It’s been a little over a week since the new Portal 2 DLC, the Perpetual Testing Initiative, was released. In that time we’ve been scouring the Steam Workshop, looking for Aladdi...errr, the diamonds in the rough, so that you don’t have to. Here’s what we found.
This test chamber is both mild and well designed, a rarity at the moment on the Steam Workshop. You’ll fall deep into a well in search of a companion cube, and then ascend through a series of simple chambers to return it to the surface. Anyone who completed Portal 2 should have no problem here, but on occasion, it’s a nice feeling to solve a puzzle without excessive mental exertion.
Name: 12 Angry Tests
This one is cheating, for several reasons. First, these maps were not made in the new editor, but rather, the official Hammer editor, which has been freely available for some time now. Moreover, this isn’t a single test chamber, but a series of...you guessed it... twelve. Still, it would be a travesty to not bring these maps to your attention: these are some of best puzzles on the Workshop, and could easily be confused for official DLC from Valve themselves. Brilliantly designed and just the right level of challenge, these are the best of the bunch.
Okay, we’re cheating again. Another map made with the Hammer editor, Cubi is a three-part challenge with a few elements that wouldn’t otherwise be possible with the new DLC. The design is excellent, and one of the few puzzles we’ve seen that make clever use of the laser relay element. Worth your time and effort.
Name: The Search for Science
Designer: [BRO] BEARD!
A romp through several chambers that utilize a few rarely implemented mechanics. The first map on this list to exceed the challenge found in the Portal 2 campaigns, T.S.F.S. uses hard light bridges, excursion funnels, and lasers to create a satisfying brainteaser.
You may have noticed that three of the four chambers listed under “Hard” were created by Mevious. This may seem like favoritism, but the truth is, his chambers are far and away the most elegant thus far in the Workshop. Having access to the map editor a little early didn’t hurt him, of course. Patience is well named, for timing reasons you’ll discover if you can successfully solve the chamber. Repulsion gel and excursion funnels work well together, and the solution to this one is exceptionally gratifying.
This one is a marvel. The only testing element in the entire chamber is a single Hard Light Bridge: no switches, buttons, funnels, or lasers. The simplicity and momentum-based mechanics give this chamber an ambiance straight out of Portal and a refreshing change of pace. Good luck.
An excellent combination of lasers and hard-light bridges, this chamber creates a specific implementation not seen anywhere in the Portal 2 single player orco-op campaigns. Wouldn’t it be nice if that glass weren’t there?
Name: The Intern
A small yet devious test chamber, you’ll need to find one of the two known solutions to this tough excursion-funnel-and-cube puzzle. Gravity has never been so annoying.
Name: Tunnels To and Fro
After playtesting maps for a week, it only seemed fair to give it a go on my own; here’s G4’s best shot. Two complex rooms connected by four tunnels provide the necessary ingredients to escape this exceptionally difficult test chamber. Nearly every test element is included in some shape or form. Need a clue? “Bowling”.