The Talos Principle is a first-person puzzle game in the tradition of philosophical science fiction. Made by Croteam, the creators of Serious Sam, and written by Tom Jubert (FTL, The Swapper) and Jonas Kyratzes (The Sea Will Claim Everything).
User reviews: Overwhelmingly Positive (2,550 reviews)
Release Date: Dec 11, 2014

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Recommended By Curators

"An adept and satisfying puzzle game with a narrative that requires a bit of player investment to yield its biggest rewards."
Read the full review here.

Recent updates View all (48)

May 19

News about The Talos Principle DLC "Road To Gehenna"!

Tom Jubert, one of the co-writers on the main game, together with Jonas Kyratzes, wrote a blogpost about his work on The Talos Principle DLC "Road To Gehenna"!

Here is a snipet:

Without spoiling anything, the pitch we went with provides us huge flexibility in terms of the sort and tone of material we deliver. It gives us a world that fits within the original game's religious and science fiction mythology, but which resolutely has its own identity. Most importantly for me, it lets us explore completely new ideas about how to interact with the game.

Read whole blog post by Tom Jubert and find out more on this link.

In "Road To Gehenna" all pieces seem to fall into their place perfectly, like Sigils on the board! We'll have very exciting DLC in the near future!

13 comments Read more

April 29

The Talos Principle Themed Craft Contest (#2) winners announced!!!

After little bit more than a month The Talos Principle Themed Craft Contest (#2) came to an end! Big thanks to everybody who participated in this contest. We had so many amazing submissions, all of which can be viewed at one place in this Imgur Gallery

And the winners are:

1st Place: Temptation by MysticalDragon (Entry 428)
2nd Place: And all these worlds I made for you by Ar2R-devil-PiNKy (Entry 425)
3rd Place: Mr Stone's Brain Is Not A Toy by FranckyFox2468 (Entry 420)
4th Place: Life From Error by ApexPecoris (Entry 427)
5th Place: Real Life Sigil Riddle by KamiKow (Entry 429)

Honorable Mentions:
Talos Principle by MysticalDragon (Entry 421)
My Best Friend Died Today by r0b0_j0 (Entry 418)
Faith or Curiosity by erandas_vs (Entry 430)
Alexandra Drennan by Флин (Entry 423)
Dominus tecum by FreekNik (Entry 409)

Congratulations to the winners! All others more luck next time!

And once again here is the link to gallery of all artwork that participated in this contest! It is really worth exploring!
The Talos Principle Themed Craft Contest (#2) All Participant Imgur Gallery

2 comments Read more

Reviews

“The Talos Principle is going to be something very, very special for you.”
9.5/10 – Jim Sterling (Jimquisition)

“The Talos Principle is an absolute joy to play.”
9/10 – Gamespot

“One of the best games of the year.”
4.5/5 – PCWorld

Serious Sam Voice Pack DLC

The new Serious Sam Voice Pack DLC replaces the godlike voice of Elohim with completely NEW, rewritten and humorous Serious Sam script.

Serious Sam voice has been recorded by longtime Serious Sam voice actor John J. Dick.

It also includes a new Serious Sam player model for use in The Talos Principle.

About This Game

The Talos Principle is a philosophical first-person puzzle game from Croteam, the creators of the legendary Serious Sam games, written by Tom Jubert (FTL, The Swapper) and Jonas Kyratzes (The Sea Will Claim Everything).

As if awakening from a deep sleep, you find yourself in a strange, contradictory world of ancient ruins and advanced technology. Tasked by your creator with solving a series of increasingly complex puzzles, you must decide whether to have faith or to ask the difficult questions: Who are you? What is your purpose? And what are you going to do about it?

Features:
  • Overcome more than 120 immersive puzzles in a stunning world.
  • Divert drones, manipulate laser beams and even replicate time to prove your worth - or to find a way out.
  • Explore a story about humanity, technology and civilization. Uncover clues, devise theories, and make up your own mind.
  • Choose your own path through the game's non-linear world, solving puzzles your way.
  • But remember: choices have consequences and somebody's always watching you.

Sigils of Elohim



Sigils of Elohim is a free mini-game prelude to Croteam’s first-person puzzler The Talos Principle that challenges players to solve dozens of challenging sigil puzzles under the watchful eye of Elohim.

