Content Type: Gaming Reviews
Date: April 20, 2017
Modern video games plant specific ideologies that allow gamers to think even after the story is complete. Ideologies that are common in gaming are that of politics, the state of humankind, or even philosophy. The Talos Principle has a strong sense of philosophy that parallels the stories found in the book Genesis. Croteam, the developers of the Serious Sam series, craft unique puzzles that increase in difficulty with grace. Although its story is solely in the player effort, The Talos Principle captivates in its puzzles solving environment. The Talos Principle that will impress those who love puzzles and a different kind of story.
The game starts with a robot that gains consciousness in a beautiful forest. A godly voice by the name of Elohim explains that the android shall gain eternal life. The robot is only an infant; it must learn through the puzzles it solves and through the guidance of the omnipotent Elohim.
The game holds substance through audio recordings, explaining “The Talos Principle” is a concept to surpass humankind through AI. “Milton, an interactive computer, tells the extinct state of mankind hence, “The Talos Principle” is in effect.
The Android is smarter with the teachings of Elohim, and the world is all there for its exploration. However, the tower in the middle of the world shall not be studied or else the Android will die. Once the Android discovers the knowledge, it must do what it sees fit. Upon choosing you can get multiple endings as a result. As one can see, the story draws heavily from the beginning from the book of Genesis. Clear parallels are that of the creation of man (creation of the Android); obeying Jehovah (Obeying Elohim). The forbidden fruit (the forbidden Middle Tower). The influence of the rebellious Serpent (Other androids who wish to draw their conclusions). These similarities are fascinating to see because they give the game an enormous weight to the mythos of the game. A solid hidden story will appeal to gamers that wish to expand their minds into something unique and unusual.
The Talos Principle primarily consists of obtaining Tetris-looking sigils through solving puzzles that gracefully get more difficult. The game is not afraid to push players to think outside the box when solving each and every puzzle. The puzzles consist of opening and closing gates to obtain the pieces. As you progress, more and more tools such as reflective light beam crystals and fans make things more difficult.
Smooth progression, however, allows familiarity with these tools. In turn, this progress allows unique problems to solve and great satisfaction once it’s over. However, broad focus on problem-solving completely sucks the life out of the story present. As a player, you forget there is a story in The Talos Principle. The story and gameplay are not unified like Portal that excellently melds story and gameplay. However, the puzzles are engaging, and that might not be a problem to those who love this type of game.
Powered by the Serious Engine 4, the game looks great. There is enough detail that the world is very seamless and beautiful. Excellent forest design and great distances have a very realistic look and can immerse you. Everything runs well, the example being either force field gates, android obstacles, and especially when ascending to heaven. Despite all the great graphics, this is not what makes this game good.
Sound design follows every single heartbeat of the game. Sounds are not unique to the video game. The puzzle-androids in the world sound like an 80’s space movie. Electric gates sound like the gates in Star Wars Episode I’s final fight. Aside from sound, the work of composer Damjan Mravunac is excellent.
Opening title theme, Virgo Serena, is a good demonstration of epic scoring. He uses a choir to give a flavor of Catholic hymns that give a sense of something holy and beyond. Having scores like this have an emotional impact on players. Excellent scores add an extra layer of dimension to games, therefore, making them memorable. Puzzle solving music is relaxing which allows for focus through the game.
There is replayability in the finding hidden pieces. These pieces unlock new environments that add to the story. There are multiple endings, and they are very captivating finishes; alongside this is the DLC in the PS4 port.