Only Valve could have made Portal.
Of course, that’s not strictly true; a group of young game designers incepted the basic premise, then called Narbacular Drop, as a final project for a group of senior students at DigiPen Institute of Technology. However, it was Valve founder Gabe Newall’s immediate support for the developers that cleaned up to the game into the clinical maze it eventually became.
Playing as a mute tester of an experimental weapon, you warp around a number of white test rooms solving all kinds of brain-bending spacial puzzles, led ever onwards by a seemingly harmless AI voice floating out of every speaker. However, a number of clues point to the fact that something is very wrong here and, as you reach what you think to be the end of the final test chamber, you suddenly step behind the scenes to actually begin your real fight for survival.
Fresh, dangerous, laugh-out-loud funny and home of possibly the best video game antagonist ever, Portal‘s narrative twist remains one of the best video game standout moments of all time.
And the cake? Well…maybe it wasn’t a lie after all.