The Talos Principle Comes Out of The Myst and Through a Portal

The Talos Principle Comes Out of The Myst and Through a Portal

Yahtzee tackles The Talos Principle and compares it to other first person puzzlers. Is it better than Portal, Myst or Zork Nemesis?

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So The Talos Principle isn't like Portal because unlike Portal, TTP is pretentious? Fair enough, I suppose, though I imagine the actual content would be more of an indicator.

(Yes I am aware other differences in the actual design of the game were mentioned).

The way I'd try to describe the Talos Principle is the puzzles are like Portal, but the atmosphere and environments are like Myst. Portal is humorous; Talos Principle is thought provoking.

Is TTP pretentious, ei. "attempting to impress by affecting greater importance, talent, culture, etc., than is actually possessed?" No. Everything is well thought out and the game's over arching theme or story does not get in the way of gameplay. It enhances it in my opinion. It adds depth and intrigue to what would have been a pretty dry and stale game if measured just on the gameplay alone. Like Portal, TTP has a nebulous voice in the sky telling you what to do or what NOT to do. Just like Portal, you couldn't imagine the game without GLaDOS and I couldn't imagine TTP without the voice in the sky.

I would recommend this game for those people who love to solve puzzles and have their brains challenged. Some puzzles are definitely head scratchingly difficult. There is only maybe 2-3 puzzles I had to go to youtube to get help. Gathering stars is also another level of difficulty that I didn't bother to figure out myself and went to youtube simply because stars allows you to open up more puzzles.

"Wittering". I haven't heard that one before. What a great word! Right up there with "whinging", I declare.

I haven't played Labyrinth of Time, but from what I know of it, it takes pretentiousness to an even further level.

(As for TTP, ain't know way I'm spending more than five bucks on a digital PC game with my current backlog. Oy.)

Evonisia:
So The Talos Principle isn't like Portal because unlike Portal, TTP is pretentious? Fair enough, I suppose, though I imagine the actual content would be more of an indicator.

(Yes I am aware other differences in the actual design of the game were mentioned).

The similarities between TTP and Portal seem kind of superficial, because the tone and feel of both games is VERY different. They use somewhat similar setups (lone person waking up in an unknown place and told to solve puzzles at the behest of an omniscient voice) to tell very different stories. Zero Hour and Airplane have extremely similar setups (and some of the dialogue in the latter is taken verbatim from the former), but they're very different movies because of the tone and presentation.

I think way too many recent indie puzzle games fall into the "pretentious" category.

I agree that Portal itself gets a pass for the exact same reasons, but when a game tries to tell me that "life can exist in non organic forms" (looking at you The Swapper), or pretty much yells "LOOK AT MEEE, I'm sooo artsy, beautiful and deeeeeep!11!" (looking at you The Bridge), that's when I say "nope, time to hit the uninstall button".

Also not giving a shit and being plainly uninspired and boring (looking at you MagRunner and The Ball), guarantees that they won't stay for long in my harddrive.

I love Myst! In fact, the latest version (RealMyst Masterpiece Edition) plays like any other first-person puzzler, with updated 3D graphics and animations to make the world seem more real. I also think the story is very unique and interesting. Can't wait for Obduction!

Fsyco:

Evonisia:
So The Talos Principle isn't like Portal because unlike Portal, TTP is pretentious? Fair enough, I suppose, though I imagine the actual content would be more of an indicator.

(Yes I am aware other differences in the actual design of the game were mentioned).

The similarities between TTP and Portal seem kind of superficial, because the tone and feel of both games is VERY different. They use somewhat similar setups (lone person waking up in an unknown place and told to solve puzzles at the behest of an omniscient voice) to tell very different stories. Zero Hour and Airplane have extremely similar setups (and some of the dialogue in the latter is taken verbatim from the former), but they're very different movies because of the tone and presentation.

After mulling it over, I think I actually like the setup for TTP better than Portal, since with Portal you're being pushed through a linear set of puzzles to keep the plot moving, while TTP lets you slow down and explore and work on things at your own pace, with plot happening after a certain number have been cleared. It does mean that they can actually make the puzzles harder, since you won't be completely blocking the player on progress and force them to keep on trying something until they actually clear it.

THANK YOU to Yahtzee for at least acknowledging "pretentious" as overused and having lost most of it's meaning. At least he took the time to actually define it properly and explain what he meant by using the word, because it seems so many critics refuse to do that. Labeling something you don't like or don't understand as "pretentious" has just become, in my eyes, an annoying shortcut for people to dismiss something without explaining exactly what about it fails to work, and just distracts form the issue at hand. Talking about how the story elements don't add up or are cliché is valid criticism. Talking about how how the gameplay is too simple to match the kind of grand ideas of it's stories is valid criticism. Just labeling a work as "pretentious" and turning up your nose at it without explaining why is not. It's just being an ass.

I still wish Yahtzee wouldn't have used the word though. It just seems to devalue the actual game design issues. Plus, I don't think it's quite fair to label a piece of work as "pretentious" in the first place, that term seems like it would be better used for a work's creator. A game or other work doesn't really have any sort of intention to mislead I think, it's just a collection of, for lack of a better term, "text". If a game fails in someway to deliver it's message, or fails to endear an emotional connection, or has some objectionable segments, or just fails to make sense, well, there you go, those are problems in the "text", inherent flaws in the game's design. Calling something "pretentious" automatically seems to me like you are saying there is some intent in the game to trick you somehow, to make you like it under false pretenses. But a game with flaws is just a game with flaws. The marketers and developers of the game, yeah if they are trying to market it to you as something it's not, get mad at them. They are the pretentious ones. But people need to chill out and realize when dinky experimental games are in fact dinky experimental games, and when they are not.

Then again I don't really know what The Talos Principle is marketed as, so I couldn't say in that game's case. I just know it doesn't look overly interesting to me so I am going to skip it, and I think that is okay.

 

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