Portal Speedrun Breaks the Game And My Brain

By Cameron Kunzelman on at

A speedrunner named Can’t Even has achieved the new world record for the “Out of Bounds” category in Portal by zipping through the game in a blistering 7:07, toppling their own previous record of 7:12. The run is pretty astonishing.

The basic play of this Portal speedrun category involves getting the camera out of bounds and then shooting a portal across the loaded map into parts of the game that you’re not supposed to be in yet. Yes, that’s right: it’s about using portals to travel into the unknown.

What is so astonishing to me about the run is how precise the shots are across the map. What looks to me like completely random shots into glitchspace are, clearly, tactically chosen vantage points from which the next shot and be made. And then the next one. And the next one. The sheer discipline and memorisation that this requires is above and beyond anything I’ve ever put into a game, and I have a lot of respect for this run.