The Talos Principle 2

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The Talos Principle 2 (Steam) – Preview

After what feels like eons, 2014 to be specific, since their last venture, the devs at Croteam and the gift that keeps on giving, Devolver Digital are returning with a long-awaited sequel to the Talos Principle. Like its predecessor, The Talos Principle 2 is a narrative-based puzzle game that questions life, the universe, and everything. Only this time, it’s bigger, better, and with more robots. I had a chance to preview the game, and I have many thoughts and many more questions.

We pick up quite a time after the events of The Talos Principle in a future where humanity has effectively wiped itself out. The legacy of humankind still lingers on for the artificial intelligence left behind. This time playing as the android 2K, I set off to investigate a mysterious structure alongside a crew of quirky new robot researchers to uncover the enigma of what was left behind.

The mechanics don’t stray too far from the first game: using various gizmos to solve puzzles to open barriers and progress. If you’re familiar with Portal or The Witness, you’ll know the deal with The Talos Principle 2. Learn to think with the tools given, throw in some pattern recognition, and apply the game’s logic.

With returning and brand-new puzzle types and very little guidance, it’s definitely not for the impatient or those overly frustrated by complex challenges. For perspective, I was confounded in the prologue for a good hour or so, and later down the line, got an achievement for taking 20 minutes to solve a puzzle, not exactly my proudest accomplishment. However, if you want to be made to think, Croteam has you covered.

We dive right into some big philosophical subjects immediately: some good old existentialism with a dash of history, mythology, and religion. Our new friends seek to solve the even bigger puzzle of what it all means and how to avoid the bots repeating the same mistakes as humanity.
After my short trip through the desert-like zone followed by a long, slow trip on some kind of train, I wound up in a swish robot metropolis. It was great to see all the androids in their natural habitat, but getting 2K out into the beyond was where The Talos Principle 2 began to get intriguing.

Our ship landed in a clearing, lush with plant life, by a huge ominous megastructure. I was free to roam, tasked with exploring anything out of the ordinary. Cryptic puzzles in the middle of nowhere fit into that category. Accompanied by a semi-sci-fi orchestral fusion I was calm and collected. At least until my robot friends spoke. With cheesy dialogue, it was hard to pay attention to what they were chatting about, and the probability of it being important was high.

The Talos Principle 2 was not always a well-oiled machine performance-wise. I had quite a few frame drops and times when the game chugged, especially in wide-open spaces. When it was good it was stunning but it could be shocking at times. Slow texture load-ins of grass and structures that weren’t overly far off happened on occasion but overall, the semi-sci-fi and ancient environs worked a treat.

I would be remiss to note some accessibility concerns. A heads up for those prone to motion sickness – visit the settings and adjust head bob, motion blur, and sensitivity. For those like me, the default settings can be a struggle, but a quick trip to the settings will patch that right up. On the other hand, being able to swap between first or third-person view was a nice touch and I appreciated the freedom of choice. Playing on a keyboard and mouse or controller were both easy to adjust to, though for some puzzles it can be a bit finicky on controller to get the perfect angles required.

After experiencing the preview I can safely say The Talos Principle 2 is shaping up to be a mind-opening, mind-boggling gaming experience. I’m curious as to what 2K and the others will unveil throughout their exploration. Lets just hope I can rise to the challenge of solving these difficult puzzles with my mere human brain.

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Written by: Yasmin Noble


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