I picked up The Talos Principle while recovering from brain surgery and needed a few games to help with my recovery, so this review may be a bit… foggy. (I’m happy to report though, that this game did get the stamp of approval from my doctor for being good for helping exercise my brain.) I should also say that with this being the case, I only did the easier puzzles at the start of the game (although they weren’t very easy at the time) so I can’t speak to the challenge the game presents as you progress, but I imagine the puzzles get progressively more difficult.
You play as this here robot guy who finds him/herself in an unfamiliar place with no idea why they’re there, being spoken to by Elohim (God, basically). God tells you what you have to do; solve the puzzles in order to get Tetris-like shapes that open gates. You’ll encounter terminals as you play through, but I can’t really tell you what their significance is, other than to shed a little light on what’s going on (they aren’t necessary in order to complete the puzzles, I don’t think).
When you’ve gotten the blocking order right in order to make a safe passage, you’re free to continue along the path and collect your shape. Once you’ve gotten your shapes, you then have to arrange them in a tangram style puzzle, which isn’t always as easy as you want it to be (or maybe that’s just me feeling like I beat the floaty death-bots, open the damn gate).
Now, on to how The Talos Principle stacks up as a deaf friendly game. Unfortunately this game is yet another instance where captions seem to have been an afterthought and are so small and often hard to read being white text against a light background, you wonder if anyone that made the game actually tried reading them.
Luckily, as I mentioned above with the terminals, knowing the story of the game isn’t essential to solving the puzzles. I enjoyed the time I spent with it just solving the puzzles, not really being a big fan of philosophy anyway. Being a puzzle game, there isn’t really any intense action with noise that would be benefited by having visual cues. Part of the fun for me was in the lack of obvious visual cues in searching for the jammers and stumbling upon the things that want to kill you. It’s a game about seeing and noticing things, that’s how you solve the puzzles, and the things you see and notice are remarkably well designed and real looking (You might have picked up on the fact that I’m not a fan of pixel art games at all from my reviews. I like pretty or realistic looking games.)
All in all, The Talos Principle is a good game. If you’re a deaf/HoH player that simply enjoys a good puzzler, it’s definitely worth the money. But if you’re looking for a game where the puzzles and story will enrapture you, I have to say the often-difficult to see captions and infrequent communication from Elohim make this one to skip.
The Talos Principle
Absolutely beautiful game
Much of the story is told on terminals throughout the game instead of through dialogue
Increasingly difficult puzzles
Captions are TERRIBLE