The Talos Principle review

GamesRadar+ Verdict

With its relaxing atmosphere, pretty environments and interesting theological dilemma, The Talos Principle is PS4's best puzzler to date.

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Croteam's game is really two games in one: the philosophical first-person puzzler The Talos Principle, and it's equally philosophical Road To Gehenna expansion. Both are set in a world with elements of Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Ancient Egypt, Ancient Everything Really, but with robots, lasers and other future paraphernalia – and a chatty God figure narrating your thoughtful journey.

You're one of those robots, solving puzzle rooms to satisfy your God, Elohim, who's very firm about that big exciting tower you're not allowed to go into. Before you can fully disobey him you'll need to use 'jammers' to disable forcefields and sentries – you'll also need to place tactical cubes, redirect light, propel objects with the power of wind, and use time travel to give yourself a handy clone.

Its enclosed puzzle rooms, of which there are well over 100, start out simple but soon test you in marvellous ways, even if we've seen most of their constituent elements before.

Your goal in each room is to acquire a sigil, many of which are needed to unlock the three main worlds, and all of which are needed to ascend the tower and see the story through to its proper conclusion. The rooms themselves are linked by dozens of beautiful - and often surprisingly expansive - hub areas, where you can hunt for hidden messages, audio recordings, or computer terminals that shed more light on the world.

The writing is exquisite: smart but funny with it, and deep enough to keep you intrigued, and hungry for the next batch of lore. Meanwhile, the serene environments and soundtrack put you in the perfect mood for puzzle-solving. This would be a great game to unwind with after a stressful day.

The Gehenna expansion isn't as big as the main game, but it essentially begins where that left off, offering devious stages from the get-go. Here the terminals log you into a sort of robot message board, which acts as a microcosm for our Internet or, well, society.

It's a clever, considered expansion to an already profound game; together, this is the best puzzler on PS4.

This review also appears in Official PlayStation Magazine.

More info

DescriptionExplore all the worlds ever created but stay away from the tower.
US censor rating"Rating Pending",""
UK censor rating"",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Tom Sykes
When he's not dying repeatedly in roguelikes, Tom spends most of his working days writing freelance articles, watching ITV game shows, or acting as a butler for his cat. He's been writing about games since 2008, and he's still waiting on that Vagrant Story 2 reveal.