Valve planned a competitive Pong-meets-Portal multiplayer mode for Portal 2, but cut it because it was “pure chaos.”
Portal 2‘s cooperative mode – which tasks two players with solving incredibly complicated puzzles – has been getting a ton of attention lately. It turns out, however, that it wasn’t the only multiplayer mode planned for the sequel. In an interview with 1Up, Valve writer Erik Wolpaw revealed that a competitive multiplayer mode was in the works, but was cut because it was a chaotic “mess.”
Wolpaw said, “Along with co-op, [we had] the idea of sort of a competitive Portal multiplayer. 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.”
This hyperkinetic variant of Pong replaced paddles with portal guns, with players scoring by quickly teleporting a ball towards a goal. Your opponent would try to stop you by intercepting the ball – by placing a portal on the opposite wall after the ball bounces, for instance – and redirecting it to their own goal.
“It was a hot mess,” exclaimed Wolpaw when asked why the mode was scrapped. “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. It lost a lot of the stuff that was really entertaining about Portal, which was puzzle-solving.”
Ultimately the co-op puzzle mode “was just a much more rewarding path.”
Portal 2 will launch for the PC, Mac, Xbox 360, and PS3 on February 9th, 2011.