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The Talos Principle on PS4: When Story Meets Puzzle

Tom Jubert's Avatar + Posted by Tom Jubert on Jul 07, 2014 // Writer, The Talos Principle

The Talos Principle

Hello. I’m Tom Jubert, one of the writers on The Talos Principle for PS4, and I’m here to tell you a bit about the game because the other guys are lazy busy with finishing it.

Announced during the PlayStation press conference at E3 in June, The Talos Principle is a first-person philosophical puzzler from Croteam, the guys behind the Serious Sam games. It’s a bit atmospheric, a bit sci-fi, and a proper challenge if you’re looking for one.

The guys brought myself and Jonas Kyratzes on as writers around 9 months ago to deliver on their aspirations for the atmosphere and story. In The Talos Principle, you inhabit a robot body in a digital recreation of the ancient world, and explore at the behest of an omnipresent voice in the sky. We’re keeping our cards close to our chest on this one, but you could say Philip K. Dick’s oeuvre is a close match for our general motif. We hope there’s loads here to dig into and piece together if you’re so minded, but equally if you’re just here for the puzzles it won’t get in your way.

The Talos PrincipleThe Talos Principle

About those puzzles. The concept has its roots in experimental puzzle mechanics developed for Serious Sam 4, and shares with that game the latest iteration of the Serious engine. Its trial by fire was playtesting around the office — on coming out unsinged, Talos was born. In a funny kind of way, you can see the FPS lineage here in the lengths the guys have gone to find creative alternatives to the red key, red door mechanics of yesteryear. Combine these new ideas with Croteam’s reputation for packing a game full of more secrets than you can shake a chainsaw at and I think you’ve got something pretty special.

I was 16 when I played the original Serious Sam, and I was blown away by what a small team could achieve. We’ve had to wait 13 long years to see what Croteam can do when they’re not looking down the barrel of a gun, and I’m excited to be helping them deliver that.

The Talos Principle will launch on PS4 later this year.

//Add Your Own

35 Comments   6 Replies

1

+ Sharingan_itachi on July 7th, 2014 at 7:07 am said:

Who cares about this game and PS4


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    + Tom Jubert on July 8th, 2014 at 3:59 am said:

    I care about the game…


2

+ BearAntlers on July 7th, 2014 at 7:08 am said:

@1 me


3

+ Tidusfanboy on July 7th, 2014 at 7:10 am said:

This looks so gorgeous. :D I’ll be picking it up for sure. :)


4

+ The_Bunn on July 7th, 2014 at 7:10 am said:

Me too


5

+ KOOLWIIP on July 7th, 2014 at 7:11 am said:

looks interesting.. what resolution and framerate are you guys are aiming for?


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    + Tom Jubert on July 8th, 2014 at 4:16 am said:

    TBC I’m afraid!


6

+ OuterSpaceJunky on July 7th, 2014 at 7:11 am said:

I am VERY excited for this game. Finding inspiration in the works of Philip K. Dick? Consider me even more excited!


7

+ Pokedude97 on July 7th, 2014 at 7:13 am said:

“First-person philosophical puzzler” sounds really cool. Looks like it has some good potential.


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    + Tom Jubert on July 8th, 2014 at 4:04 am said:

    Thanks all! Yeah, I’m a big fan of Phil K’s world building and dramatic structure (particularly in his short stories), as well as the futurist topics he covers, and I know most of the rest of the team is too.


8

+ frdjck108 on July 7th, 2014 at 7:13 am said:

Look good, I will check this game for sure.


9

+ TeamGreen615 on July 7th, 2014 at 7:32 am said:

@1 Mind your manners son.


10

+ doncabezon on July 7th, 2014 at 7:43 am said:

Really interested in this. Can’twait! My PS4 needs these types of games. Keep it up Croteam


11

+ SureBigBuster on July 7th, 2014 at 7:49 am said:

@1 it seems like someone hasn’t been able to upgrade to current gen huh? Why are you even on this blog? 0_o


12

+ RE_Player on July 7th, 2014 at 7:57 am said:

This was a highlight for me at E3. Looks really interesting.


13

+ firebranded on July 7th, 2014 at 8:01 am said:

Took me by surprise when I saw Croteam’s logo, really interested :)


14

+ izanagiGSR on July 7th, 2014 at 8:23 am said:

It will be like portal 2 but more open and in nature contact. I would like to see more gameplay to be totally certain.


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    + Tom Jubert on July 8th, 2014 at 4:15 am said:

    If you have a search on Youtube you will find some shakey-cam of our E3 demo in progress, as well as some extended gameplay videos. The non-trailer material is obviously not as polished up, but it should give you a clearer idea of the core gameplay.


15

+ SeanStrange on July 7th, 2014 at 8:25 am said:

Looks really nice and interesting. Love myself a good puzzle game. Can’t wait!


16

+ kitler53 on July 7th, 2014 at 8:40 am said:

this game looks soo sexy i’m sporting a partial. i cannot wait to give you my money. the open world puzzle genre doesn’t not get the love it should. to get two amazing looking ones within the year has me soo incredibly hyped. thank you for making my year!


17

+ Gorvi on July 7th, 2014 at 8:40 am said:

I’m really looking forward to this TTP, it looks like my kind of game.


18

+ Remmy8199 on July 7th, 2014 at 9:24 am said:

Might be interesting, but for some reason I came in here thinking this was a spin-off of Skyrim or something.


