Valve's cake-and-science-filled Portal 2 will hit stores next February, with voice work from Stephen Merchant of The Office.
Valve can be an incredibly secretive company, carefully controlling the flow of information about Portal 2, the sequel to the firm's incredibly popular teleportation-based adventure. The developer opened the floodgates just a tiny bit at the German Gamescom conference, revealing not just one, but two, exciting new tidbits about its game. Portal 2 will be released on Steam next February, and will feature the voice of British actor Stephen Merchant as the robotic companion Wheatley.
Although Valve previously announced that the release date for Portal 2 would slip into next year, it turns out that this didn't mean the next holiday season. The game will hit the Steam download service on February 9th.
This release date is presumably for Europe, but it is unlikely that gamers in North America will receive it significantly earlier or later. Given Valve's earlier promise of a simultaneous release, it is also likely that the console versions of the game (and a boxed copy of the PC and Mac releases) will also be released in stores during the same week.
Fans of both Portal and British comedians - I think that covers all of us - will also be thrilled to hear that Stephen Merchant has been recruited to provide the voice of Wheatley, a robotic sphere that will help guide you through the ruins of the Aperture Science facility. Merchant may be familiar to gamers as a writer and actor in the comedy series The Office. He has also had small roles in a number of movies, such as Hot Fuzz and The Invention of Lying.