The Talos Principle (PC) Review
Greg Johnson / Dec 22nd, 2014 No Comments
Welcome user to The Talos Principle. Developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital, this new puzzle game is sure to quench the thirst of Portal fans everywhere. While playing The Talos Principle, gamers will be tested by a variety of puzzles, with new items introduced as players advance through the game to assist in unraveling the mystery behind the story.
Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer Do
Welcome to the world of The Talos Principle, in which players control an advanced AI robot that is spoken to by a seemingly benevolent voice from the skies. The voice, Elohim, commands the AI to collect a series of sigils in order to gain immortal life, Elohim’s favor, and other various potentially hollow promises. What seems to be a milk run turns into so much more as puzzles become increasingly difficult, a mysterious tower that must not be climbed is found, and various terminals throughout the game offer insight into the past.
The Talos Principle is scattered with religious allegories found in snippets of the past as well as in the way Elohim speaks to the player. Similar to Portal, the story is played out by the draw of the mystery behind the foreground. As players traverse the land, hidden time capsule audio logs can be found, and slowly a tale is brought to the surface — a tale of man’s desire to create AI and the ramifications of this endeavor.
I Pick Things Up and Put Them Down
Puzzle games essentially are a highly interactive point-and-click adventure. What separates these titles from the pack is the dynamic way of challenging gamers’ mentally. Right off the bat, The Talos Principle offers a simple movement scheme with basic WASD controls and jumping capabilities. New tools are introduced throughout the game, but players will be quickly putting down these new objects and moving on to a newer one, which adds layers to the simple core of gameplay.
Early puzzles consist of disabling electric fences or patrolling drones. Eventually, laser beams enter the field, which need to be redirected via crystals, and heavy boxes that require to use of pressure switches add an additional element to gameplay.
Despite the frequent addition of new tools and the ramped up difficulty of puzzles, The Talos Principle manages to maintain a continuous challenge without a steep learning curve. To top it all off, the items that players must collect (green Tetris-style blocks known as sigils) have a dark counterpart (read: red Tetris blocks) that offer a darker ending and far more complex challenges. This all fits in with the game’s story as Elohim doesn’t want the AI using these pieces to climb the aforementioned tower.
Behold, I Am Elohim
The game is built on the Serious Engine 4, and it is beautiful. All haters may escort themselves out of this plane of existence. However, the haters are valid in pointing out that while beautiful, the engine doesn’t always run perfectly, resulting in some lag issues for those not running their computers in a secret government sub-basement on a magical Internet tether connected to Zeus. Minor lag issues aside, The Talos Principle will blow gamers’ figurative minds as they succumb to the glory of ancient societies mixed with future tech in the bizarre world Elohim offers.
Being able to explore an old world while puzzles revolve around future tech makes telling apart the environment and interactive objects a breeze, something not to be taken for granted in a puzzle game.
The voice actor behind Elohim simply isn’t paid enough. If anyone better recreated the voice of God (Morgan Freeman aside), let them step forward now. While Elohim is but a minor note in the overall sound of The Talos Principle, he plays a major role in creating a suspension of disbelief. Much in the same way Ellen McLain sold us Glados and thus Aperture Labs, the voice actor behind Elohim sells us on The Talos Principle and the suspect notion that he is in charge. When Elohim is coupled with the soundtrack of the game — an alluring and strange mix of fantastical melodies — the world comes to life.
Also worth mentioning is the intersparced “glitches” that occur as players explore the world. These events serve as evidence that the entire adventure may be a simulation of sorts, akin to the way the Assassin’s Creed series lets players in on the secret through broken code and blocked off sections of memories.
A High Price for Freedom
The Talos Principle is normally priced at $39.99, but it is currently on sale for $35.99 on Steam. For players up to the challenge of a difficult puzzle game and lovers of dystopia and sadness, The Talos Principle is a must-have.
The game crushes its puzzler competition, but the pocketbook will feel the hit. Interested gamers are encouraged to take advantage of the game’s current sale price, which is valid until Jan. 2.
tags: Croteam , Devolver Digital , review , The Talos Principle , The Talos Principle Review