Portal Stories: Mel hits the Steam Store for free
Tired of waiting for Conversion? Dying to die in the name of Aperture Science? You can satisfy your craving for physics-based wormhole puzzles right now with Prism Studios' Portal Stories: Mel.
Mel is a free, community-made Portal 2 mod, set in the same universe and expanding the storyline between the series' two main installments. After being recruited to test a Relaxation Vault prototype back in 1952, Mel wakes up in an uncertain future to find Aperture Science deserted and crumbling. A guide masquerading as Cave Johnson begins to lead her to the surface, giving her a Handheld Portal Device and telling her that they'll need to work together if they want to escape.
Besides its titular silent protagonist, Mel introduces two brand new characters, complete with rich voice acting and fully-fleshed out personalities, as far as artificial intelligence goes. Virgil is a simple maintenence core who strikes up an unlikely partnership with Mel. Stationed in their way is AEGIS (the Aperture Employee Guardian and Intrusion System), a security mainframe that recently came online after years of dormancy, bent on snuffing out Mel and any others he deems threatening to the long-dead scientists.
This labor of love has been in the works for over 4 years now, during which developers painstakingly crafted 22 levels that feel fresh and innovative while still feeling right at home within the Portal and extended Half-Life universe. While you'll need Portal 2 on Steam for Mel to work, the mod itself is absolutely free. Instead of donations for their time and effort, the developers are instead asking players to donate to Extra Life and Child's Play, two charities setting out to help children in need.
Portal Stories: Mel is available now on Steam!