E3 2017: The Talos Principle VR Shows a Serious Approach to VR Development

Did you play The Talos Principle when it launched back in 2014? If so, then you know it’s a surprisingly effective philosophically-driven first person puzzler. Those who never ended up picking the game up on PC or PS4 may be rewarded for having held off thus far now that The Talos Principle VR is on the horizon. Though, it’s important to note that this is actually not the first time folks have been able to explore its world and puzzles within virtual reality.

In 2015, Croteam unlocked a public beta of the game for Steam VR. This meant you could now hop in with a HTC Vive headset. This was never touted as an official feature of the game, however, and with good reason. Mainly the VR component was relegated to camera control while Vive controllers were unsupported. Beyond that, things like the aliasing and UI simply didn’t work well (having not been originally designed with virtual reality in mind). Since then, people mostly forgot about the wish to see greater implementation of VR within The Talos Principle.

Then came word that The Talos Principle in VR is back! Apparently that public beta really brought some great ideas to the table as the game has been heavily reimagined to make best use of VR headsets. So while the naming might make it appear to be the same old thing in VR – that’s not the case. What we’re presented with now is a version that was designed for headsets specifically such that you can enjoy first person puzzling in a more interactive way, and hopefully without getting motion sick.

The result of Croteam’s efforts is immediately apparent. Whether you opt for a point and click locomotion scheme, go for analog control of movement, or a variety of options in between, you should be set to enjoy The Talos Principle without feeling ill. But more than that, some puzzles have been changed. It might not be immediately apparent to gamers new to VR, but the designers are well aware of what types of puzzles do and don’t work within a VR space. Most likely their beta helped reveal these trends, too. So if something wouldn’t work for VR, it was removed or replaced.

What about the opposite? Sometimes, things can totally work within a headset that simply doesn’t work on a traditional 2D monitor. Folks playing The Talos Principle VR will be able to experience new puzzles and concepts thanks to opting to play with a headset on. Vive’s controllers are also now a part of the picture. Normally they’re used in order to pick up and interact with objects. For example, to solve block-fitting puzzles you reach your arm out, hold the item, and move it wherever you need to place it in the VR space.

No release date has been revealed just yet for The Talos Principle VR. They don’t want to give one as they’re still in development and polishing up various elements of the game. Still, it’s great to see a developer who doesn’t rush to put out a VR edition of their game. Croteam absolutely appears to be taking this seriously so VR fans should certainly keep an eye out.