Acquire items and relics in Sigils of Elohim on PC, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android mobile that transfer over to The Talos Principle on PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, Linux and Android K1.

http://store.steampowered.com/app/321480/

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP 32-bit (with service pack 3)
    • Processor: Dual-core 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 10 class GPU with 512MB VRAM (nVidia GeForce 8600 series, AMD Radeon HD 3600 series, Intel HD 4000 series)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX9.0c Compatible Sound Card
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 64-bit
    • Processor: Quad-core 3.0 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: DirectX 11 class GPU with 1GB VRAM (nVidia GeForce 480 GTX, AMD Radeon HD 5870)
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX9.0c Compatible Sound Card
    Minimum:
    • OS: OS X version Leopard 10.5.8, Snow Leopard 10.6.3
    • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GeForce GT 9600M/320M 512MB VRAM, AMD Radeon HD 4670 512MB VRAM (Intel integrated GPUs are not supported!)
    • Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OS X version Snow Leopard 10.6.3 or later
    • Processor: Intel Quad Code 3.2 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 480 GTX 1GB VRAM, AMD Radeon HD 5870 1GB VRAM (Intel integrated GPUs are not supported!)
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Linux Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: Dual-core 2.2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 8600/9600GT 512MB VRAM, ATI/AMD Radeon HD2600/3600 512MB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 5 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL: 2.1 or higher
    Recommended:
    • OS: Linux Ubuntu 12.04
    • Processor: Quad-core 3.2 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GeForce 480 GTX 1GB VRAM, ATI/AMD Radeon HD 5870 1GB VRAM
    • Hard Drive: 8 GB available space
    • Sound Card: OpenAL Compatible Sound Card
    • Additional Notes: OpenGL: 2.1 or higher
Helpful customer reviews
1,210 of 1,268 people (95%) found this review helpful
54.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 30, 2014
If Animus would have ever spent a night of passion with GlaDOS, then this would be their child :) Influenced by Portal series and early Assassin's Creed games, among others, this game is a mind-blowing combination of puzzle-solving tasks with a story which builds a philosophical bridge between religion and science in a way that can only be called a stroke of genius.

I can't say that Talos Principle is better than Portal. It's beyond Portal.

It takes Portal's approach to first person environmental puzzle solving and, standing on its shoulders, reaches higher, offering you much more sophisticated puzzles of various kinds that sometimes have several layers and sometimes even inter-operate. The reality you are operating in is filled with messages and secrets, not unlike the world of Animus from Assassin's Creed, telling you a story and fuelling your brain. And just like in AC, you get some secondary things to do when you get tired of the "main" puzzles.

The graphics are fantastic. Landscapes are gorgeous. Controls are perfect. Music is superb. Voice acting is impeccable. Length is ideal. Puzzles are mind-bending. Progression is non-linear. This game might be officially "indie", but its quality is triple A. Or quad A. To call it non-trivial is like to say that a rocket is non-slow. And what's most valuable, is that you don't feel that profits were the top priority for the makers. The game was.

The things I love about it the most:
• Assisted jumping. Just brilliant. If only Quantum Conundrum had it.
• No fake puzzles based on arcade elements.
• Weather effects.
• I can get as close as I can to a wall and still see no blurred textures.
• Wherever I go, I never get stuck in terrain.
• Skippable intro movie and sensible menus.
• Runs on my Macbook Pro.
• Has a free demo.
• It's so clever, it feels alive.

The things I dislike:
• Loud "Death" sequence can give one a pretty good scare when comes unexpected.
• It ends.

If you like puzzles - buy it. If you like first person games - buy it. If you like philosophy - buy it. If you like lasers - buy it. If you like finding secrets - buy it. If you like clever writing - buy it. If you like computer games - buy it! And if you don't like computer games... You just never played this one :)
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434 of 457 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
215.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
A first/third-person puzzle game with beautifully themed environments and captivating original soundtrack.

You solve world puzzles to collect Sigils (Tetris pieces, essentially), and you use those collected Sigils in Sigil puzzle locks (which unlock doors or new puzzle mechanics.) To solve a lock you must arrange the Sigils in a preset rectangular pattern. Along with Sigils there are collectable stars which are used to unlock more difficult content. The stars themselves are often fairly difficult to collect, but are very satisfying.

The game plays at your own pace, as puzzles are solved with theory and execution as opposed to timing and platforming. Due to the design of puzzles being self-contained experiences, you can play casually, only completing a few puzzles during a session without worrying about losing progress and having to redo a bunch of them. You can't manually save in the middle of a puzzle, but progress is saved as events get triggered, and your last puzzle/world location is kept track of, so it's easy to continue where you left off.

The game does not hold your hand as you play... you aren't told how to use puzzle mechanics, but rather you learn how to use them through natural play and experimentation. The learning curve is very gradual but you will find yourself dealing with fairly complex puzzles later on in the game as you become accustomed to the mechanics. The game isn't a linear progression of puzzles so if you get stuck on a puzzle you can skip it and come back to it later (and often solving it after having an epiphany.) The only barriers are Sigil Locks, which do require you to collect at least certain "easy" Sigils before advancing too far.

