I am really psyched about Portal 2 coming to its release date. I have always been a fan of the original Portal. If you haven't tried it yet, you're missing out. It basically is a puzzle-platformer where you use the ability to shoot blue and orange portals onto walls in order to transport yourself around the map, using physics and well-timed moves to try and complete the puzzle and get to a checkpoint. You do this through a variety of 'tests' that the antagonist, GLaDOS, forces you into. Unlike other games, instead of having a specific character as a foe, the entire facility that the game takes place in is the one out to get you.
Originally, Portal was never meant to blow up as such a popular game. It was released as an extra in Valve's Orange Box; a package deal containing Half-Life 2 (another fantastic game developed by Valve) along with its two expansions Episode 1 and Episode 2, Team Fortress 2, and, of course, Portal. As Portal gained its stardom in the gaming world, it was re-released to be purchased by itself.
I believe Valve really outdid themselves this time with Portal 2. If you have seen any of the previous teaser trailers, you will find that the new game takes place several hundred years into the future, and the facility is in ruins. Trees are growing up through the floors and vines are hanging down from the ceiling. GLaDOS tries to rebuild the facility, and judging by the trailer, it is looking better than ever.
Teaser Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tax4e4hBBZc
To be honest, what really grabs me into this game is the fact that you get to play through it as everything is being built and rebuilt around you. Old, decrepit walls can be seen falling off as new, sparkling ones take their place. New places that you never even thought would be inside the facility in the original game are now coming to life as you run through them, such as a robot assembly line that you have to jump across without being killed by the cranes and blowtorches.
New Areas: http://news.filefront.com/portal-2-wheatley-footage/
The bot Wheatley is voiced by comic actor Stephen Merchant.
There are many new features available in the new game that will make it extra crazy, and the satisfaction of finally solving the puzzles so much sweeter. One new feature will be the Aerial Faith Plate. This will fling anything and everything that touches it across the map. There will also be this blue goo, called Repulsion Gel. This one is kind of hard to explain, but it basically can bounce you much higher and further than you would ever be able to go alone. Once you watch the demonstration, you will see what I mean.
These two features in action: http://news.filefront.com/two-more-portal-2-trailers/
Looking at the video, it seems Valve definitely stepped it up a notch in terms of graphics.
Finally, what a lot of people are really hyped up for is the multi-player option. The previous Portal was solely a single-player game. In Portal 2, there will be a whole mess of obstacles that you can only get across with a buddy to help you out. I imagine the co-op levels will be separate from the actual game, seeing as how two players would contradict with the storyline. Still, it will be fun flinging a friend across the map on those Faith Plates.
Co-Op Teaser: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TgUokKsatAM
Portal 2 is scheduled to be released February 9th. I personally can't wait for it to come out. Ever since I finished the original for the third time, I've been eager for something new to play with. I think this game will be one of Valve's best creations.