Recently I got to try out the game The Talos Principle, a first-person puzzle game developed by Croteam and published by Devolver Digital. Getting into it, I was surprised probably on the same level that I was surprised when I started playing The Vanishing of Ethan Carter. Once you start playing the first thing that immediately hits you are the graphics. They are really good. Now in this game there are no sprawling environments, only tiny isolated arenas and mazes of a sort that you’ll have to find your way around. However, the detail in these environments look so vivid and so real that you’ll be invested from start to finish.
The gameplay itself is quite interesting. The game is played from a first person perspective and you are tasked with going through these trials, which are basically puzzles you have to complete. First off, you begin the game in a maze to get through the maze you will have to find sigils. To get these sigils, you will have to solve puzzles laid out in these sort of mini arenas. Each of these arenas has a different layout and each of these will have different obstacles, such as roving patrol balls that will kill you if they detect you or turrets with a similar function. In each of these arenas you will also receive jammers with will impede the function of turrets, patrol balls, and even these ray shield things. With all these factors to consider, each arena presents a different level of difficulty and as such the sense of reward is always present during and after going through each puzzle.
The story of The Talos Priniciple is also compelling. In this game, the player takes on the role of a robot who wakes up and is guided by a disembodied voice named Elohim along a path to enlightenment. However, the story seems to take a back seat to the gameplay. I found myself completely lost in the direction of the story such that if it weren’t for terminals these terminal that I could access throughout the game, I would have not known what the story was about in the first place. It also helped that there are these little QR code stamps scattered throughout these levels that added to the story.
Ultimately, The Talos Principle‘s main focus is graphics and gameplay. The environments are so lush and vivid that you’re immediately engrossed in the experience. The gameplay is the main aspect of the game that you’ll find yourself coming back to. Sure the levels start out easy. However, they get harder and harder as the game progresses such that you’ll have to be ever more clever to clear each succeeding stage. That is why the sense of reward is ever present. Because the levels keep challenging you on a difficulty greater than before, not only will you feel a sense of accomplishment when you actually finish a level but you’ll also be eager to play the next one. The story seems to take second place to the gameplay. 70-80% of the time you’ll find yourself engrossed in the gameplay and the presence of collectibles throughout the game reminds you that there is a story. That and the disembodied voice named Elohim. Overall, I would definitely say check this game out on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux. There is also a planned release for PS4 and Android device sometime in the future.