The story of the game is conveyed through various means... through ELOHIM (the voice in the sky), audiologs (from a female scientist), journal entries (archived data in computer terminals), and messages written on the walls (by various characters.) A big, unique part of the story is done through interactive events in the terminals, where you will interact with an AI character through dialogue trees. The AI will make you think, articulate your thoughts, and ultimately question yourself. If you wish to partake in the story and get the most of it, you'll find yourself having a lot to read, but it's all completely optional and can be skipped if you really just want to solve puzzles. The writing and voice acting are all super high-quality with perfect execution.

The level design is based on real-life environments and themes primarily from Roman, Egyptian, and Medieval architectures, with a few "fantasy" environments thrown in. Weather and time of day add a lot of variety to the worlds and keep them fresh and feeling unique from one another. Environmental textures and models are very detailed and are made from real life photographs and 3D scans, as I understand it. Puzzle mechanics clearly stand out from the detailed environments by being pristine and more technologically advanced in nature, as to not get in the way of solving the actual puzzles. Puzzle areas are designed to feel open and allow you to see to other areas so you get a good sense of what all you have to work with and the area you have to utilize. Areas such as walls, fences and stairs feel natural while still retaining very distinct purposes, often aiding you in coming up with the solution without you necessarily realizing it.

There's a ton more I could say about this game, but all in all you're looking at around 20 hours or more of content spanning around 120 puzzles (not including Sigil lock puzzles or additional secrets.) A second play-through is likely if you're wanting to explore alternative dialogue trees, get all the achievements, find all the secrets/messages, or attempt speed-running. There is also a level editor included as well as Steam Workshop support for user-generated content. The PC version of this game has more settings than you have ever seen before, so it can run smoothly on rather low-end hardware, and you can adjust to your liking.

Full disclosure: I was a volunteer beta-tester for this game for ~3 months prior to release, and I have ~180 hours of play in ~4 playthroughs. I highly recommend this game and supporting the developer, Croteam!
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656 of 737 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
26.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
The puzzles are good, if perhaps very slightly too easy, and it's definitely the most competent treatment of philosophy I've ever seen in a video game* (speaking as someone who 1. has played a lot of video games and 2. has a PhD in philosophy**). Definitely worth buying, if not necessarily at full price.

*If you ARE a philosopher, though, or are philosophically inclined, you might suffer some mild frustration at being limited by multiple choice answers to complicated questions - though again, the options you are presented with are generally better than you might expect from a game.
**Please forgive me if mentioning this makes me seem like a d**k.
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281 of 306 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
4.2 hrs on record
Posted: January 3
Comparing The Talos Principle to a game like Portal is unfair, but immediate. The first time I manipulated a gadget to set off a part of a puzzle, I muttered how much it reminded me of the amazing and witty Portal 1 and 2, and that trying to replicate it was unwise. However, I removed my premature opinions and discovered a whole new world of puzzle and story, placed perfectly in what is called The Talos Principle.

The game starts out in ruins, immediately piquing interest and curiosity. This first person interaction makes it impossible to know who you are, or what you are doing in the deserted grounds of what seems like Rome. The land is littered with broken pillars and faulty statues, most of which are missing their heads.

Very shortly after running around, an all powerful voice beams from the skies, introducing himself and welcoming you to his garden. The puzzles ahead are a test to see if you are worthy (of what is unclear) and to strengthen your faith in him, "ELOHIM."

Without going into spoilers, I must say that the story is my favorite part of this game. Despite everything right about The Talos Principle, I’m a sucker for a great story, and very few games have the tone that this one carries beautifully and makes one question the nature of humanity. Almost every word spoken or typed holds a deeper meaning. Nothing is there without reason, and everything is set up in such a way that I didn’t feel left out of anything. There will be no regrets to finishing this game and seeing everything tie together.

Gameplay is very simple, which is nice, because the puzzles are not. Having the option, I opted for controller, assuming I could sit back, relax, and enjoy a nice, scenic mind game. I was wrong. Despite the scenery being beautiful and the music peaceful, my anxiety levels were high, attempting to freeze the laser gun that will shoot you down and sneak past the bots that will blow you up. And that’s within the first puzzles. You can’t do much on your own, only using what is provided to pass each task. It makes learning controls easy, which is nice when you have to take most of your focus into the puzzle.

