PAX Prime 2014: The Talos Principle
During the past generation, Portal, the first person puzzle game was a highlight for many. With its unique puzzles, use of gameplay mechanics, and uncertainty with its cast of characters, Portal instantly became a classic.
The Talos Principle, developed by Serious Sam developer Croteam, brings elements of Portal into its own first person puzzle game. The puzzles in the game began as puzzles in a new Serious Sam game, but the more the puzzles evolved, the more it was decided that the puzzles should be in their own standalone game. This allows for a new franchise and a brand new way to tell a story.
The game offers many philosophical elements. Croteam wants you to question God, question yourself, and question the environment around you. Every once in a while a mysterious voice speaks to you and offers more philosophical talk. Terminals around the world speak to you in DOS menus to pique your interest of the world even more. I’m excited to dive in and explore each of the terminals to try and piece together the world around the player.
Puzzles operate as in Portal, except the game is non-linear. A cathedral operates as a home world to choose what area you wish to explore, and any area can be chosen, some more tougher than others. Each area has a few puzzles in it, and each puzzle can be tackled anytime you want. If a puzzle is too challenging, you are given free reign to leave and try another puzzle. The goal in each puzzle is to find a puzzle piece that resembles a Tetris block. The goal is to collect each Tetris block in each level and complete a Tetris esque mini game to complete the section. At times a Star can be sought after in a puzzle area to increase your score in the level. These Stars are also tied to PSN Trophies.
A few of the mechanics in the puzzle arenas include jamming force fields to progress, and tethering laser points together. Blocks and fans are also used in the section that I played. The game uses all of these mechanics in a unique way, showing a lot of thought went into the puzzles.
Overall, I’m very excited to see what other mechanics and mind-bending puzzles developer Croteam can come up with.