Aperture Desk Job reimagines the been-there-done-that genre of walking simulators and puts them in the lightning-spanked, endorphin-gorged world of sitting still behind things.
You play as an entry-level nobody on their first day at work — your heart full of hope and your legs full of dreams, eager to climb that corporate ladder. But life’s got other plans, and they all involve chairs.
Designed as a free playable short for Valve’s new Steam Deck, Desk Job walks you through the handheld’s controls and features, while not being nearly as boring as that sounds.
Not Portal 3!
Lower your expectations: This is not a sequel to Portal. Now get ready to raise them slightly, because it is in the expanded universe of those games. Desk Job puts you squarely in the driver’s seat at Aperture Science. Then quickly removes the driving part and adds a desk in front of the seat.
Steam Deck: A Desk For Your Hands
Up until now, real life mostly involved sitting, and video games were the virtual fantasy world you could escape to. With the portable Steam Deck, we flipped that, freeing your body to run marathons and jump out of planes while your brain and hands simulate all the sitting you used to do.
It’s F-R-E-E (Free)!
Put that wallet away, gaming fan! Your money’s no good here. For this particular product. If your money stops working while trying to buy groceries, though, you should contact your bank immediately, because the cashier just stole your entire identity? You’d better go talk to her again, because what do you mean she never worked here?! Now you’ll have to go undercover as a dark web hacker to track her down! Only to find out it was a different timeline you?!! From the future?!?! And also if anyone from Hollywood is reading this bullet point, take your wallet back out, because this great idea is not free (but is for sale at email@example.com )
With Valve's newest console the Steam Deck also came the surprise announcement of a new Portal game - Aperture Desk Job! Read on to learn more about this and five great Portal mods to get you in the mood!
1952, in the early years of Aperture: Science Innovators, Cave Johnson’s scientists experimented with whatever they wanted. The protagonist, Mel, unfortunately took part in a faulty test, falling asleep for years. When she finally wakes, there is a fake Cave Johnson telling her she needs to escape the facility. Using the portal gun, it's up to you to uncover the truth about what's really going on here.
An episodic-styled mod, each chapter has its own twist, theme, and setup, with the goal being to bring cores from each chapter's individual levels to a hub that will open up the next chapter. Secrets are common, innovative mechanics make every level feel distinct, and the result is a loosely connected but competently made puzzles for any Portal fan.
Portal: Prelude is one of those mods any long-time fan is probably already familiar with - but with all the new ones that might be being drawn in by this latest instalment by Valve, you can't miss this historical piece of mod work. A solid campaign with many new ways to test your puzzle solving skills to their limits, there's a good reason this is one of the all-time classic mods on the site.
Factum Solus is a story driven episodic Portal mod. Player plays as Chell from the original Portal, but in a totally new exciting universe where the Aperture Center is not controlled by GLaDOS but a AI called Ben.
As the player goes through new, creative and well thought out puzzles, she discovers that there is someone watching her. Someone not from the staff of the Enrichment Center. Who could it be?
On the Xbox 360, Portal received its own set of special levels to give console fans a little more Portal than they bargained for. However, these levels were never officially ported over to the PC, leaving PC Portal fanatics left out in the cold. Thanks to this team, nobody need miss out again, with all-new ways to think with portals.
The Portal franchise is almost as recognisably iconic as Half-Life, forming an integral part of the Orange Box with its original release and the sequel becoming one of the most highly-reviewed games of all time. Portals open up entirely new avenues of puzzle-solving that, at their hardest, present some genuinely tough brain teasers.
Aperture Desk Job is the newest tech demo by Valve, who frequently
use Portal's universe and scientific canon as a springboard for tech demos.
Although the last full Portal game release was a decade ago now, Valve regularly demo their new technology in this universe thanks to the spirit of invention Portal represents. Hand Labs, Moondust, and now, the entirely free Aperture Desk Job are all minigame-sized experiences that do a solid job of leaving fans wanting more whilst aptly showing off the power of new hardware. Desk Job sees you operate a construction line with the help of a new AI buddy as Portal's characteristic tongue-in-cheek entertains throughout.
Desk Job reiterates Valve's awareness of Portal's value as a franchise, with all manner of spinoffs having appeared over the years. With Portal and Portal 2 coming to the Switch and a recent appearance in popular advertising, some are speculating this is the lead up to something bigger - not helped by Valve's own mentioning of the words "Not Portal 3" in the description for Desk Job. For now, we have another free demo to sate our Portal curiosities - and plenty more mods to enjoy.
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