There are only a handful of gadgets as well, each with a specific task that they do. Don’t be fooled though, because sometimes they are good for more than what they are intended. The puzzles themselves are short, only getting a little longer with time. Difficulty levels vary, but progress nicely with you, rather than slamming you with something impossible. There are also several puzzles per section, which gives you some options in case you get stuck. This attribute is great as the story is a heavy part that everyone should be able to complete.

What the game lacks in wit and comic relief, it replaces with promise and charm as that nagging curiosity presses you forward. There is a lot of content, which can be overwhelming if you want to follow the story, but luckily the audio tracks and journal entries are logged and easy to access at any time.

Another nice feature is the hunt for stars, which can be within the puzzle or just randomly hidden on the selected map. It had a lingering feel of Mario 64 about it. It also gives you a break from some frustrating enigmas and allows you to enjoy the landscapes. The signs are helpful to look at as well, so use them. They even mark off what you have completed, though who does it for you is unknown. Kind of spooky, right?

The Talos Principle doesn’t let down on graphics, either. Each stage and each little world is beautifully done, with sounds and music to match. Voice acting was very well done, allowing you to stay immersed in the game. The settings are almost too good to be real, which makes the game ever more creepy. Keep a look out when just walking around. There are some questionable sights on the rocks, in the water. You are clearly the only one around which raises the question, “where is everyone else?” Though questions like this will be answered, the theories I came up with thanks to the surrounding areas wwere a little unsettling.

With all of the story, the background, creepy settings, and subtle hints, I’d say this game is very replayable, especially if you are like me and forget how to do the puzzles. I know I’m one to miss things the first time around, so going back is always good.

Despite the eerie feeling I got every time I turned the game on, I was so compelled to read the QR codes on the walls, left by others before me. I wanted to understand the notes in the computer library and I wanted to know who ELOHIM really was, and what he wanted with me. All of this and more is explained if you are strong enough to pass over 120 puzzles in The Talos Principle.

Abstract:

Story 9.5
Gameplay 9.25
Graphics 9.5
Sound 10
Replayability 8.75
Controls 9.5

Positives

Story is amazing
Easy to learn
Beautiful

Negatives

Slightly monotonous
Very little guidance

Overall Score

9.25/10
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
254 of 284 people (89%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
14.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
*Since this review was getting more attention, I decided to add to my review down at the bottom.*


The best thing, hands down, about The Talos Principle, is that it runs on my piece of junk laptop, and it still looks beautiful. So, if you're worried about your computer not being able to run the game, then fear not. I have a crappy integrated graphics card, and I can still run this game and its silky smooth.

Now, lets get to the gameplay.

As others have said, you are just dropped into the world, and expected to figure things out for your self. There is no 'tutorial' on what objects do what or how you are supposed to solve a puzzle. You just figure it out.

One of my other favorite things about the game is the little QR codes that are strewn about the levels/world. Past 'test subjects' would leave notes for future 'test subjects'. Now, you can point your cursor at the QR code in game and it will display it, but I decided to download a QR code reader on my smart phone and scanned it with my camera and it reads it. Which I find is a really nice touch.

All in all, this is a fantastic and beautiful puzzle game. If you are a portal fan, then you'll deffinitely want to get this game. And remember, it will run smoothly on the crappiest of rigs.

*Addition*

-Since this review is gaining more attention, I decided to add a little more to my origional review of The Talos Principle.

One of the things I failed to mention the first time, is how the game is sort of non-linear.
There are 3 'for the sake of this review, lets call them sections' sections. A, B, and C. in each section, there are multiple worlds. In each world, there are multiple puzzles. If you're stuck on a puzzle, and can't figure it out, then you can just walk away and go to a different puzzle. When you're in the worlds, you can solve the puzzles in any order that you want and at your own pace, which I find really nice.

Make sure to fully explore the worlds as well. There are many hidden QR codes and terminals and secrets to discover.
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209 of 230 people (91%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
A computer terminal in the game asked me why I wanted so much to prove I'm human. I spent like 10 minutes thinking, unable to answer.
Thought this was just puzzles, ended up on one of the most philosophical rides a game has ever taken me. 10/10
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165 of 178 people (93%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 21, 2014
Due to the fact that The Talos Principle is a science fiction based first person puzzler, it’s hard not to make comparisons to Portal. However, while Portal is a more lighthearted game, the Talos Principle is more somber and thought-provoking. Drawing inspiration from writers like Isaac Asimov, Philip K. D*i*c*k (Apparently Steam doesn't like his last name), and John Milton, as well as a number of philosophers, it takes a much different approach to the puzzle genre.

