Portal Fans Are Remaking Original In 2’s Updated Engine

Despite being more than a decade old, Portal is still considered a classic that's drawing in new fans every day. That's partly because Valve likes to give away their masterpiece puzzle games for enormous discounts whenever it has the opportunity, but also because fans are keeping the games alive through mods.

There's this demake of the original Portal for the Nintendo 64, if you wanted to go low-tech, or if you wanted to go high, there's this Portal 2 mod that updates the lighting and assets to modern standards. And then there’s the Portal: Origins mod, which seeks to remake Portal 1 in Portal 2’s engine.

Technically, both games use the Source Engine, but Portal 2’s engine received some significant upgrades in the four years between the two games. Portal 2’s Source Engine has better particle physics, better audio, better lighting, and support for Bink Video. That last part isn’t particularly useful anymore, but the rest of it just makes Portal 2 a better game visually than Portal 1.

As the Portal: Origins mod team describes, "The main point of this mod is to keep [the] gameplay and atmosphere of Portal 1 and make it in Portal 2 to allow some cool stuff." That cool stuff isn't just a graphical overhaul, but also a brand-new co-op that never existed in the original Portal.

Development on the mod began in late 2020, with the ModDB page receiving periodic updates to keep us all informed. The latest update from April announced a fan poster contest where followers could submit their idea for a poster to be added to the mod. The rules required the poster to be 1024×652 (or flipped) and cannot reference anything related to the plot of Portal 2 (so no spoilers).

The mod team also posted a few videos to show the mod's progress. As you can see in this video, the updated rocket turret looks pretty good, but there's still work to be done. The explosion of the rocket seems to conflict with the particle effects of the shattered glass so the two can't appear at the same time. There's also another teaser trailer where the original GLADOS model has been replaced by Portal 2's GLADOS.

Judging from the updates, it seems like Portal: Origins is on track for its Q4 2022 release. Head on over to ModDB to check it out. In the meantime, check out this cut Portal ending that takes Chel all the way to Half-Life’s Xen.

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