Tuesday, 30 October 2007

I want a Turret!

Well, I finally got my Orange Box in the post yesterday. Never mind that despite pre-ordering it it was a week and a half until I had that box (and dear lord, it's orange and then some) in my sweaty mitts... And never mind that before I could even install it I had to shuffle games between three drives to make space for it (and it certainly wants a lot of space for a game of its size)... No, never mind that at all: Portal rocks. The closing-credits' music alone was worth the wait.

The puzzles are fun, challenging (on the advanced/challenge levels, at least), and satisfying, with a fairly graceful learning curve. But what really made the game for me was the humour... the dark, dark, oh-so-cute humour. The first time I met a turret, I just sat and played with it. They're so cute that I actually didn't want to disable them.

What has me puzzled is that the Weighted Companion Cube is the thing that's getting all the attention. There's even fairly reliable talk of a WCC toy. OK, so the WCC is well handled within the game and it is kinda cute... but only kinda. It doesn't talk to you (no, it doesn't. Really, it doesn't. Weren't you listening?) like the turrets do. It isn't an adversary whose company you find yourself enjoying because everything it does is so sweet. OK, so not everything the turrets do is sweet... that whole spewing forth a hailstorm of bullets thing isn't that sweet, I guess... but that's the only thing they do that isn't. On the other hand, nothing the WCC does is cute because it, well, does nothing.

I can see that a WCC desk toy is something that would sell... it's definitely a 'badge' of portal-playerhood, for instance, and people like to advertise the things that they enjoy. But I want a turret toy! I want a sweet little white turret that doesn't blame me, in that sweet artificial voice, when I knock it over on my desk. I want it to ask if I'm still there. I want it to find me and say so.

Unfortunately, a good turret toy is probably a bit much to ask for. Ideally it should move the way that the 'real' turrets do, and that wouldn't be easy to do cheaply, or in a small-ish toy. Making it able to spot people in front of it is probably not too much of a stretch, but it is another factor that pushes the whole thing towards the 'expensive' end of things. I'm sure that it could be done but, alas, I'm also sure that it could only be done well for more money than I'm likely to be able to justify spending on it.

But still... I want a turret!