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2011’s Portal 2 receives another update in 2021

Well here’s a weird one: Valve’s sequel puzzle game Portal 2 has received another set of small patches and updates. If you’ve forgotten Portal 2 came out way back in April 2011.

Even stranger is that these changes were done as two smaller updates both titled simply “Portal 2 – Update”.

Portal 2 – Update (1)

An update has been released for Portal 2 game and authoring tools:

Bug Fixes:
 – Fixed a bug with broken voice overs in languages that have voice localizations (Russian, French, Spanish and German)
 – Fixed the audio settings being unusable in languages other than English
 – Compiled cubemaps on a3_crazy_box
 – Fixed a bug with broken text on the PeTI map selection
 – Potentially fixed motion pack DLC failing to launch


Portal 2 – Update (2) 

An update has been released for Portal 2.

Improvements:
  – Improved Vulkan implementation
    – Overall performance improvements
    – Massively improved performance with Anti-Aliasing (MSAA) on AMD
  – Made the intro video skippable by any button on a Steam Controller
  – Added controller glpyhs to the main menu when using a controller
Bug Fixes:
  – Fixed the Super 8 teaser not playing on Linux
  – Fixed certain Unicode characters being displayed as garbage on Linux
  – Fixed text corruption in the challenge mode UI on Linux
  – Fixed a crash that could occur wrt. networking on Linux
  – Fixed the text color in advanced video settings not respecting the dark panel UI variant
  – Fixed Model/Texture detail defaulting to Low in Vulkan mode
  – Fixed the challenge mode timer being cut off
  – Fixed a crash after trying to play a demo without having the respective map
  – Fixed a crash when trying to load invalid VPKs


Now the story gets even weirder, or less weird depending on your point of view. Portal 2 actually received another update earlier in 2021. On 19th February the game received a very brief patch for its authoring tools.

The update is so brief that the Steam page which usually houses the patch notes instead contains a single sentence:

“An update has been released for Portal 2 Authoring Tools. This update includes all fixes and improvements from Portal 2,” the announcement reads.

While the Steam update for this was brief, a post on the official Portal website blog gives more information. The blog has oddly not received a post for the two updates listed above.

Prior to these 2021 changes the last time Portal 2 got an update was in October 2015. The one before this was the previous year in June 2014.

So what the hell is going on? There’s been no official announcement from developer / publisher Valve so we have to assume that some employee in the company just sought it fit to upgrade this older title. This really wouldn’t be a stretch of the imagination as Valve is famous for giving its employees freedom to work on projects as they see fit.

If this was any other company there would be people theorising about Portal 3 or some such other idea, but with Valve we’re more inclined to believe the “random programmer wanted to fix some stuff” idea.

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