Last year Croteam released their first-person puzzle game, The TALOS Principle on PC, and it quickly garnered both user and critical acclaim. It received an expansion known as The Road to Gehenna earlier this year, which showed that there’s room to make new experiences within The TALOS Principle.
Recently, Croteam, Nighthawk Interactive, and Devolver Digital have decided to port the game and the expansion to the PlayStation 4 in The TALOS Principle: Deluxe Edition. How does it hold up on PlayStation 4?
The TALOS Principle places you inside of a robotic body of an AI servant of Elohim, the keeper of an artificial virtual world that appears to be running down. Glitches are sending bursts of static through the environments, and though the lands themselves are still quite beautiful, the architecture is, for the most part, in ruins.
This world is working, if barely, and Elohim has decided you can do anything you wish, except, of course, for entering a massive tower.
The story is typically told through logs that you will locate, and, though some may find all of the reading tedious, it does tell an interesting tale.
Each area typically has a terminal at the start with files that help fill in the details as far as what happened to the real world, sections of text that outline the philosophical underpinnings, and even occasional communication with other entities who seem to have their own motivations for helping you through the world.
Those who don’t care about the story should still be satisfied with the gameplay itself. Each area that you will explore in the world is open, with the actual puzzle sections walled off and clearly marked with signposts.
The game features dozens upon dozens of puzzles that come in a variety of styles. These puzzles typically feature a set number of elements that can be fit together in extremely creative ways.
Some examples include utilizing jammers to shut off electronics, such as bots, turrets, and even electro-doors, boxes that you can utilize as platforms by placing objects upon them or even putting them on objects, such as patrolling bots, and crystal rods that link lasers to receptors. These rods can fracture a beam into multiple directions. The final element we’ll note is a recording switch that brings to mind Echoswitch, which can copy several minutes of activity.
The puzzles are typically fun, and most areas even have one or more larger puzzles that require linking up the various subsections in order to activate. The smaller puzzles unlock sigils, which bring to mind the tetronimo, but these larger puzzles unlock stars and can be quite challenging to solve.
When all is said and done, The TALOS Principle does have some flaws, as the start can feel quite slow at first and the controls can feel a bit off, such as when you’re walking with the camera pointed up or down, after a bit it will reset itself. The control issue, which is really more of a minor annoyance than anything, isn’t entirely unexpected either, as the team utilized the same engine they built Serious Sam with.
These flaws are largely minor, however, and both the puzzles and story more than make up for them. So if you missed out on the PC release and want a good puzzle game on your PlayStation 4, then by all means, pick up The TALOS Principle Deluxe Edition. If you have the game and the expansion on PC already, then you may be happy to skip out on the PS4 version, as it doesn’t add anything extra to the game or expansion.
Final Score: 4.5/5