The Talos Principle II (PC) Review

Puzzles Far As The Eye Can See

The Talos Principle II (PC) Review
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The Talos Principle II

Brutalist Review Style (Version 2)

Puzzles and philosophy are very interesting to me. Combining them into one experience has been less successful than one would think, and I haven’t been able to scratch that particular itch of late until I played The Talos Principle II. A game built on the premise of rebirth and finding one’s place in the world, the development team at Croteam has created a sprawling world where we can look inside ourselves and consider the questions that the game asks.  

As I mentioned in my preview, The Talos Principle II begins innocently enough with you taking control of an android, the last in production, stemming back to something called “The Goal.” 1k, as the other robots call you (named so for the number you wear on your chest and the numerical order in which you were manufactured), must navigate the world, solving puzzles and figuring out where they fit into this post-apocalyptic (but somehow utopian) world. 

The Talos Principle Ii (Pc) Review

After a brief prologue where you must solve a few simple puzzles to wake yourself up, 1k leaves the factory and attends the Mayor’s briefing where a projection (for lack of a better term) of Prometheus (yes, that Prometheus of Greek mythology) turns up, beckoning someone to visit a mysterious island not far from New Jerusalem (the android city you’ve been born into). 

There are a lot of references and outright declarations to Greek Mythology in The Talos Principle II. Names like Prometheus and Pandora come up early and often as they are popular figures in philosophy, and rightfully so. Whenever you meet a projection of one of these figures, they generally ask you some questions that are meant to make you question your worldview and consider alternate points of view.  

“There are a lot of references and outright declarations to Greek Mythology in The Talos Principle II.

Puzzle games are of special interest to me. I like the idea of accepting a difficult challenge to see if I can best it, and there is no shortage of that in The Talos Principle II. Each different area of the map, and there are a fair few, has you solve 8 different puzzles in order to unlock the bridge to the main building in the area. This will give you a meet and greet with a different projection.  

The Talos Principle Ii (Pc) Review

Throughout the areas, you’ll find additional puzzles that aren’t required to be completed but can be done in lieu of one of the others if you are struggling with a particular one. It does seem like struggle is the way forward for a lot of the puzzles. Some of them being downright diabolical in the reasoning you need to find the solution. Other times, I kinda stumbled into the solution, which I won’t complain about because I had spent a long time trying to figure out the logic to solving it.  

As you move through the different areas, they will feature different tools to use in your puzzle-solving escapades. From tools that reverse which colour laser is fired out of it to tools that create a hole in a wall (similar to the Portal gun from Portal), you are never given less than you need to solve any given puzzle, even if you can’t wrap your head around the solution just yet. The inspiration drawn from Portal is clearly on display here, and The Talos Principle II is all the better for it. 

The Talos Principle II is a beautifully designed, masterfully crafted dive into our own psyche…”

For instance, in the third area, there is a particular puzzle that I spent the better part of two days off and on trying to solve. I was given one tool that fires out the same colour of laser that it takes in, and one that reverses it. The goal was to get both tools to one side of a barrier wall so that they could be placed on pressure pads to complete the puzzle. The issue was that I needed to attach the lasers to all of the correct places before initiating the first laser. Up until then, all of the puzzles allowed me to change where the laser was attached as I progressed, so it was a significant skill jump that I was all too happy to complete.

The Talos Principle Ii (Pc) Review

Graphically, The Talos Principle II is gorgeous. The environments are beautifully designed with sprawling landscapes that 1k must traverse as they go from puzzle to puzzle. My modest laptop was able to run the game at Medium and High settings with little to no frame drops. I also found myself just stopping to take pictures of the incredible scenery. There are a number of colossal structures that appear to have been built by humans generations before the androids began their turn at life, and each one of them is brilliant to look at, both near and far.  

The Talos Principle II is a beautifully designed, masterfully crafted dive into our own psyche and had me questioning a lot of my own thoughts as I answered some of the questions the NPCs will put forward. You could come for just the puzzles and nothing more, and this would still be a wonderful experience because there is so much variety to take in, and it had me craving more.  

Final Thoughts


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