When Croteam released The Talos Principle back in 2014 it received worldwide acclaim from the videogame press as well as players – its overall user review on Steam currently gives it Overwhelmingly Positive feedback. A year later the studio added beta SteamVR support to the title but it never went any further. Then just before the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) last month Croteam announced that work had continued on the virtual reality (VR) project, unveiling The Talos Principle VR. Its first public demonstration was at E3 2017, and VRFocus managed to get a short demo, revealing that the original title had lost none of its magic.
Just like the original, the VR demo was all about the puzzles, but due to the size of the videogame and time restraints there wasn’t opportunity to uncover any of the story. Three puzzles were available, denoted as easy, medium and hard for newcomers to both The Talos Principle and VR. Croteam has gone for the tried and tested teleportation method which makes it nice and easy to get around, but it’s a shame more options weren’t available – that might come in the full release – as experienced VR players always seem to prefer as many ways as possible to move about as teleportation tends to be less immersive when compared to full first-person shooter (FPS) controls.
The Talos Principle VR is gorgeous – possibly one of the best looking VR titles – with sun drenched ruins intertwined with lush green vegetation that just beg to be explored. The first puzzle is easy enough, challenging you to get through several force field like barriers. This is done by careful placement of some tripod mounted devices that disrupt the fields. At the end is a puzzle piece, three of which need to be collected to complete the area.
The second challenge then adds a laser element to proceedings, with an emitter and several receivers that need to be connected to open the way. Again this is done via careful placement of a tripod device that redirects the laser beam. The third and most difficult challenge then combines what you’ve learnt in the previous two puzzles, mixing and matching the tripods as needed. On the face of it the puzzles are fairly simple in nature, but that’s the beauty of their design – and why the original title was so successful – they do require some out-of-the box thinking to complete. They have one solution but how you go about it is up to you.
Once those three were completed it was then time to head to the castle, with a Tetris style puzzle locking the gates. Piece’s could be easily picked up the the HTC Vive controller then placed within the allotted area until it was completely filled. Once through and into the courtyard there’s the next puzzle to solve but that’s where the demo ended. It certainly felt like more of the videogame was available if time had allowed.
Whether you loved the original or even if you never played it The Talos Principle VR is certainly a title that most HTC Vive owners will want to play. The quality of the production is up with the best VR has to offer, now it’s just a matter of waiting for the launch.