The Talos Principle 2: Road to Elysium sends the robot family on a literal Caribbean vacation, and no I am not kidding

The Talos Principle 2 | Road to Elysium Reveal Trailer | Coming June 14 - YouTube The Talos Principle 2 | Road to Elysium Reveal Trailer | Coming June 14 - YouTube
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I finished The Talos Principle 2 in 2023, but I've kept it installed on my PC in hopes that an expansion would someday be announced. Today my wish was granted: Road to Elysium is a three-part follow-on to Croteam's brilliant futuristic puzzle game, and it's coming next week.

Unveiled during today's Devolver Direct showcase, The Talos Principle 2: Road to Elysium is made up of three standalone chapters, each set in a new and unique environment, telling new stories based on key moments in the original game from the perspectives of different characters.

(Be warned that some minor spoilers follow.)

In Orpheus Ascending, Talos Principle 2 hero 1K will explore the story of Hypatia and Sarabhai by entering Sarabhai's mind and retrieving the fragments of her broken personality. Isle of the Blessed sees Yaqut join a relaxed hangout with Miranda, Cornelius, Athena, and others on a glorious tropical isle. The third chapter, Into the Abyss, reveals the truth behind Byron's experiences in the Megastructure, "on a trippy journey through a glitchy dream world full of extremely difficult puzzles that will make even veteran players' heads spin."

I actually knew about Road to Elysium a little bit in advance (sorry about that) and had a chance to get my hands on some of the Isle of the Blessed chapter. The basic structure is the same—solve puzzles, build Tetris bridges, figure out what that huge thing in the middle of the map is—but the feeling is very different. The island itself exists explicitly as a massive artwork (and a really nice vacation spot), which of course opens the door to breezy philosophical musing about the nature of art and the purpose of puzzles in this very different context.

There's no urgency—the creator of the island pointedly states that, unlike previous in-game experiences, these puzzles are not a tool of any sort and he doesn't particularly care if you solve them or not—and it's also notably comedic in spots. Yaqut, who notoriously hates puzzles, talks himself into solving all of them in order to impress his new girlfriend and her parents, which leaves him struggling to figure them out while the rest of the gang is horsing around on the beach. At one point, someone wryly notes the irony of Yaqut being literally the only person on the island doing puzzles.

As you can probably guess, all of this and various other narrative callbacks really only make sense if you've completed the base game, so you'll definitely want to do that before jumping into Road to Elysium. The puzzles are great (and I'm genuinely excited to have more of them, even when they piss me off, which is often) but the real strength of The Talos Principle 2 is its story, and it's genuinely fun to see how characters and relationships have expanded and evolved since the conclusion of the Megastructure mystery. 

(It's also cool watching 1K, the newest addition to post-human society, trying to figure himself out now that he has some free time on his hands.)

As for the puzzles themselves, you can expect a bump in difficult: All three chapters promise new twists on existing mechanics, and while Isle of the Blessed has thus far been fairly straightforward (although I've only seen a small slice of it), Orpheus Ascending and Into the Abyss apparently ramp things up sharply—the word "nightmare" may have been used to describe them at one point. Every silver lining has a cloud, I suppose. (That's philosophy, baby.)

The Talos Principle 2: Road to Elysium will be out on June 14. If you haven't played the base game yet, it's currently on sale for $20 on the Epic Games Store.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.