If you’re a PlayStation 3 owner who happens to own a copy of Valve Software’s Portal 2, mark your calendars for next Tuesday, November 6. That’s the date that the game receives a sizable downloadable addition that both adds new levels to the game and offers fans a whole new way to control Valve’s physics-defying classic.
Officially dubbed “Portal 2 In Motion,” this DLC pack is actually not a new item. Instead, it’s largely based on the earlier PC release of In Motion that offered new, specially crafted levels for those PC gamers who own 3D mice. As the levels are built specifically with this extra dimension of control in mind, it seemed unlikely that they would ever be enjoyed on a console, but developer Sixense was able to mimic this enhanced control via the Move peripheral and if the official trailer released alongside this announcement (see below) is anything to go by the PlayStation 3 DLC seems to perform about as well as it did in its original PC incarnation.
That’s a very important point to keep in mind, as the 20 new levels included in the In Motion DLC pack are all centered on tasking players with using their new-found abilities in puzzles that specifically demand actions that simply weren’t possible in the original version of Portal 2. To wit: “Portal 2 In Motion introduces gameplay mechanics, including scaling and rotation of objects as well as portal surfing,” claims Josh Bays, director of product marketing at Sixense. “These new abilities are all required as the player progresses through an increasingly challenging set of test chambers that look familiar from Portal 2, but require new thinking to solve.”
Intriguingly, the release of this DLC was timed to coincide with the debut of the PlayStation Network’s digitally downloadable version of Portal 2. To further celebrate this event, the DLC (which will normally be available for $10), will feature a 30 percent discount at launch for PlayStation Plus subscribers. Likewise, the aforementioned digital version of Portal 2 has been slightly altered from its original incarnation. Sixense, in addition to bringing Move support to this DLC pack, also added Move support to the entirety of the PSN Portal 2. If you’d prefer to play through the single-player campaign using motion controls instead of your standard PlayStation 3 controllers, that’s an option.
Those of you who already own the game on Blu-ray disc aren’t being left out though. A patch will be available shortly to add Sixense’s Move support technology to the physical incarnation of Portal 2. While using the Move controls in the original Portal levels is a novel idea, it should be remembered that these stages remain largely unchanged, so only the In Motion DLC levels will feature puzzles designed to take advantage of the game’s new motion controls.
Xbox 360 owners, it looks like you’re simply out of luck here. We could imagine the In Motion DLC being ported to Microsoft’s console with the help of the Kinect peripheral, but without solid information on exactly how precise the Kinect’s cameras can be, it’s just as likely that some quirk of the peripheral’s hardware makes it impossible to bring this downloadable content to the Xbox 360. We’ll let you know if we hear anything to the contrary, but don’t hold your breath waiting on a release date.