The Talos Principle VR Review (HTC Vive)
For the purposes of transparency, this review was created using a code provided by the company or their respective PR company. The use of a review code does not affect my judgement of the game.
I never played the original The Talos Principle because at the time of its release (11 December 2014) puzzle games were just not my thing. But, over the past six months I have become quite partial to puzzle games, and my love for them has slowly grown. So, when I heard this critically acclaimed puzzle game was being ported to VR, I had to give it ago.
As aforementioned The Talos Principle was released as none VR title right the way back in 2014, but the team at Croteam have decided to being to the VR platform, like they have done with some of their Serious Sam titles. The game you are playing in VR, is that exact game you might have played in 2014. If you are unaware of what the story of the games is, in The Talos Principle you are controlling an android/robot that wakes up and is spoken to be an unknown entity called Elohim – who interestingly is claiming to be creator. He has set you challenges across the majestic world/garden the game is set in.
This is where the puzzling element of the game and the gameplay comes in… these challenges are the puzzles you will be completing. The gameplay in The Talos Principle does really translate well into the VR platform, and seems to make the transition effortlessly – like it was made to be in VR. It feels like this because the puzzles largely involve using nodes (which to me resembles a video camera). These will be used to deactivate machine-gun turrets, remove shields that are blocking your path or to disable bombs which are moving about. As the puzzles become a bit more involved these will be used for additional tasks like creating the circuit between switches to give you an example.
Visually, the game is so beautiful, bringing the world of The Talos Principle into the VR headset will make you appreciate the majestic garden settings. When I first stepped into the game I found myself really looking around the world for a good 10 minutes taking in what a great job they’ve done bringing it to the immersive levels they have. To be honest a game has not made me stop and look around so much since Robinson: The Journey, I spent a good amount of time stopping and taking it in as I progressed with the puzzles.
What else helped make it a seamless transition into VR, was how the games controls seemed natural. I played the HTC Vive version of the game, and the Vive wands did a great job. It’s a simple as reaching out and grabbing the nodes, and then moving around the world with them in your hand until you wanted to put them down. The way you move around is by the teleporting (for me I don’t mind this method at all), plus it is easily done using the touch pad on the controller in your right hand, and then click turning using the touch pad on the controller in your left hand.
The Talos Principle VR brings with 120+ levels, with puzzles that are hard to fault in what they offer. The puzzles will come at you in varying difficulties, as puzzles become harder you will find yourself having to stop and take a look at the level, and work out what you will need to with the nodes. I found some of the puzzles taking me 30-40 minutes to figure out, but I really didn’t mind this – in the end of the day it is a puzzle game, and doesn’t try to be more that. This really made the game take a good amount of time to complete – making it a lengthy puzzling experience for me. However, saying this I am not sure I would have enjoyed it as much if I had previously played the non-VR release – so you might want to take this into account if you have.
Croteam have done another solid job in porting an old title into VR. The Talos Principle was critically acclaimed back in 2014, and is still worth that critical acclaim in the new medium. With a game that will make you want to take a break from the puzzles and take in the beautiful/mystical garden you placed in. Everything about it has transitioned into VR so seamlessly, and with over 120 levels to take on, you will find yourself spending a lot of time in The Talos Principle. The only reason you should consider giving the game a miss is if you have have played the original, as you will have seen all the puzzles before.
Also available on Oculus Rift and Windows Mixed Reality