With heavy philosophical undertones, you will find yourself thinking beyond the puzzles as the very world around you is questioned. This, in combination with a visually stunning environment, creates one of the most wonderful and unique experiences that I've had in a game.

Playing as an android, you must solve puzzles while at the same time being posed a series of increasingly introspective questions about your existence. I am going to refrain from saying anything more about the story so as not to spoil anything. This is a highlight of this game and is best experienced by going in to it knowing as little as you possibly can.

The puzzles are very unique, with various elements being added throughout to provide for an experience that never once felt repetitive to me. In these puzzles you will collect sigils using boxes, jammers, crystal prisms to connect lights, avoid mines, and float high up in to the air with fans. The most notable tool at your disposal is undoubtedly the ability to record yourself, which allows you to create what is basically a clone, which will act out your previous actions while you work with it in real time to solve the puzzle at hand.

The puzzles are very scattered in difficulty. Most were able to be solved in very little time, with a select few that I found myself having to really think about. If you want some more difficult puzzles, or you’re like me and want to squeeze every second out of this game that you possibly can, then I highly recommend doing the extra puzzles which are marked by the stars. These are not required to finish the game, but I found them to be some of the most enjoyable ones to complete as they can be more challenging and mind-bending, forcing you to really think outside of the box (or designated puzzle areas).

The world is huge, often times even a bit overwhelming. There are quite a few secrets hidden around, so you will be rewarded for exploring. There are also messages and words scattered throughout which provide backstory as well as give you insight to other characters. These can be found on computer terminals, audio logs, and QR code graffiti, and really do add something special to the story. I really enjoyed finding these, and felt that it added a nice touch.

Not only are the graphics superb but the music is lovely and perfectly suited for the various environments as well as puzzle solving.

There is also a huge amount of customization available in the options menu, which is always to be appreciated. This allows you to change the size of the game hub (or remove it entirely), remove cross-hairs, change from first-person view to third-person, etc.

This is a lengthy game, and at my time of completion of the storyline I have clocked about 37 hours of playtime. For this length and the high quality of this game, I feel that the current asking price is more than fair.

10/10 would erase from my memory and play again.
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274 of 323 people (85%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
7.5 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
Believe the hype. Believe the 10/10 net reviews. They are the truth.

I hadn't heard of The Talos Principle and frankly can't remember where I heard of it. I think the PC Gamer RSS feed. No matter. I'll be the first to admit that puzzle games aren't in any way my genre of preference - I'm much more likely to be found playing games such as Unreal Tournament, Mechwarrior Online or a hard-core flight sim. Puzzle games, until now, really haven't captured my imagination or interest.

The thing that drew me to the Talos Principle was the notion that it combined a puzzle game, and a beautifully rendered one at that, with notions of the meaning of intelligence, the question of how "life" can be defined, what "artificial intelligence" would look like. I have a keen interest in philosophy, something that the reviews stated was very much at the center of the Talos Principle. So, I decided to take the plunge and I'm *extremely* glad that I did so.

The game is beautifully presented. The Serious engine (as in the FPS game Serious Sam) presents a very nicely rendered world. Each of the puzzles is set in themed ancient Roman, ancient Greek or medieval settings. Having recently spent a week in Rome the ancient Roman themed portions were very familiar and very well representative of ancient Roman remains.

The puzzles themselves ramp up very well in terms of difficulty, with early ones being very simple to solve. Later puzzles and in particular special puzzles that grant access to bonus areas can be absolutely fiendish. That being said, unlike most puzzle games I've never given up in disgusted frustration - the puzzles and tools that you unlock to assist you are intuitive enough to make you want to solve the puzzle to progress or to unlock more of the thematic content.

Speaking of which, this game is superbly grounded in philosophy, well presented themes from science fiction and indeed theology. Far from being a simple solve-this-puzzle-then-on-to-the-next, this game makes the player really think about such questions as who they are (in game), what they are and whether you are in fact merely a metaphorical rat in a maze. It should be noted that the game absolutely does not require any knowledge of philosophy or sci-fi tropes, but if you are familiar with the concepts developed by the likes of Soren Kierkegaard, Lev Shestov, Carl Sagan or A.C. Clark the game is absolutely that much more immersive and enjoyable.

I'm really, really impressed by the Talos Principle on many different levels. This is one of the most intelligently designed and presented games I've ever had the pleasure of playing. Everything from the graphics, quality of the voice acting, in-game presentation, music, even the controlls have obviously been developed with a lot of thought.

Bored of yet another generic, mindless, so-called "AAA blockbuster" game that was identical to the last 5? Give this game a try, you'll be amazed and impressed by how fun it is to play and perhaps more importantly how it makes you really think.

