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Valve to Zap Open Portal 2 on October 26

After a series of clues burrowed into a patched version of Portal earlier this week, Valve has finally broken its silence on the franchise. The big news: There’s a sequel on the way.

Game Informer magazine will break the full news in its next issue – the cover of which it teased online on Friday. The front and rear cover – with a blue portal leading outdoors and an orange portal leading in – hints at gameplay carried beyond the confines of the original game. The tagline: “Aperture Labs returns for the people who are still alive.”

The patched version of Portal, which fans have spent days poring over for every detail, contains other hints – the tale of which you can follow in over 700 pages of replies on the Steam forums. Players who completed a new in-game achievement received Morse code radio messages that suggest the game’s villainous AI, GLaDOS, was rebooting. Other radio messages had images coded into them, which hinted at a BBS login and password. Users who followed it that far found ASCII data and memos from the founder of the fictional Aperture Labs.

The GameStop product entry for Portal 2 further reveals that Portal 2 will drop on October 26, and that it will include “a cast of dynamic new characters, a host of fresh puzzle elements, and a much larger set of devious test chambers.”

Valve will likely offer further details at next week’s Game Developer’s Conference, where it is also widely expected to reveal Steam for Mac OS X.

An updated ending sequence to the original Portal, posted on YouTube, alludes to just how the story for Portal 2 will begin.

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