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“Plenty of Previews” or “GLaDOS is Still a Bitch”

June 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Bunch of previews that I finally got a chance to get through today.

Rage [Joystiq]
Looks interesting. The premise  does not seem terribly novel, and we have already seen some of the finest post apocalyptic worlds crafted in Fallout 3 and Metro 2033, so I am curious to see what id’s version of a less-than-ideal future may be like. But then again, Doom III, at least for me, was a massive disappointment. id claims the game is part racer and part shooter, and that is what sets it apart. Hello! GTA did that like eight years ago!

Deus Ex 3: Human Revolution [Joystiq] [Kotaku]
Deus Ex will always hold a special place in my heart, although Invisible War sort of ruined the whole thing for me. But if these previews are any indication, we seem to be back on track. I was initially wary of the lack of Warren Specter in the development of the third title, but maybe that isn’t such a bad thing after all.

Mafia 2 [Joystiq]
I loved the first Mafia. That game had me hooked from the moment I saw the rippling waters of Empire City as the camera panned over the lighthouse, and into a city teeming with life and opportunity. In many ways, I think Mafia was a better and smarter game than Grand Theft Auto 3. But that, of course, is more of a matter of perspective than anything else.

Portal 2 [Joystiq]
I am rabidly following any Portal 2 news, as, I am sure, is everyone else who got a taste of the brilliant title a few years back. And co-op? I am going to need several new shirts by the time I am done drooling!

Homefront [Joystiq] [Kotaku] [Trailer]
The more I look into this game, the more interesting it seems. Modern Warfare 2 extensively explored the possibility of America’s soil coming under invasion by Russia in a contemporary setting, but there is something about the grit and passion behind Homefront that seems to set it apart. I can’t quite put my finger on it yet though.

“Free Portal” or “You Really Haven’t Played it Yet?”

May 13, 2010 Leave a comment

If you are in the lame minority who doesn’t laugh out loud at the mention of the cake being a lie, you might want to head on over to Steam, because Portal is being given for free.

Via Stephen Van Neil at Explicit|Gamer.

Categories: Portal

Article of the Day: “Heimlich Counter-Maneuver” or “GLaDOS is a Bitch!”

March 25, 2010 Leave a comment

Via GameInformerAperture Science: A History

1953 – Aperture Science begins operations as a manufacturer of shower curtains. Early product line provides a very low-tech portal between the inside and outside of your shower. Very little science is actually involved. The name is chosen to make the curtains appear more hygienic.

1956 – Eisenhower administration awards Aperture a contract to provide shower curtains to all branches of the military except the Navy.

1957 – 1973 – Mostly shower curtains.

1974 – Aperture Founder and CEO, Cave Johnson, is exposed to mercury while secretly developing a dangerous mercury-injected rubber sheeting from which he plans to manufacture seven deadly shower curtains to be given as gifts to each member of the House Naval Appropriations committee.

1976 – Both of Cave Johnson’s kidneys fail. Brain damaged, dying, and incapable of being convinced that time is not now flowing backwards, Johnson lays out a three-tier R&D program. The results, he says, will “guarantee the continued success of Aperture Science far into the fast-approaching distant past.”

  1. The Heimlich Counter-Maneuver – A reliable technique for interrupting the life-saving Heimlich Maneuver.
  2. The Take-A-Wish Foundation – A charitable organization that will purchase wishes from the parents of terminally ill children and redistribute them to wish-deprived but otherwise healthy adults.
  3. “Some kind of rip in the fabric of space…that would…well, it’d be like, I don’t know, something that would help with the shower curtains I guess. I haven’t worked this idea out as much as the wish-taking one.”

1981 – Diligent Aperture engineers complete the Heimlich Counter-Maneuver and Take-A-Wish Foundation initiatives. The company announces products related to the research in a lavish, televised ceremony. These products immediately become wildly unpopular.  After a very public string of choking and despondent sick child disasters, senior company officials are summoned before a Senate investigative committee. During these proceedings, an engineer mentions that some progress has been made on “Tier 3”, the “man-sized ad hoc quantum tunnel through physical space with possible applications as a shower curtain.” The committee is quickly and permanently recessed, and Aperture is granted an open-ended contract to continue research on the “Portal” and “Heimlich Counter-Maneuver” projects in secret.

1981-1985 – Work progresses on the “Portal” project. Several high ranking Fatah personnel choke to death on lamb chunks despite the intervention of their bodyguards.

1986 – Word reaches Aperture management that another defense contractor called Black Mesa is working on a similar portal technology. In response to this news, Aperture begins developing the Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System (GLaDOS), an artificially intelligent research assistant and disk operating system.

1996 – After a decade spent bringing the disk operating parts of GLaDOS to a state of more or less basic functionality, work begins on the Genetic Lifeform component.

1998 – The untested AI is activated for the first time as one of the planned activities on Aperture’s first annual bring-your-daughter-to-work day. In many ways, the initial test goes well: Within one picosecond of being switched on, GLaDOS becomes self-aware. The “going well” phase lasts for two more picoseconds, at which point GLaDOS takes control of the facility, locks everyone inside, and begins a permanent cycle of testing. Her goal: beat the hated Black Mesa in the race to develop a functioning portal technology. Days later, that race is lost when Black Mesa successfully deploys an inter-dimensional gate through which an alien race emerges and effectively ends the outside world.

Categories: Portal