roont
    • 9 years ago

    *SHOCKED!!*

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