Absolutely 10/10. Unhesitatingly recommended.
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203 of 234 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
18.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 14, 2014
It's phenomenal. It's a first person puzzler, so naturally there are comparisons to Portal.

Basically it's Portal with some different tools at your disposal and instead of making you laugh, it makes you question your entire existence.

10/10 would quit my job and cry in a corner.
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146 of 170 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
64.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
This game is awesome.
Great puzzles that are fun to solve.
Love the story
the music is so calming
I am enjoying every minute of it.
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94 of 101 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
98.9 hrs on record
Posted: February 16
HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION!

"The Talos Principle" is one of the most enjoyable and rewarding gaming experiences I've EVER had and I've been playing video games since the Atari 2600 days. There is a reason why "The Talos Principle" is a hit among critics and the player reviews are "Overwhelmingly Positve." For me this is a new classic. A game that catches lightning in a bottle. One of those games that scratches an itch I didn't even know I had.

NOTE: If you think you might get this game, I'd recommend against watching video and looking at player screenshots. They are both highly likely to contain spoilers and inadvertent puzzle hints, both minor and major. I only played the demo going into the full game and I feel the experience was better for it.

This is a first person, sci-fi themed puzzler in which the player, an artificial intelligence, is left to complete puzzles by using a series of tools that are introduced throughout the game. The first tool is the Jammer, a tool that jams electronic devices and force fields. Another tool connects to and aims laser beams. You'll also learn that tools can be used in combination, keeping the progression interesting. Solving a puzzle rewards the player with a sigil (tetromino) which are then used as puzzle pieces to unlock new areas when arranged correctly in puzzle mini-games.

The only conversational contact the player has is with another AI program that often presents itself at computer terminals as the game progresses. The player is also, through communicating at the terminals and reading information displayed on them, left to ponder the role of the disembodied voice known as "Elohim", as well as the meaning of life, consciousness, being human, being alive, free will, and the afterlife.

The game itself is solid. Easy and tight controls. Very nice music, sound effects, and voicework. Clean, often beautiful graphics. Intelligent writing. No profanity or violence. Menus with many options like FOV, character speeds, FPS display, time display (something I never used as I chose to take my time), etc. Basically, I found the setting menus to be thorough.

Many have compared this to the Portal games, which is high praise. While both offer clever puzzles and a high quality experience, "The Talos Principle" only rarely depends on any sort of physical dexterity or reflexes. With those few puzzles that do require quickly timed movement, even the most casual of players shouldn't have any issues whatsoever.

While the presentation and story are high quality, it's really about the puzzles. What makes them so satisfying? First, puzzles do not need to be finished in an exact order. Leave one alone for a while that you are having trouble with and try again later. I found it interesting how I'd find myself struggling with a puzzle but after a day or two, the solution would become clear. It was almost "scary" when realizing how hard at work my subconscious was. I would also think about certain puzzles when not playing and come up with new things to try out. I found myself overthinking many times when the solution was much simpler. Also, just when I thought I had a handle on a "recipe" that certain types of puzzles used, the game would throw me a curveball, forcing me to deviate from previous "patterns".

Some puzzles, even of the harder variety, can be figured out quickly depending on the player's frame of mind, while "easier" puzzles (those without numerous elements) can be trickier. You know the puzzles are good when you find yourself wanting to do "just one more" before ending a session. And puzzles can often be completed in more than one way. I found out later that some solutions I used were much much more complicated than they needed to be. This dynamic of overthinking vs. underthinking is what helped make my time with "The Talos Principle" so interesting, as well as thinking out a solution before acting vs. using a lot of trial and error at other times.

This game also encourages and rewards exploration. There are stars to collect, which unlock additional content in the form of more puzzles and ultimately an additional ending choice (there's a main ending and two possible side endings). These stars are often "puzzles within puzzles" and gathering them is rewarding and can be quite challenging. It's not just a matter of "hide and seek". For example, a star may be within a puzzle and behind a door (force field). It is up to the player to figure out how to reconfigure his/her solution so that an additional door can be opened. There is also an ample amount of "Easter eggs" to find, many of which are interactive and well worth seeking out. Many are references to other games, like Portal 2 or Papers Please. Pink Floyd is honored with one as well.

Keep your eyes wide as you traverse the puzzles and worlds. Even just finding ways to exploit the simulation is fun, for example, finding a way to climb over the outer walls of a puzzle and into "out of bounds" areas (where there are some Easter eggs to find). Or "breaking" a puzzle by finding an "unintended route" to the finish by climbing over a wall, or walking above one. (This accounts for a lot of my game time).

