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The Talos Principle - Philosophical puzzler from Croteam


Vemsie
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Yeah, that Croteam. Makers of the batshit insane Serious Sam series.
They had these puzzle mechanics in place for Serious Sam and decided they were good enough to build a separate game around them. But instead of going for the quirky Portal (the game it will be compared to most) route, they decided to let Jonas Kyratzes (The Sea Will Claim Everything) and Tom Jubert (FTL, The Swapper) write a philosophical narrative for it, focussing on themes like humanity and free will.

The puzzles themselves are beam puzzles, the likes of which you've seen in games like the Portal and Zelda series, or Prince of Persia: Sands of Time, but with Croteam's own spin on them and it is set in these rather beautiful quaint environments.

Reviews are coming out and they are really, really good.

The Talos Principle is a game of challenges and conundrums and philosophical wonderings, filled with logic puzzles and cerebral mysteries. Its chunky mechanical processes are underpinned by a compelling breadcrumb-trail narrative that tackles the intangible notion of humanity and consciousness. Consequently, despite playing a robot that interacts with computer terminals and takes instruction from a disembodied voice in the sky, it exudes personality and charm; its mechanical precision complementing its aesthetic qualities. For an experience bereft of human contact it boasts a very big heart indeed.

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2014-12-09-the-talos-principle-review

The embargo for talking about The Talos Principle is over but I’m still pondering my way through a few of its more obscure puzzles. Consider this, then, a kind of placeholder for our review. A placeholder that tells you that so far (about three quarters of the way through?) it’s been a really good experience. One of the standout games I’ve played in 2014.

http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2014/12/08/the-talos-principle/

Game will be out this week on Steam. Definitely gonna buy it as I love a good puzzle game and Jubert is one of the most interesting writers in gaming.

This interview goes into more detail:
http://gamingbolt.com/the-talos-principle-interview-ps4s-very-own-first-person-philosophical-puzzler-that-is-not-portal

Here's a small teaser as well:



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I am well into this now and so far it has been an amazing experience. I was apprehensive buying this thinking that it was pricey for what (I thought) was on offer but I was wrong. The puzzling starts out simple enough but keeps putting on layers to keep it challenging and interesting. Apart from being a great puzzler this game oozes atmosphere and personality. The philosophizing may get a bit heavy at times but nothing to detract from the experience. The visuals, sounds and music are all first-rate. There's no hand-holding and you're free to experiment in your own tempo and order.

Obviously loving this so far. Can't believe there's been no discussion after release. Am I the only one who bought it? :)

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I definitely plan on picking it up when I have recovered from christmas debt, or if it goes on sale. I played the demo and considering I've been impatiently awaiting the release of The Witness, and Portal is pretty much my favourite game, this seems an ideal stand-in, although that comparison maybe doing the game an injustice.

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Polygon Review 8.5

It bears mentioning: The Talos Principle is long. I expected something along the lines of a 3-4 hour puzzler, in keeping with the clear influences of game design that inspired it. I came out of the other end after something closer to 30. Obviously, this will vary depending on how quickly you solve each puzzle, but there are so many of them that at times The Talos Principle seems almost insurmountable. I wanted desperately to reach the game's ending, to see what happened and unravel its mystery, and at times that denouement felt unnecessarily delayed by another small variation in a puzzle I'd already had to figure out.

Ironically, it was only the number of puzzles that really felt like a chore. Even on a couple of the more difficult-to-solve rooms, where I spent upwards of half an hour or more banging my metaphorical head against the wall, I wasn't bothered by the struggle.

30 hours guys. Thirty.

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  • 1 month later...

This needs way more fucking love. I bought this last thursday and couldn't help but completely binge through it till I completed it over the weekend. One of the best puzzlers I have ever played, and has a brilliantly written story to go with it!

Also, I can confirm, it is indeed 30 hours long.

edit: 40 hours if you want to "properly" complete it, aswell as find all the easter eggs in th egame, which I would definitely recommend.

Here's Giant Bomb's quick look of it.

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I've been playing this a bit and I'm enjoying it a lot. Some of the puzzles are pretty basic to begin with and there seem to be flippin' loads but you can get your way through the first lot quite easily as there's quite a few 'introductory' levels once you unlock other abilities.

It's got a nice style too and the storyline is intriguing (although if you're not a fan of reading, it might not be for you but if so, what's wrong with you?).

I don't have many of you lot on Steam so I might add a few more of you for more messages left about the place and so on, Dark Souls style.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got this at the weekend and I love it. Some nice puzzles that aren't infuriating but do give the perfect amount of satisfaction for working them out, coupled with a somewhat obfuscated world/reality that you can piece together in your own way.

I love the setting, and the philosophy comes across as interesting rather than pretentious. I nearly went mental looking for the first star, but I suspect that other people might have found it whilst barely trying.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The Talos Principle began with Serious Sam 4 thanks to 'reactive game development'

The Talos Principle was never supposed to happen. That it exists is a testament to developer Croteam's refusal to ignore a game that wanted to be made and devise a new, iterative way of developing. That's the story that CTO Aren Ladavac and CCO Davor Hunski told today at a GDC 2015, at a presentation that kicked off the Independent Games Summit.

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Forgot to say - I finished this last week (the two most difficult endings...I think), and it's one of my games of the last year. Such immense satisfaction from working things out.

On occasion the 'recording' puzzles broke my brain, and I had to look up one or two solutions, but mostly you know that any failure is just down to how you're approaching things. I'd be stuck on a puzzle for half an hour, and then walk into it the next day and solve it immediately.

I also really liked the story and setting, and found it compelling enough to keep me going back a lot until I was done. A note of warning, though: when you feel like you've been playing for 10 minutes, you've probably been playing for an hour. It's like playing a game in a black hole or something.

Everyone who likes puzzles should get it immediately.

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I picked this up when it was £20 in the SteamOS sale, which seemed more reasonable for a puzzle game, but after the first hour I don't think I would have minded paying the full price.

So far, I've really been enjoying the puzzles. The red sigils in particular, where working out the solution is always satisfying. Knowing there is a star somewhere in the level, but being unable to even find it, is pretty devious. I think I might go mad if I don't work out where the first one is.

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  • 1 month later...

Loved this game at the start. Felt like it rivaled Portal as an all time great first person puzzle game. I've now reach a late stage in the game where it feels like you must have to be somewhere on the autistic spectrum to stand half a chance at solving the levels. It has stopped being fun.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

Is my brain broken? I started this tonight and can't solve a single fucking puzzle! Am I missing some extra thing? You pick up the blockers and use them on the gates and robots right? Can't seem to solve any puzzles just doing that.

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I'm playing through it at the moment and I'm nearing the end. It's exceptionally good.

Even when I'm not playing it, like a good book, I'm still thinking about it. Wonderful game - genuinely thought provoking and highly recommended.

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Agreed. Absolutely criminal how overlooked this game has been. Especially considering how other puzzlers like Portal, Fez and Braid get loads of love on here.

Is my brain broken? I started this tonight and can't solve a single fucking puzzle! Am I missing some extra thing? You pick up the blockers and use them on the gates and robots right? Can't seem to solve any puzzles just doing that.

Have you tried

using more than one blocker on the same gate?

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