Monday, 2 November 2015

The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition

What makes somebody human? Is it sub consciousness? Even if you are human, how can you prove it? Are you actually human or are you programmed to believe you are? Also, if we’re human, why do we do what we do in the first place? If you like to be philosophical about human nature and all the why’s in between, The Talos Principle may be the perfect game for you. If you don’t really care for all that “crap” and enjoy pretty puzzle games then The Talos Principle is perfect for you. If, by happenstance, that you like both, then guess what? The Talos Principle is even more perfect for you, if that even makes sense. 

Out now on PlayStation 4, The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition is developed by Croteam. If that developer name is familiar to you then you may have played Serious Sam. If you’ve never heard of the series before then Serious Sam is one of the craziest first person shooters that is all about quick movement and vacating your mind in order to focus on killing the headless enemies holding bombs. It might come as a surprise then that The Talos Principle is the complete opposite of that craziness, but the quality is still incredible all round. 

The aim of the game is to complete puzzles and gather pieces that are all shaped like Tetris blocks. You wander around massive areas to enter much smaller puzzle rooms. Every room seems small and manageable, and they are, but they also progressively challenge you in new ways, offering new equipment to utilise in order to complete puzzles. It begins simply with a jammer and a couple of steps but eventually you’ll be using half a dozen tools to complete a puzzle with dozens of steps. Mess a step up though and it could mean starting it all over again.

The world is a beautiful creation of historical structures and calming environments. Even when a puzzle may get too much, or you don’t want to do anything, you can simply walk around the world and enjoy the stunning music and spectacular visuals. It’s a game that asks you to think but also gives you the means in which to do just that. After reading some entries into the computers in each sections, responding to some and reading the replies, there’s something soothing to just walking off in a direction, finding a nice spot, and just standing there for a bit, almost like reflecting. It’s a weird thing to consider doing in a video game but it’s worthwhile doing in The Talos Principle.

It’s not a short game either. You can spend 30 hours in both the base game and the included DLC: The Road to Gehenna. The DLC shows off new environments and introduces a few new tricky puzzles but it’s more of the same and that’s totally fine.

It’s rare that a game is intellectual and fun, slow and engaging, and lengthy and exciting. It’s a special experience that you don’t find anywhere else really. What seemed like a different studio’s attempt at being the next Portal game has become its own, sometimes more memorable puzzle game that I can’t help but highly recommend.

The solution of The Talos Principle: Deluxe Edition is 4/5.


Jason Redmond

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