At this point, the Portal voice has me intrigued about the story, and I turn my head for some answers from the observing Swift. "We've definitely thought about how the storyline's going to fit in with the main characters and the Half-Life universe and Gordon's Half-Life world," Swift says, I sense preparing to throw a big "no comment" at my hopes for more solid plot elaboration. "You play as a new character in the Half-Life universe and you're basically a rat in a maze," she says, stopping short with: "I really do want to talk about it, but I can't."
So plot revelations are for another day, but I play on regardless, having fun running endlessly through two portals I've put in the corner of the room. My final puzzle involves moving energy balls around the room, which is easily done thanks to the orange light they cast on the ceiling above. This also moves my thought over to multiplayer possibilities, which are currently being thought-up behind the scenes. Surely insane ceiling-dropping, online Portal would be a marvellous - if head-hurting - experience? There's everything to look forward to.
Concluding my brief play session, I'm now eager to sample more of the advanced gameplay Portal has to offer. That there's the potential here for some truly head-spinning gameplay and puzzles was certainly obvious from my play test, but it remains to be seen if Valve can manage to keep its tight balancing and clear design present in later, more advanced stages of the game. Still, from what we've played so far, it's shaping up to be a very exciting experience indeed.