It’s hard to live in the light of the fans of the Half-Life universe. About the third part of the famous franchise is only a dream, and these dreams become more and more ghostly every year. Valve jesters, however, do not cease to make hints for a possible continuation – then the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive beta inserts textures with references to Half-Life, Gabe Newell himself will say a few words about the game with number 3
The Portal series, the action of which, as is known, also occurs in the Half-Life world, has just stopped in front of the magic trio-many would like to see Chell’s adventures continued into Aperture Science no less than to meet again with Gordon Freeman and Alix Vance. Not surprisingly, the public was very alive when, at the beginning of December, rumors of the new “portal” announcement broke through the Web. Alas, reality turned out to be more prosaic – the third part did not become closer. The new project is just another puzzle from the Bridge Constructor series, which is a gift from the Portal Portal. Many have even seriously offended at Valve – it’s impossible, they say, to do so with a great game. Whether these offenses have the basis – now we will find out.
“Give me a point of support”
The original Bridge Constructor is a fairly straightforward bridges simulator released over five years ago. The game got good reviews and some kind of popularity, but could not boast something outstanding. The gameplay is nowhere to go – it is necessary to construct a bridge over the abyss or a river from the handicrafts, and then send it a technique, ensuring that it safely reaches the endpoint. We had to build springboards, use different building materials, take into account the strength of the arches and the inclination of the roadway. Monstrous structures were sometimes erected for the achievement of the result, and the cargo could reach the finish in a rather exotic way – for example, falling from a multimeter altitude.
In Portal, as we recall, at most levels before the player is exactly the same task – to get from point A to point B. Therefore, adapting the Bridge Constructor gameplay to the reality of the original is not such a difficult task. Our character is the job seeker at the Aperture Science employee who successfully passed the interview and started testing portal technologies. We do not have guns (all the portals on the levels are created in advance), but in the presence of one to a dozen of truck-loaders, an unlimited number of bridge arches and pendant ropes. Loaders can only move in one direction, and our goal is to deliver at least one of them before moving to the next level.
The bridge can be built anywhere – there would be a free space under the arches and canvas. But, by itself, without support, all this construction will fall under its own weight. In order not to happen, cardboards have been placed in strictly defined points of the support point – they can be fixed to beams and cables. Often, the location of these points is such that the simplest of the view crossing from one ledge to another has to erect almost from the other end of the level, carefully selecting the right angles and joints. In this plan BCP is practically no different from the other Bridge Constructor, but Portal gave the creation of ClockStone Studio not only entourage.
The most important and noticeable is, of course, portals. At one level they can be from one to ten and a dozen, and almost always at least one such “door” will have to go on the way to the finish. In addition, in the presence of energy spheres, turrets, lasers, accelerating and repulsive gels, as well as all the cubes loved by all.
The first levels are similar to the usual “Bridge Designer” – the difficulty lies mainly in constructing a durable construction without any exuberance. But the farther, the harder it is – at the second or third tenth (and only in the game of sixty levels) it is necessary to think first of all how and what to build, again and again testing erected bridges and ramps. For example, if the turrets shoot an open space, then you need to get rid of them using cubes or energy spheres. Often, it is necessary to invent plans of bridges to change the trajectories of these objects, and the cars themselves roll through the simplest bridges under triangular arches.
If we manage to reach the end point of our loader, then there is an opportunity to check the erected structure already for a whole column of similar machines. As a rule, such a task is not at all simple and often it is necessary to carefully measure all angles and take seconds, so that the column does not get stuck anywhere, the machines did not fall into the pit with acid or did not explode.
This was not a triumph
Previous Bridge Constructor looked like a typical mobile game, although it was also published on PC. The same situation is now. For some reason, the strongest potential of the Steam Workshop is completely ignored. So what’s there – there’s not even an elementary level designer! But it is precisely such an editor that allows such projects to live for many years. Records table? Forget it! A strange decision, considering the fact that the costs of building bridges are still taken into account, which we will not be forgot to report after passing each level.
Yes, and the levels of these are not enough – to go all is possible in a couple of evenings. Strongly break the head will have to do with the last dozen of rooms, where it is often more important not to even build a solid bridge on the way of loaders, and to control the path of cubes and energy spheres, so that they can open the doors with their help. Another sad fact is that most levels have one way to go.
It is noticeable that the developers tried to please all fans of the series. Here you design is quite in the spirit of the original (only remarkable “cardboard” humans are worth it), and branded black humor. Finally, GLaDOS also speaks of the same Ellen McLain, whose voice is well-known to anyone who is somehow familiar with Portal. Nevertheless, Bridge Constructor Portal can not be considered a full-fledged game on this rich universe. Take away all the mention of Aperture Science and the surrounding entourage – nothing will change.
The discontent of those who waited for the announcement of the “real” Portal, and in return received a simple arcade on motives, it is clear. Of course, it is strange to demand a special depth from such a genre, but it is no less strange to see Valve’s solution so scattered with a franchise.
Has something succeeded? As the next BCP bridge designer is good; as a game in the universe, having a deep history and loved by many people around the world, – rather no, than yes. And if the interest in this project arose exclusively because of such a popular setting, then it is permissible to estimate it from the “portal” point of view. And here, alas, there is nothing to boast – ClockStone is far from Valve.