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The Talos Principle 2 and the Thoughtful Subversion of Sci-Fi Norms

The Talos Principle 2 and the Thoughtful Subversion of Sci-Fi Norms
Image credit: PlayStation

In a world overwhelmed with bleak projections of the future in all genres of entertainment, The Talos Principle 2 is set to continue this tradition of optimistic, thought-provoking sci-fi. 

During a preview of “The Talos Principle 2” in August, series writer Jonas Kyratzes posed a series of questions about the essence of humanity in just 90 seconds. These questions cut to the core of our existence: “What do we deserve, morally speaking? What is our place in the universe? Is nature kind or cruel? What degree of control should we have?” 

Kyratzes explained that these questions are to spark internal debates among players. Eventually it might contribute in fostering a deeper understanding of the future of humanity and technology’s role in it. “They’re statements that are intended to make you think,” he said.

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This philosophical approach is the heart of “The Talos Principle.” This award-winning sci-fi puzzle game first captivated players in 2014. “The Talos Principle 2” is slated for release later this year on PC, PlayStation 5, and Xbox Series X/S. 

Video by DevolverDigital

The game maintains continuity with the story of its predecessor. Set in a society built by sentient robots, its primary gameplay revolves around solving intricate laser puzzles, punctuated by conversations about the nature of consciousness, love, and survival. It’s a warm, welcoming, and unhurried experience. The conclusions offered by the series tend to be inherently optimistic, spotlighting humanity’s potential to thrive alongside nature. This optimism stands in the face of challenges like climate change, overpopulation, rogue AI, and pandemics. 

Jonas Kyratzes highlighted, “Consistently, science fiction presents itself as being original for taking a dystopian view, as if it was subverting a mainstream narrative of hopefulness,” he said. “They’ll be like, ‘In our story technology is bad.’ Oh really, you mean like every other story?” He added, “I think that also reflects our alienation from our own humanity. The tendency to always go, ‘Humanity is a virus, humanity is bad, all humans are evil.’ It’s the most mainstream idea, it’s the ruling ideology of our time: Nothing will get better and you shouldn’t expect anything to get better.

“The Talos Principle” aligns more with the aspirational sci-fi of classics like “Star Trek” than the grim outlook of some modern counterparts. It promises to offer a range of humanist ideas in its interactions and story arcs. However, it also leaves room for diverse conclusions, recognizing that diversity is one of humanity’s greatest strengths. Player choices and interpretations will shape the story’s unfolding. 

About the author

Sruti Chowdhury

Sruti is a storyteller for all trades. She loves to write about everything -- from sci-fi movies to cyber security. She is a phenomenal singer, an ardent reader, and dreams to travel the world.

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