"The Talos Principle" should appeal to a wide variety of players. I spent about 80 hours on my first playthrough and a less thorough playthrough will of course take less time. I then replaid for 100% achievements (which I usually don't do). I suspect that many of the people finishing Talos in "20 hours" are not doing everything (reading files, getting all stars/doing the puzzles they unlock, looking for easter eggs) and likely to be using a walkthrough here and there. You can play this game as you want. Complete the puzzles in order or don't. Do them fast or slow. Solve star puzzles or don't. Don't read every piece of information at the terminals if the story side of the game doesn't interest you. Look closely for Easter eggs or don't worry about them at all. Try out the side endings or don't.

The support is very good with developers active on the Steam forums should anyone have issues and updates have been released to fix and add things (like an added special settings menu for "motion sickness", a speed time function, additional language support, etc.).

NOTE: The demo is also good, yet only a taste of the full game. It ofters a solid introduction to gameplay and some clever puzzles. There is even another free game called the "Sigils of Elohim" that is made of tetromino puzzles. Solving them will reward you with codes that are then entered into the menu of "The Talos Principle" for bonuses. These do not change the core game at all but, for instance, you can get stars with these codes.

All the regular stars will still be in the game to find. If you get the codes for bonus stars (three in total), you will start with three stars in the full game. So, you'll be free to leave three stars unfound if you wish and still receive the bonus content for finding all of them. In other words, if you start with the bonus stars and then go on to find every star in the game, you will finish with an extra three stars.

PS: If you get and finish the game, check out my screenshots if you want (NOT before you play). Some hint at additional "challenges". Like getting a picture of the blue man visiting the greedy man and living to tell about it.
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128 of 149 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
41.4 hrs on record
Posted: January 17
Game "recipe" so far:
--> "Portal 2 memories are back"
--> a lot of great riddles - starting from easy to hardcore
--> different kind of riddle types like the linear ones, special ones to get stars and secret bonus ones
--> smart and sometimes really difficult but exciting riddles
--> deep and philosophic interactions with the PC terminals
--> a light but acceptable off-taste: A kinda "quite" atmosphere unlike Portal 2
--> different and wonderful spots to solve the riddles

Does this sound like a very tasty adventure and riddle game, or not?


A fully review with lots of more info after finishing the game! :)
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109 of 127 people (86%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
29.4 hrs on record
Posted: December 16, 2014
Its just as good as first Portal. If you like that game - you are going to love Talos.

Lots of secrets and references to other games, movies and sci-fi novels (even Philip D*i*c*k!), lots of puzzles, good music and graphics, as well as deep and meaningful story.

You just have to own it if you are tired of playing dumbed down RPG's, unfinished strategy games or boring shooters.

Finished in 29 hours with every single achievement. GIVE MULTIPLAYER DLC!
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83 of 90 people (92%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
14.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
If you told me at the start of the year that a puzzle game with philosophical undertones from the developers of Serious Sam would be one of the year’s best titles, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. However this is very much the case as The Talos Principle is a fascinating and mentally invigorating experience with clever puzzles and a highly intriguing philosophy laden science fiction backdrop. The game slowly generates an atmosphere of mind-bending contemplation unlike anything I have experienced before in games thanks to a potent mixture of clever writing and music that starts to get under your skin. I think only 2001 A Space Odyssey has given me the same feeling before.

The puzzles themselves are the star of the show however with a good difficulty curve and consistently excellent design. Some puzzles which have you dodging floating mines can be annoying, but the vast majority require clever thinking rather than quick reflexes or good timing. The puzzles are short but require you to use existing mechanics in new and surprising ways. The game lets you figure almost everything for yourself, from the story to the mechanics, but the world and puzzles are laid out in such a way that this is generally not a problem. There are loads of secrets/optional challenges that help add further substance to the game after you finish working through the main set of puzzles. I did not spend a lot of time going after these and finished the game in about 15 hours, I would say it is well worth the forty dollar asking price.

If you have even a passing interest in puzzle games and don’t mind confronting some heavy philosophical/nihilist ideas (among some more hopeful ones), I can’t recommend The Talos Principle highly enough.
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130 of 158 people (82%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
107.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 11, 2014
Portal + Myst + Philosophy + Ruins (+ Skyrim???) = The Talos Principle

One of the best puzzle games to hit the market since Portal. Are you a fan of Portal? You'll love it! Are you a fan of puzzle games in general? You'll love it! Are you a fan of anything? You'll love it!

