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What Is PS4 Game The Talos Principle All About?

Paul Walker-Emig

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We spoke to one of the writers behind PS4 title The Talos Principle about why the game isn't as pretentious as it might sound.

Published on Aug 4, 2014

Jonas Kyratzes, one of the writers behind PS4 title The Talos Principle, is well aware that some people might be put off the game by the perception that it is prohibitively highbrow.

After all, while the idea of a 'first-person philosophical puzzler' might sound intriguing to some, there will inevitably be others that roll their eyes at that concept, writing it off as some elitist, arty, indie indulgence. 

However, when we asked Kyratzes about the philosophical aspect of The Talos Principle, he explained that while the game might deal with some philosophical concepts, this doesn't mean that it is going to bore you with tedious lecturing, or display a pompous self-satisfaction about its knowledge of philosophy.

"The Talos Principle engages fairly directly with a variety of philosophical concepts," Kyratzes said.

"The title itself refers to a philosophical principle that is explained within the game, and the story is very much intended to make you consider the great questions of life."

Here, Kyratzes himself pointed out that The Talos Principle might sound a little pretentious, but argued that this isn't really the case. 

"It's not that the game is Philosophy Simulator 2014 or some horrible edutainment borefest or anything like that. It doesn't want to test your philosophy skills or impress you with name-dropping," he explained.

"We just think that science fiction is particularly good at dealing with the difficult questions that face us both as individuals and as a species. These topics are worth thinking about - but they're also interesting and fun."

So, what is it that you actually do in The Talos Principle. Well, solving puzzles is obviously a key part of the game, but it seems that there is some element of exploration and interpretation on the player's part, too.

Kyratzes jokingly referred to the game as "a less frustrating Myst"; if exploration, puzzle solving and a need for the player to interpret events for themselves do form a key part of the game, then that comparison seems apt.

The Talos Principle will ask the players to make their own judgement about what's right or wrong and to provide their own answers to the questions that the game poses. 

However, Kyratzes explained that players who don't want to delve into The Talos Principle's story and get involved in its philosophical ruminations won't be forced to do so. 

"Some elements of the story will be revealed as you make progress through the game, but a lot of it can only be found through exploration and careful thought," said Kyratzes.

"It's really up to the player. If you want to dig down into the story, figure out what's going on, you can do that, and I think it will be rewarding.

"If you'd rather just solve puzzles in a surreal environment, you can do that too, and you'll still have an interesting journey."

In our opinion, too many games are afraid of engaging with themes that might not be seen as palatable to a mass audience. 

On our part, we're quite happy to do a bit of thinking when The Talos Principle comes out on PS4 later this year. 

Oh, and if you're an Xbox One owner, we can't promise that there will be an Xbox One release of The Talos Principle, but Kyratzes didn't write it off, saying that he "believes it will be coming to quite a variety of platforms", but that he couldn't definitively say which ones.

 

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