Design a site like this with WordPress.com
Get started

The Talos Principle Review

The Talos Principle starts off with you coming into consciousness in a garden-like area. You are greeted by a booming voice who refers to himself as Elohim, who is apparently your maker.

You are tasked with completing puzzles and collecting sigils (tetris-looking pieces) in order to obtain eternal life.

This game is played in the first-person perspective, and you’ll be using a variety of mechanics to solve puzzles that range from simple to mind-boggling.

The Jammers are basically used to jam equipment like force fields, turrets, etc.

The type of puzzles you’ll be solving will require you to interact with the environment by using tools to make your way through to the end. At the end of each puzzle area you’ll collect your sigil and move on the next puzzle.

I’ll admit the first group of puzzles were a little underwhelming, only requiring you to use a jamming device to jam moving explosive mines, turrets, and force fields. It wasn’t a very satisfying mechanic, but I was hopeful the puzzles would get more interesting as the game went on.

I’m happy to say they very well did! As you progress, you’ll unlock new mechanics to spice things up. Sometimes a puzzle will focus on one mechanic, but more often than not, they’ll combine multiple mechanics to really complicate things.

Each puzzle area are in self-contained sections so you can solely focus on them. Each puzzle contains their own title, which are usually subtle hints as to what the puzzles contain and maybe even their solution. Underneath the title shows the mechanics involved and is a nice touch.

Signs within each sub-area will guide you to the different puzzle rooms, as well as showing the mechanics involved in them.

Being a puzzle game, their design and challenge are paramount to making a great puzzle game. Despite a slow start, I can easily say that the puzzles in this game are designed brilliantly!

Each and every puzzle has been so well thought out, and there are plenty of puzzles to try to solve, so kudos to the developers for putting in so much effort.

Once you start unlocking more mechanics, that’s when the game really starts to shine. My personal favourite mechanic is one of the first ones you unlock- the Reflectors. With reflectors, you connect them to light sources and create a beam of light which must eventually be directed to nodes.

These nodes must be activated to shut down force fields, activate fans, and many other uses. I’ve always loved light reflecting puzzles in games, so when I found out The Talos Principle had them, I was hooked.

Other mechanics involve blocks that can have many uses, and fans for blowing objects (or yourself) around the area. There are more to unlock but I won’t give away any more. I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun.

The Reflectors allow you to direct beams of light around. My personal favourite mechanic.

The are three types of sigils to collect- the green ones simply unlock new areas, the yellow ones unlock new mechanics for the puzzles, and red ones I won’t mention as I’ll let you discover it for yourself.

The difficulty for each type of sigil is also dependent on their colouring. The green sigil puzzles are generally very easy, the yellow sigil puzzles are slightly harder, and the red sigil puzzles are the real head-scratchers.

They are also the best puzzles and luckily there are more red sigils than any other, meaning you’ll be facing more difficult puzzles than simple ones. The more challenging they were, the more I enjoyed them because the satisfaction in completing them was immense.

The sigils are your main goal for each puzzle room.

I also noticed that some of the puzzles tried to troll you. For example, there might be a certain puzzle that makes you think you have to use a certain mechanic to solve it, but turned out that the solution was entirely different.

It’s great how it can trick you into thinking of one solution only when in fact it may be false. I thought it was a bit cheeky of the developers to do that, but maybe they were trying to teach us not to think in one way only?

Apart from the real difficult puzzles, most of them aren’t too long. Once you’ve completed one, you feel compelled to move straight on to the next one, making this game addictive as well as fun and challenging.

The red node pictured is where you’d need to direct the light beams to disable the force field.

The world this game is set in is an interesting one. You’ll feel a sense of isolation as you’ll see no other characters around. There are multiple locations such as the initial garden area, a snowy region, and even an area that resembles ancient Egypt.

These areas all look great despite not much movement in any of them. The worlds all feel very ‘still’, but it just works well with the isolating feeling that the game gives you. There’s a real air of mystery with where you are. The soft music you hear throughout really suits the unique vibe of the game too.

Despite not seeing any actual characters around, there is of course the voice of Elohim. He acts as some kind of god, claiming to have created you and sets up these trials for you to obtain eternal life.

There will be a part of you that will question Elohim, as you’ll learn at the start of the game that you’re not even human. You play as an android, so what good will eternal life be?

The ancient Egypt setting is certainly a great looking one.

There are also computers scattered around with notes, emails, and little stories to read. Eventually you’ll converse with someone on these same computers. Again, you’ll question them too. Are they human? An A.I.?

Your conversations though with them are really thought-provoking, as the questions you’re asked can be very philosophical and will question your morals. That’s another thing that makes this game unique as it contains themes of religion and philosophy.

Discussing all that is beyond the scope of this review, but if you have played this game, it can create some interesting talking points.

These computers are in every sub-area of the game and being a puzzle game, sometimes I just wanted to move straight to the puzzles rather than having to read block of writing every time.

Yes, it is completely optional, but the completionist inside me wanted to read every bit of text, which did get annoying on occasion.

These computers are where you’ll be reading emails, stories, and conversing with other people.

Simply put, if you love puzzle games, then you must play The Talos Principle! It will make your brain work overtime, and the game’s tone and isolating atmosphere will draw you in even more.

The game’s philosophical themes also help immerse you, that’s if you can stand all the reading. But at least it will give you something to talk/think about.

But the great puzzle design is what this game’s all about, and I highly recommend every fan of puzzle games to give this a go.

Score: 9.3/10

Advertisement

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: