Talos Principle is a first-person puzzle game set in a profound metaphysical world. You play as an AI, led by an omniscient being named Elohim. He directs you to explore the environments he created and collect sigils that act as keys for opening new landscapes. Everything seems straightforward until you come in contact with the Milton Library Interface, who encourages you to question Elohim and his intentions. You’ll need to gather evidence and decide what’s real for yourself, but bear in mind the consequences of your choices.
Talos Principle was created by Croteam, an indie company based out of Zagreb, Croatia. Back in 2001, Croteam created a gaming engine for their Serious Sam series capable of rendering vast landscapes with a multitude of enemies with little to no lag. They’ve upgraded this engine over time and have used it in some of their other games, including Talos Principle. The most current version of the engine, Serious Engine 4, is the first multi-platform engine. This means players on PC, console, and mobile can all have the same gaming experience — pretty innovative stuff for a so-called “garage games” company.
I liked this gaming experience. I felt engaged with the plot, and I found the mechanics for this game to be genuinely superior. Playing first-person almost felt like virtual reality with how responsive the controls were. So much so that I got a little motion sick while the avatar was running. The only qualm I have is with the Milton Library. It seems unnecessarily difficult to get the information you need out of the bland little monitor.
As I play this, I am reminded of Isaac Asimov’s book I, Robot. Talos Principle’s writers have successfully created a dystopian world where ideas of transhumanism and philosophy come together in unexpected ways. I felt like I was solving some epic mystery the entire time. I loved this game’s ability to make me think about concepts I might not have considered otherwise.
I rate this game a 7 out of 10
Talos Principle is available through Mesa County Libraries on PlayStation 4
Talos Principle has an ESRB rating of T for Teen