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Discussion The Patient Gamer: The Talos Principle - The Ultra Chill Puzzle Game

GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
3,356
1,909
136
Before I started playing The Talos Principle (TTP) I was lured in by the promise of more Portal-Esq puzzle solving goodness. Given that basically everyone likes Portal, that's a pretty appealing and understandable pitch to move a game. The Talos Principle is not like Portal. Like, at all. Ok, maybe they're similar in that they're both first person puzzle games, but in setting/tone/gameplay/everything else they diverge pretty seriously.

It is, however, a fantastic game in its own unique sort of way.

You're a robot that has been loaded into something that is very clearly not the real world. A voice from above that calls himself "Elohim" speaks and declares that he is god and that you have been created to complete a series of his trials to prove your worth to enter heaven. Of course, not everything is as it seems. The story unfolds through audio and text logs, some dialogue trees, and through player interaction with the world. The game hits a broad range of notes from funny to melancholy to everything in between. Again, its not Portal levels of meme material and generally takes itself more seriously than its ilk while also dabbling in various pop-philosophical subjects that are engaging and stimulating to read.

The challenges in TTP consist of using an array of tools to navigate any number of increasingly challenging puzzles through 7 levels across three different worlds. The goal of each puzzle is to use the tools provided to grab a puzzle piece required to progress. Collect enough puzzle pieces and you will be able to unlock additional tools and be able to access additional worlds. There are some bonus puzzles to complete to unlock alternate endings to the game, which sort of represent an easy (just complete the core puzzles), medium (complete the core + tower puzzles) and hard (complete the core + tower + star puzzles) difficulty levels.

There are a solid assortment of puzzles with a number of unique approaches to complete. Some puzzles require planning, others require timing, others require experimentation. I've always felt like a good puzzle game is the type that introduces you a to set of rules or concepts, then gets out of the way and lets the solution unfold in such a way that balances the feeling of challenge and accomplishment so the player walks away feeling like a genius for figuring things out. TTP does this very well with some very rare exceptions where a rule is introduced without being properly demonstrated first. All in all, completing the puzzles leaves you feeling like you really had to use your brain without having to break it.

This is not Myst or or one of those 90's adventure games where puzzles meant forcing the player into an abstract treasure hunts for bizarre objects that in no way make any sort of sense to work together.

Lastly, one of the finest elements of the game is the ambiance and atmosphere. The three worlds are styled after Greco-Roman gardens, Egyptian Mausoleum complexes, and European Castles and forts. The music is soothing, gentle, and relaxing. There are no guns, and no enemies outside of some mines/turrets that exist as parts of puzzles. The game features a robust autosave system (and keeps a hidden catalogue of all saves) so there is very little stress associated with autosaving, and either dying in or getting stuck in a puzzle automatically returns you to the start of the puzzle with maybe 5-10 minutes lost at most.

As a quick note: the game is beautifully rendered and runs well on just about any modern GPU, and ran fine at 1080p60fps Ultra settings on my crappy GTX 1050 laptop.

This was easily one of the most enjoyable, relaxing "unwind with a cocktail after a long day of work" kind of games I have ever played, bar none. Its puzzles elevate it beyond a simple walking simulator, but the absence of any sort of serious pressure or unpleasant imagery leave your nerves relatively untouched. I highly recommend.
 

Starbuck1975

Lifer
Jan 6, 2005
14,670
1,889
126
The Talos Principle is outstanding and reminded me a lot of Myst. If you like Talos, check out the Witness, similar concept but even more beautifully rendered and the puzzles offer some serious challenges.
 
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GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
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The Talos Principle is outstanding and reminded me a lot of Myst. If you like Talos, check out the Witness, similar concept but even more beautifully rendered and the puzzles offer some serious challenges.
- I will absolutely check out the Witness. TTP just rocketed to near the top of my favorite games of all time, I'll soak up anything like it.

It was almost the perfect kind of escapism for troubled times.
 

Starbuck1975

Lifer
Jan 6, 2005
14,670
1,889
126
- I will absolutely check out the Witness. TTP just rocketed to near the top of my favorite games of all time, I'll soak up anything like it.

It was almost the perfect kind of escapism for troubled times.
Yeah, it’s nice to just wander a scenic environment and leisurely solve puzzles. Talos is definitely more Portal like with its tech puzzles, Witness is more steampunk Myst.
 
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GodisanAtheist

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2006
3,356
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Was looking through Steam's recommendations as well and saw both AntiChamber and Manifold Garden as recommended puzzle games suggested for TTP and The Witness players, threw those on my wishlist as well.
 
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EXCellR8

Diamond Member
Sep 1, 2010
3,887
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I've always meant to try it just never actually did.

Started playing 'Supraland' the other day since it was steeply discounted on Steam but tbh I'm not really enjoying it that much so far.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
80,032
12,798
126
I like puzzle games with stories and this one fits the bill. I started it when it first came out, got frustrated, and went back years later.

I think in late 2019 I finally finished it. Recommend you guys check out solution videos if you get stuck.
 

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