The Talos Principle - Review
Already tested on the original release platform almost a year ago, The Talos Principle went first from Android and, an expansion later, also reached the Sony console, enriched precisely by the recent DLC Road to Gehenna.
The title of Croteam comes in fact in a sumptuous Deluxe edition that includes both the original game, which can be completed in its main storyline in about twenty hours, as well as the full-bodied additional content lasting just under five hours, based on the events narrated in the plot original, but complementary and collateral to them.
For those who missed it at the time (here is our review, to which we refer you for all the more general evaluations on the game), The Talos Principle leads the player to play the role of an android with a semi-human consciousness that awakens and takes self-awareness in a heavenly, futuristic and dreamlike environment, where nature has taken over and the only manifestations of civilization are electronic terminals, complex puzzles and the mysterious ethereal voice of such an Elohim.
To understand what has happened to the world, the player will have to find out something about who he is and what is happening around him, in a fragile universe that seems to not always be exactly what it appears to be. By solving the puzzles organized by rooms that Elohim will propose, they will in fact earn seals, that is pieces of modular keys necessary to open doors capable of making progress towards new discoveries, exploring threatening and crumbling environments, but with their own mysterious poetics. In all this, the protagonist will also discover that Elohim claims to have built all these worlds for him, but that the highest floor of his dark tower, whose summit vanishes in gloomy stormy clouds, is forbidden and that he will not have to venture up there .
Needless to say, the Elohim tower will be the very last step of the course and it will be up to the player to choose whether to contravene Elohim's warnings or give way to human curiosity and need for knowledge.
The puzzles, the heart of the gameplay of The Talos Principle, are complex and of progressively increasing difficulty and increasingly complex composition, calling into question a number of elements to be used and with which to interact with each other, between speakers, reflectors of laser flows and energetic rays capable of opening plasma doors or of numbing drones or turrets: the latter will otherwise try to blow us up when we get close.
Despite the goodness of this component, the main content of the game, I must point out that, for my part, I found an annoying sensation of motion sickness capable of making it impossible for me to play sessions longer than forty minutes at a time.
As our Fabio Bortolotti suggested in his review of the PC edition of the game, it is in fact possible to switch the chosen view between the first and third person to avoid these unpleasant situations, but despite having played from the first minute always in the third person, there is no it was a way for me to get around this problem, perhaps also because of the alienating physics adopted by our avatar in some movements.
Fortunately, the controls are few and simple, with a leap only for particular situations and specific occasions and movements facilitated by the possibility of running using one of the DualShock 4's back buttons, so as to streamline the repetitive situations that certainly will not be missing in the puzzles anymore arduous. A little less fluid is the system for collecting, pointing and positioning the objects present in the rooms, which is immediately felt to have been designed for a mouse and only subsequently adapted to an analog stick. Aiming and grasping an object or connecting it to another in the course of work is not always so instinctive, due to hitboxes that are fairly small for each element that can be interacted on the screen, especially when it is the umpteenth time that we repeat the pattern and we are trying to replicate all as quickly as possible in search of a solution, which tends to create even more complex situations when it comes to relating to distant objects or to multiple elements close to each other.
Once this is removed, everything works as it should without any technical problem and the visual rendering of The Talos Principle is very satisfying, clean and resolute, with bright colors and fluid images that allow you to appreciate the characteristic setting in which Croteam wanted to drop the patrons of the its title. Between one puzzle and another to collect the precious seals, dedicated terminals will also allow you to venture into the details of the fate of humanity, so close, but so far throughout the duration of our stay in the game universe, coming across a slice of plot meticulously reconstructed almost in mockumentary style, through the imaginary testimonies of researchers engaged with artificial intelligence and with the prospect of the abyss in the future of the human race.
I played The Talos Principle on my PlayStation 4 thanks to a code kindly provided by Croteam, spending a few hours admiring the environments, deciphering the indecipherable situations and elaborating rooms full of deadly puzzles on which I sometimes lose my mind, occasionally stopping at computer terminals to look for some further answers to the thousand questions that often the game brings to ask about what happens.