If you liked the Public Test, then you will love the full game! But don't take my word for it, play it yourself :)

9.5/10
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70 of 74 people (95%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
37.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 29
Possibly the most existential game I've played. Though it is, at it's core, a puzzler. The puzzles are often complex, a few head-scratchers, but sometimes require a more reductionist approach. What may seem complex at first may turn out to be very straightforward. At times it requires you to question the assumptions it has itself given you. Good exercise for the whole brain, as it doesn't train through repetition but demands both creativity and reason, both abstract thought and technical logic. Along with the puzzles a story gradually unfolds. Concepts of self, place and time begin to dawn while another mystery deepens. I like that the story is only hinted at and alluded to, so that you formulate the idea on your own. It makes it that much more meaningful and powerful. It is likely the most existential and eternally relevant topic one could imagine, and the story itself would make a fascinating novel or film. My only complaint is personal, that the game seems to make assumptions concerning beliefs, more specifically, that having them is a universal quality of humans. But this is not at all the case. At times it seemed as though the authors had an agenda to express their own beliefs, but perhaps this was just my suspicion of beliefs in general. The dialogue trees where multiple choice and never once did I actually agree with any of the choices. So it felt like being pigeon-holed and I ended up arguing for a point I didn't actually think was correct. Other than that minor brow-furrowing frustration, I really enjoyed spending time in the beautifully rendered game world. The music was lovely and atmospheric. Extremely smooth play with a good variety of menu options. It's rare that a puzzle game addresses both hemispheres of the brain as well as the subconscious mind. I strongly consider it a work of genius. Oh, and if you decide to play it, I left some messages for you. ;)
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98 of 116 people (84%) found this review helpful
26.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
There are plenty of well-written and thought out reviews for this game already present, and I think you should read them. I just want to quickly tell you why this game is easily the best game I've played in a few years.

-The graphics are astouding
-The environment is built so carefully and thoughtfully that you could spend hours wandering around and enjoying nature.
-There is an unbelievable amount of content in this game, and it will likely take you between 15-20 (or more) hours to do everything.
-Replay value is extremely high
-Puzzles are well crafted, and the learning curve is balanced
-Ultimately you get to choose what you want to do and when
-There is a well made hint system that actually ties in with the game
-Puzzles can interact with each other, and are not always confined within a space
-Voice acting is intoxicating
-Sound in general is well done
-Music is perfect (I'll probably be buying the ost)
-The story is very enoyable and mysterious (A game hasn't pulled me in like this since the early myst games)
-Your thoughts and views on the world and what it means to be human are constantly questioned
-This game in general makes you think (a lot)
-There is a HUGE amount of background information in the form of text and audio logs

I've been waiting for a game like this for a long time, and I have not been disappointed with it at all.

Please please please do yourself a favor and buy this game if you are into puzzles games with a good story. Normaly I really think about whether or not I want to spend the money to buy a game, but I can tell you that this one is worth it, and I have no regrets about getting it.

It really has been nothing but an amazing experience.

10/10
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84 of 97 people (87%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
21.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 26, 2014
do you like portal? do you wish portal was about 10 times longer and took itself really really seriously? Then this is the game for you!
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79 of 91 people (87%) found this review helpful
29.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2014
Very nifty and unique puzzle game, best of its kind I've played since Portal. Definitely worth checking out if you want a smart game that'll actually challenge you to think (outside the box too). It's actually rare to find a game experience like this nowadays that isn't all about linear action or a single "goal" but more progressing at your own pace and provoking thoughts about the world you're in. Well optimized with great graphics too.

Difficulty is lenient unlike in many other puzzle games and you're not forced to complete every single puzzle which is a huge plus. Instead, should you face an "unbeatable" puzzle (as you no doubt will, there's plenty of them :P) you can just opt to go to another area for an easier puzzle instead. And the world to explore is huge and you have no shortage of various puzzles to engage in, so the possibility of getting "stuck" is much lower than in other games of its kind.

All this coming from a developer that previously made much simpler Serious Sam shooters, so give them some props, this game deserves your attention. The leap from Sam's storytelling and gameplay to this is just huge.
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65 of 72 people (90%) found this review helpful
16.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
One of the smartest puzzle games you will play. This is not a puzzle game where reflexes are important; the placement of items, using all your tools efficiently and remembering previous solutions is crucial. Puzzle devices are excellent, from the laser prisms to the record function. You’ll move boxes, deploy jammers, connect laser beams, avoid mines and float into the air before squealing with satisfaction. The record function is worth noting, as it allows you to interact with your previous actions to solve puzzles in real time. Watching your old self falter is thematically perfect and syncing moves with this recording is out of this world. It is rare to see a game build healthy mechanics and deploy them in such a clever way, but The Talos Principle does it with elegance.
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