Despite being over ten years old, Portal is still considered a classic that is attracting new fans every day. This is partly because Valve loves to give away their puzzle masterpieces at huge discounts whenever they can, but also because fans keep games alive with mods.
Both games technically use the Source engine, but Portal 2’s engine has seen significant improvements in the four years between the two games. Source Engine Portal 2 features improved particle physics, better audio, better lighting, and Bink Video support. This last part isn’t particularly useful anymore, but the rest just makes Portal 2 visually better than Portal 1.
As the Portal: Origins development team describes: “The main goal of this mod is to keep the gameplay and atmosphere of Portal 1 and bring it to Portal 2 to add some cool stuff.” These interesting things are not only a graphical overhaul, but also a completely new co-op that was never in the original Portal.
Development of the mod started in late 2020, the ModDB page has been updated periodically to keep us all up to date. In the last April update, a fan poster contest was announced, where subscribers could submit their idea for a poster to be added to the mod. The rules required the poster to be 1024×652 (or upside down) and not refer to anything related to the Portal 2 story.
From the looks of it, Portal: Origins is set to release in the fourth quarter of 2022. In the meantime, check out the cut ending from Portal that leads Chell to Xen from Half-Life.