The Talos Principle 2: Road to Elysium Hands-on Preview — Putting my thinking hat back on

Posted on June 8, 2024

Croteam and Devolver Digital revealed today their upcoming DLC for their award-winning puzzle game The Talos Principle 2. We loved this game when it was released in late 2023 for its brain-busting puzzles and thoughtful story, so we’re excited to play any new content Croteam has to offer.

Devolver Digital has kindly allowed us a sneak peek at the DLC, titled Road to Elysium, which contains three new stand-alone chapters in the world of The Talos Principle. Though we could only play through a small part, what we saw was very encouraging indeed.

A new world is born

The three chapters in The Road to Elysium are Orpheus Ascending, The Isle of the Blessed, and Into the Abyss. They are completely self-contained and can be played in any order, focusing on different characters and set in distinct environments. The preview covered the first part of The Isle of the Blessed, which contains multiple new sets of puzzles surrounding a mysterious cube-shaped “Hexahedron”, an MC Escher-like maze of stairs and pathways.

The Isle of the Blessed is set directly after the events of the main game and has you step into the mechanical shoes of Yaqut, who was one of 1K’s companions in the main game. It’s important to note that while it does take into account some of your player choices, like who you helped become mayor of New Jerusalem and the final decision you made at the end of the game, it does seem to assume that you completed all extra puzzles and golden gates. I’d recommend getting those done before starting this DLC, unless you don’t mind being spoiled for the secret of the golden gates.

The Isle of the Blessed is giving Pirates of the Caribbean, featuring a gorgeous blue-green sea, sandy white beaches, and palm trees leading up to mountainous terrain. Amongst the palm trees are 30+ more puzzles waiting for you, utilising all of the devices we learned to use in the main game. There are also the additional side-puzzles and shrines to Prometheus, Pandora, and the Sphinx spread around the map, just like it was a chapter of the main game itself, though the DLC is quick to tell you that completing them won’t reveal any more secrets.

“I continue to be amazed at the quality of the puzzle design.”

Now I’m no genius, but I don’t consider myself a total dummy either, so believe me when I say these puzzles will test you. There’s no easing you back into it with some easier puzzles to start with, or re-teaching you how to use the devices, so it took me a while to get back into the swing of things. While the preview only covered the “red set” of puzzles (there is also a blue set and a green set), the puzzles we got to play featured puzzles using a good mix of the puzzle devices we were taught to use in the main game, but no new devices so far. I continue to be amazed at the quality of the puzzle design, even when they leave me stumped. The Isle of the Blessed calls itself medium-level difficulty, with Into The Abyss calling itself “nightmare difficulty”, which is ominous indeed.

After completing all sets of puzzles, there will be a final challenge within the Hexahedron, though the preview didn’t reveal what this would entail. We’re excited to find out!

Walking about the environment, you will hear the discussions of Athena, reunited with her partner Cornelius after the events of the main game, as well as 1k, the protagonist that has until now been without a voice. It’s a little odd to hear him voice opinions that we didn’t select for him, but they seemed fitting to the choices I made at least.

Croteam says each chapter with roughly take you 4-5 hours, including exploration and puzzle-solving (though if you’re like me, the puzzle segments will probably take you far longer than that). With all three chapters, that’s a decent 10-15 hours of content for The Talos Principle 2’s DLC offering.

The Talos Principle 2: The Road to Elysium DLC will be released for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox Series X|S on the 14th of June.