Game review: The Talos Principle 2 (PS5)
When it comes to adventure-style puzzle games, the only one that really comes to mind for me is The Witness. This Witness didn’t have a story, but you needed to solve maze puzzles in order to progress with the game. It was a pretty easy game at first, but the puzzles and mazes got way harder the longer you progressed.
It’s been a while since I played The Witness, but in 2023 I now have the chance to play a similar type of game. I never played The Talos Principle, but I did get the opportunity to play its sequel called The Talos Principle 2. Unlike The Witness, there are several different types of puzzles that you need to solve in this type of game.
Before I begin talking about the gameplay, I have to confess that The Talos Principle 2 is easily one of the best-looking PS5 games I have ever seen! This is one of the first games I have played on PS5 that runs on the all-new Unreal Engine 5 game engine.
Seriously, The Talos Principle 2 has realistic-looking environments, and the game looks wonderful both from first-person and third-person perspectives. The main reason the game looks so stunning is because there’s not a huge number of NPCs or cars littering the game map. Most of the game’s environment is made up of puzzles and gorgeous-looking buildings and vegetation.
When you first boot up the game, you don’t get an introduction to the story or its setting yet. You are just forced to play as a futuristic robot that needs to solve puzzles somewhere in a location that resembles Egypt. Most of the pathways and doors are locked, and they won’t open up for you until you solve a certain number of puzzles.
You know what puzzles look like because they are hidden behind transparent purple doors. If a door or pathway is blue, this means it’s locked, and you will need to solve puzzles in order to open them. Even though the game does not have a visible map, it’s not too hard to navigate around because the areas aren’t huge, like in a modern Assassin’s Creed game.
Once you get past the prologue, the game opens up, and there’s an actual story involved. You end up playing as a character named 1k because you are the 1000th robot that has been designed. The robots live in New Jerusalem, and planet Earth no longer has human beings. In this game, you are tasked to solve puzzles in order to learn about your past and what has happened to humanity.
Much like The Witness, The Talos Principle 2 seems like an easy game when you encounter its first set of puzzles. In the Egyptian stage, you only need to grab some boxes in order to reach higher levels. Even though 1K can jump, he’s not acrobatic and will need boxes to get where he needs to go. In the first level, you need to collect puzzle pieces to unlock more doors in the area.
When you get to the other stages, The Talos Principle 2 becomes a much harder game. It’s not a frustratingly hard game, but you may need to look at walkthroughs on YouTube if you get stuck. I have to admit there were moments I used YouTube and then felt dumb because it may have been an obvious solution.
Some of the harder levels in the game involve red, blue, or green lasers. You will need to direct them into the right positions to open certain doors. Some levels even include fans where you can step onto and get a higher position on things. I don’t want to spoil what else awaits you, but the game is very creative with the way it forces you to solve things.
At a later level, I also had to rotate platforms to make a bridge to get to the other side. These puzzles were surprisingly tricky at first, but I managed to solve many of them without any help from walkthroughs or YouTube videos. It always feels satisfying when you solve things by yourself, as it makes you feel smart!
It goes without saying that the best way to play the game is to simply try and solve all the puzzles by yourself. I would only recommend that you look up a YouTube guide if you become completely stuck on a specific puzzle. I have to admit there were puzzles that were deviously hard because you have to align some of the lasers to a specific spot on the map.
One thing I forgot to mention is that this game has excellent voice acting that is mostly done by British people. It’s quite refreshing listening to some more unknown voice actors than hearing Troy Baker’s voice all of the time…
All in all, The Talos Principle 2 has great puzzles to solve and has some of the best-looking graphics I have ever seen on PS5. If you love puzzle games like The Witness, you should definitely pick this game up!