Oh the atmosphere!
Talos Principle is a rather unique title that has been spat out by a Croatian developer known as Croteam. The main object of this puzzle adventure is self-discovery.
The journey begins where you start off as an android and is confused about its present whereabouts. There is a voice from an omnipotent being who guides you around your current surroundings. As you continue your journey you learn more about yourself and life through philosophical texts at terminals. These terminals are based on the DOS OS which had more common usage in the late eighties and early nighties.
You are prompted with a series of philosophical questions and your answers will impact later questions as you progress.
The real meat of this title revolves around the thoroughly clever gameplay mechanics. From the very beginning you learn you must traverse puzzle rooms to obtain items known as sigils (Tetris block-esque objects). As you enter a puzzle room/area will notice certain parts of the area to be shielded by a force field usually with a circular pattern placed on a wall beside it. In order to remove the field a laser of a matching colour should be directed at this pattern.
There is a central hub you will reach which will have you wandering around a castle structure and finding numbered rooms with teleport circles which will take you to different parts of the world. Depending on the part of the castle you are in there will be distinctive themes for each world which keeps things fresh.
Initially, the game will allow you to find objects such as jammers and tripods with crystals on top to redirect laser beams. Jammers will easily allow you to bypass force fields and with limited items it is up to you to find clever usage of these items to reach the goal of acquiring the sigil. There are certain enemy obstacles that will attack if you spotted so discretion is an asset at times.
These puzzles are all solvable which may require quite a bit of thinking and trial and error in order to find the appropriate usage of items to progress further. The level of satisfaction is well worth the brainstorming. If you should ever find yourself stuck it is possible to rewind to the very beginning of the puzzle room.
As you collect more sigils and unlock more items to use the more interesting this experience becomes. The philosophical questioning about life adds quite a bit to this experience as well. Hidden stars are scattered throughtout each area which usually require utilizing multiple puzzle areas to unlock. The only drawback is there are no hints on where these stars are located so this can leave you wandering around vast areas for quite some time.
The graphical depiction of the worlds is exquisite and nicely done. Although, the Ps4 version does suffer from age-old issues such as texture pop ins. Framerate doesn’t seem to be an issue as there is not much going in the game world, in general.
Outside of the vocal instructions by the creator of the world there is not much voice work to be had here and the music does a good job of setting the mood for this thought-provoking journey. All around the sound composition does a fantastic job with what they were working with.
A shame as this is a rather tough game to market to the public, but this is one of the most unique experience I’ve had in gaming and should be experienced by anyone with an interest in puzzle-solving.
Platform(s): PC & Playstation 4