The Talos Principle gets a free prequel called Sigils of Elohim

Sigils of Elohim

I'm very excited for The Talos Principle, not just because I dig the concept—which I do—but because it's a "philosophical first-person puzzle game" being developed by Croteam, better known as the Croatian game studio that gave the world Serious Sam. It's being co-created by Jonas Kyratzes and Tom Jubert, whose previous work, stuff like FTL and The Infinite Ocean, is admittedly more cerebral than "No cover, all man," but that just makes the whole thing even more wonderfully incongruous. And while it isn't due out until later this year, in the meantime we can tool around with Sigils of Elohim, a free prequel released today on Steam.

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot to Sigils of Elohim beyond rotating and placing geometric shapes to cover a series of increasingly large squares and rectangles, and there's no narrative element (at least, none that I've discovered) to tie it all together. That would seem to differentiate it rather dramatically from The Talos Principle, in which players take on the role of a sentient AI "tasked with solving a series of increasingly complex puzzles woven into a metaphysical parable about intelligence and meaning in an inevitably doomed world."

Simple though it may be, however, there's a lot of it—32 puzzles in the initial release, with difficulty ramping up in a hurry—and solving them "proves your worth to Elohim" and unlocks various items and relics that can be used within The Talos Principle. What exactly they are, and what advantages they confer, isn't clear; the code I received for solving the first eight puzzles is apparently for a relic, but no hint was given as to what it will actually do. The music is awfully nice, too.

Sigils of Elohm is available now on Steam, and as mentioned, it's free, so you can't go too far wrong with it. And there's more to come: Croteam said that two more puzzle sets will be released as updates between now and the launch of The Talos Principle, totaling nearly 100 puzzles in all.

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.