The Talos Principle Reviews

AuthorReview
RadicalSniper99
1,022,219 (636,803)
RadicalSniper99
TA Score for this game: 1,954
Posted on 21 March 19 at 16:28
This review has 3 positive votes and 0 negative votes. Please log in to vote.
The Talos Principle is a puzzle game with a vague story driven with some philosophical bend to it. If you've played The Witness, you might know what I'm talking about. I've got a bit to put here, but I'll lead off by saying that this game is likely more successful with it's story than The Witness and if you enjoyed the puzzles there, this might even better for you overall as a game. With that, let's get started.

So what is the Talos Principle? Well it's a puzzle game. You find yourself in a beautiful but slightly "off" world. A heavenly voice speaks to you and pushes you towards completing tests to attain salvation. They forbid you from entering a mysterious tower, but it seems to call out to you (well at least I was tempted). What's happening and why are you in this world? You can find out as much as you want and the game really does let you know what's happening.

At the beginning, I compared this to The Witness. But what really separates Talos is the story. The Witness I'd call "pretentious" in its story due to it not really having a cohesive one. If there was something there, it never really materialized (at least for me). Talos on the other hand is more of a mystery that unfolds. Between the voice, the computer terminals spread throughout the world, and other audio recordings, you really learn learn what's happening. There are enough details, both small and large, that build to frame what you're doing. I don't want to really spoil it here, but it works.

In terms of gameplay, the puzzle style is not as reminiscent of The Witness. While Witness was panel puzzles, Talos is a bit more guided. You'll find yourself in a large room with signs guiding you to the puzzles you haven't done. Each room contains a tetromino (called a sigil in the game) for you to collect. These sigils are used to open doors and unlock new pieces of equipment to solve other puzzles. The signs tell you what equipment is required to complete them so if you haven't collected something you can wait until unlocking it to come back.

What does compare to Witness however is that Talos also doesn't necessarily directly teach you anything. You can figure out what the equipment does through experimentation, but it won't explicitly give you instructions. The tutorial puzzles for new equipment are simple enough that you can usually understand them quite quickly. But the little tricks and more subtle uses of the equipment won't be spelled out for you. Part of the fun is really just trying things to see what happens.

I want to talk a bit about my experiences with the game beyond this. I played most of Talos (at least a first run of the game) through a set of streams with angelsk and we really learned throughout. We figured a lot of puzzles out on our own and came up with solutions that utilized the equipment. But at the same time we were communicating ideas as we hit brick walls. You find something that doesn't work and get stuck sometimes. Having her help throughout really added to the experience for both of us.

In terms of achievements, the game has a great mix. Most of the achievements will come naturally just through playing the game and completing the puzzles. There is a second collectible (stars) that will really push your abilities of observation and coming up with solutions. There are a few missables and achievements you can block yourself out of in one playthrough if you're not careful, but it's possible to do this in a single playthrough due to a forgiving checkpoint and autosave system that records the last 10 or so milestones.

After gushing about the game for all of these paragraphs, I want to cover at least some weaker points. These weren't really bad, but some things that didn't add as much:

- Sound: I really didn't notice it at all. Music is a huge thing for me and really the game just felt so quiet throughout. The sounds effects for devices and enemies were really clear however so you always could tell what was happening around you. Like I said, not a big negative, just something I look to enjoy while gaming.

- Jumping: This was really hit or miss. There were times when the game expects you to jump your way to stars or solutions of puzzles. While the game is doable at all times, it really had moments where it felt unintuitive or that it sometimes worked or didn't. At the same time, you had moments where you could exploit this to get to places where the game might not have expected you to (at least that's what I thought I was doing).

Now I do have to talk about one other "negative" for a lot of people likely that will hold some of you back - the price. At $50, this game is close to a AAA price. In a time where people care a lot about "bang for your buck", this price tag will put some off as it's a single player, puzzle game. I can't make those decisions for you about value and won't necessarily try to convince you otherwise, but Talos really was worth it to me.

If you are a fan of puzzle games, Talos really is amazing. It has wonderful graphics with a story that can really pull you in. The puzzles will challenge you and allow you to continue learning through both it's main story and all the way to the end of the Gehenna DLC that comes with the game. I spent probably 40+ hours of my time on this game in total. While it could have been a lot quicker with a guide, I had more fun struggling through till the end (of course, I say this as I'm beginning to write the walkthrough for this game on TA...so...).
Please log in to comment on this solution.