19

+ plaztiksyke on July 7th, 2014 at 9:37 am said:

are there any GLBT characters in the story?

does the game support stereoscopic 3DTV?

does the game use any DualShock 4-specific features (touchpad, internal speaker, etc) or the Move controller?


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    + Tom Jubert on July 8th, 2014 at 5:05 am said:

    3DTV – No, afraid not. Don’t shoot me, I’m just the writer.

    DualShock4 – Yes, we anticipate using one or more of these features, including using the touchpad as an optional interface for solving the Sigil Locks (tetris puzzle things seen briefly in the trailer) with greater precision. TBC nearer the time.

    GLBT – There is no sexual or romantic content or particular references to any character’s sexual orientation in the game that I’m aware of, so the answer is that if there are non-heterosexual characters you won’t necessarily know it. Additionally, while voiced characters are assigned traditional binary genders by other characters in the game (referred to as ‘he’ or ‘she’ etc), we carefully avoid assigning a gender to the protagonist and other characters like them.

    As in my last game, The Swapper (also coming soon to Playstation!), I anticipate many players will assume masculinity on the part of their avatar – but all the worse for them!


20

+ jonnyzombieboy on July 7th, 2014 at 9:45 am said:

This looks beautiful and brilliant. Definitely one of the standouts for me at E3 this year. Keep us posted!!!


21

+ TangoThief on July 7th, 2014 at 10:21 am said:

@19 Serious question, no irony: Why does it matter to you if there are any GLBT characters in the story? Is this something you ask of all games, something perhaps you use to evaluate a game’s worth? Or is there something about this project that made you ask it?


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    + Tom Jubert on July 8th, 2014 at 5:20 am said:

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but for me stories that are respectful and representative of the GLBT community (and everyone else) are important. I hate the market forces that convince publishers to avoid GLBT in games, and go for the classic straight-white-male protagonists of the past.

    While I’m often not in a position to write about GLBT topics in any detail in games, I do my best to strip those classic biases from my writing. Often I don’t want to tell you what sex or gender you or some other character are because I just don’t think it’s relevant, and because I think it’ll be interesting to see how your interpretation of the story changes when you don’t have those old Male/Female tropes to cling onto.

    Also I hate gendered pronouns, but that’s far better explained in this wonderful short and darkly humorous essay: http://www.cs.virginia.edu/~evans/cs655/readings/purity.html

    Hmm… maybe I will add a new interactive dialogue where the player is questioned about their gender, and if they insist they are male I will try to undermine that. Although, perhaps it is insensitive to the transgender community to include a sequence which asks them to further justify their sexual identity?

    Answers on a postcard.


22

+ rudetoy on July 7th, 2014 at 10:28 am said:

Looks like a variation on “Myst”….interesting. Would be nice to bring this to the Vita also.


23

+ artistterry37 on July 7th, 2014 at 11:20 am said:

You care or you would not be here.


24

+ artistterry37 on July 7th, 2014 at 11:21 am said:

For dude at top


25

+ MakoSoul on July 7th, 2014 at 11:57 am said:

I am definitely looking forward to this one. Excited to hear more about the release date!


26

+ medenko1975 on July 7th, 2014 at 12:40 pm said:

Something weird happened today….couldn’t login to blog but to forums no problems….had to change password for blog.


27

+ gold_og_roger on July 7th, 2014 at 3:37 pm said:

This looks like a great departure from the norm! Looking forward to it, as I love fist person puzzler games.


28

+ tusunami on July 7th, 2014 at 4:21 pm said:

This title has a interesting concept that just might pique my curiousity about this game and I just may purchase this when it comes out this year.


29

+ Balmung3E7 on July 7th, 2014 at 6:32 pm said:

Definitely something new to try out.. As a first-person puzzler game of this setting.. being a robot.. a voice in the sky.. I will be looking forward to what sort secrets are packed in this game :-)


30

+ Kai_Shenlong on July 7th, 2014 at 7:28 pm said:

@21

They ask that about almost every game. It’s best to just ignore it. I think they ask just to see what kind of response they get.


31

+ eightleggedsteed on July 8th, 2014 at 12:09 am said:

I love thought provoking puzzle games. I’m so stoked that The Talos Principle and The Witness are coming to PS4. Both of these games are giving me some serious Myst-vibes, and I LOVED Myst. I own both of the new-gen consoles, and I gotta say, my Xbox One is pretty much collecting dust at this point. While Playstation seems to be focusing on “games as art,” Microsoft seems stuck on “games as popcorn entertainment.” There’s nothing wrong with that, but I definitely find myself gravitating toward the “art” aspect more.


32

+ raybanonline123 on July 8th, 2014 at 2:25 am said:

I feel pretty good!


33

+ hdcase on July 8th, 2014 at 2:55 pm said:

Any idea how many polygons per krundle this game will be? Serious Sam HD was 6005 if I recall correctly, so with the power of the PS4 it should be at least 4 times that amount.


34

+ Einhander138 on July 9th, 2014 at 5:07 pm said:

I’ll buy it – if there’s a disc release.

No physical media – NO SALE.


35

+ Agent_T_92 on July 10th, 2014 at 5:21 am said:

Will this be released in Australia ? I know it sounds like a very silly question, but we do not even have the serious sam games on console here … Luckily I have them on Steam and love those games, very excited for this game


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