I mean it's a puzzle game in the style of Portal where there are different puzzle rooms (called gardens) and you solve puzzle areas in a garden and move on to the next garden. It takes a page from casual mobile gaming in that there is a huge number of puzzle areas to finish before getting to the end of the game. However after certain points it becomes less and less linear and you can go in whatever order you want if you get stuck.
Here's how complex it gets: you start in a garden and solve the puzzles there, then find a portal at the end which takes you to a temple hub. You discover the garden you were in is the first of 7. There is also a locked door to a bonus garden accessed by collecting hidden stars from each of the other gardens. There's also a blocked off portal to another advanced puzzle bonus garden.
Then there's an elevator. Which is locked. Once you beat enough gardens you can unlock the elevator and go up where you discover this is but one of 3 temples with gardens, star gardens, and blocked off advanced gardens. As well as a giant tower thay stretches into the sky with 6 floors and their own advanced puzzles which you unlock by beating many of the various puzzles in the other temples. Combine that with a dunp truck load of secrets and easter eggs and you've got a recipe for a highly addictive game!
Story-wise, you are a robot. The game is called The Talos Principle because it's all about artificial intelligence. When you first awake you hear a voice who calls himself Elohim saying that he is the creator of all the gardens and you are meant to conquer them all for the good of your kind as there were many that came before you. But he says not to give into temptation and go into the tower as that "is not for you". it quickly Becomes clear that you are inside a virtual computer program generating everything you see. There are also no humans. There are also computer terminals set up everywhere in each garden and temple with limited access to corrupted files, emails, and other things that you can read. You also find audio time capsule journal entries from somebody. Through these files and audio logs you discover bit by bit what's going on, where the humans are, and what your purpose is.
There's also a computer program that talks to you from the terminals that asks you questions to prove your sentience and eventually starts debating and arguing with you all while telling you to go through the tower and go against Elohim's wishes.
And all that is a scratch on the surface of how fantastic a story and storytelling model this game has. The questions of existence, intelligence, spirituality, and science drive everything forward in one of the most captivating gameplay and storytelling experiences I've ever seen.
Just done extremely well. The puzzles, if not addictive enough, give you a strong need to finish them even if just to see where the story will go next. There are a lot of puzzles, though, so if you don't like puzzles don't play this game. There is a limited hint system, though.
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