Portal 2 box art emphasizes co-op

I remain skeptical about the prospects of a game that was brilliant as a brief downloadable title (and Orange Box pack-in) extended into a full $60 retail release. Valve is obviously not known for releasing bad games, so I feel safe purchasing it, but it will be interesting to see whether all of the added content improves or detracts from the original experience.

Chell and GLaDOS are back, with new puzzle mechanics that I’ve seen referenced, but–like Tom talked about yesterday–I’ve been avoiding a lot of the coverage.

Given the repetitiveness inherent in the rebuilding of the Aperture Science facility (rather than transferring the game into a brand-new environment), a lot of Portal 2 will come down to the separate co-op mode. It adds new story which I’ve been avoiding in the trailers. More importantly, adding a co-op partner allows new devilry in puzzle design which I’ll gladly start tackling in April 20th.

If this cover art is truly “it”, it makes a lot of sense. Rather than put Chell on the cover (which would be awkward for a game where she’s revealed only through Portals), Valve is putting the co-op robot characters in the featured spot. Plus, 2-player co-op plays on the “2” in the title. Marketing people love that.