Valve Explains Why Portal Doesn’t Work in VR (Yet)
Valve experimented with a VR version of Portal, but does not believe that it can get it right just yet.
Today marked the announcement of a brand new Half-Life game by Valve for VR – Half-Life: Alyx. The return of the critically acclaimed series looks pretty good and is the result of years of experimentation and development. In fact, Programmer Robin Walker even told IGN that Valve “didn’t set out to make a Half-Life game” initially. Half-Life: Alyx ultimately came from a time were Valve was experimenting in VR with assets from some of their pre-existing games. In fact, Walker confirmed that Valve actually toyed around with the idea of a VR game using assets and mechanics from Portal.
Unfortunately, Robert Walker and the rest of Valve ultimately came to the decision that the technology just isn’t there yet to make a Portal VR experience enjoyable at this time. “Like many game developers, we often use our previous games to experiment with new design ideas. So in this case, we started exploring VR using assets and code from Portal and Half-Life,” he explained before saying specifically why the VR version of Portal didn’t work out. “Unfortunately, momentum retention through portals is a requirement for most the [sic] latter half of Portal’s gameplay, and we didn’t think we could build a VR game that required that movement of its players (yet).”
This is a bit disappointing as Portal is one of Valve’s major series that a lot of people want to see the return of, just like Half-Life. Right now, Valve seems more focused on VR games and fixing Artifact, which leaves the future of franchises like Portal and Team Fortress up in the air. Hopefully, Valve will return to Portal one day, maybe even in VR, but for now we can just go back and play the two excellent games that make up the Portal series at this time.