The Talos Principle 2 Road to Elysium DLC is more puzzle greatness

the talos principle 2 road to elysium
The Talos Principle 2 Road to Elysium DLC reviewDevolver Digital / Croteam

The Talos Principle 2 came out last year and instantly became one of the best games of 2023, and now the existential puzzler is back with its Road to Elysium DLC, which brings three all-new playable chapters to the game that have their own unique look and feel.

After beating every puzzle and exploring each corner of Road to Elysium tirelessly, it's a joy to see that the DLC brings together puzzle combinations that we didn't see in The Talos Principle 2, pairing together tools and mechanics that rarely or never coexisted in the base game.

There's something incredibly satisfying about solving a puzzle with mechanics that always existed but you just never knew about, because you weren't put in a situation with a specific combination of tools, until now.

the talos principle 2 road to elysium
Devolver Digital / Croteam (via Digital Spy)

Orpheus Ascending

Talos fans yearning to return to the simulation setting of the first game will be pleased with the first DLC chapter Orpheus Ascending, a gorgeously familiar ancient Egypt that sees Talos 2 protagonist 1K attempt to recover shattered fragments by solving a series of new puzzles.

Simply exploring the area brings a sense of comfort for those who liked the feel of the first game or the opening area of Talos 2, as you're met with computer terminals you can interact with and QR codes that make you instantly reminisce about the time you spent in Elohim's garden.

This is the easiest of the three chapters, with a focus on creative and complex laser-based puzzles that require unconventional solutions. The puzzles here are mostly fun-sized contained puzzles that teach you about specific laser behaviour and connection mechanics.

If you're a quick learner, it can make solving them a breeze once you master the language of lasers, but the area's optional Gold puzzles and unique finale ramp up the difficulty just when you think you've got it all figured out.

the talos principle 2 road to elysium
Devolver Digital / Croteam

Isle of the Blessed

The second chapter Isle of the Blessed is the most similar to the levels seen in Talos 2. It's set on a stunning Caribbean island and has you playing as Yaqut from the main game, and is the only DLC set in the real world.

This chapter feels like an epilogue to the original ending and gives you 30 new puzzle rooms to complete across three different sections of the island, including Lost puzzles and Gold puzzles.

There are also extra Star puzzles to solve and a huge interconnected anti-gravity Hexahedron tower that sits in the middle of the island, which you can tackle after the three districts have been completed.

the talos principle 2 road to elysium
Devolver Digital / Croteam

Related: The Talos Principle 2 is a polarising masterpiece

The puzzle variety in Isle of the Blessed is the most varied, and it feels like it strikes a good balance of fresh new puzzles and more of the same from the main game.

While the puzzle rooms were mostly at a medium difficulty, due to the volume of them this chapter could take a while to reach 100% completion, especially when factoring in some pretty cool secrets I found.

The location is sublime and it's easy to spend time wandering around and talking to the NPCs who joined you on the trip. Isle of the Blessed is probably the most interesting lore-wise, and for those who are invested in the story, there's quite a few post-game narrative details that pick up threads from the main game and hint at what's in store for a possible sequel.

the talos principle 2 road to elysium
Devolver Digital / Croteam (via Digital Spy)

Into the Abyss

Into the Abyss is the third and final chapter in the Road to Elysium DLC and takes place during one of the most dramatic moments from The Talos Principle 2, where we find out what happened to Byron when he was trapped in the Megastructure.

This is a simulation-like dream world full of glitchy floating islands and is the hardest of the three chapters, being billed as "extremely difficult puzzles that will make even veteran players' heads spin", and after beating all 24 puzzle rooms in this area, I can confirm this is the case.

If you beat the Orpheus Ascending chapter and learned how lasers behave under certain circumstances, you might find some brevity with Into the Abyss, as a large portion of the puzzles in this area are unconventional laser puzzles that will require you to think outside the box.

To 100% this chapter, you'll need to master item-blocking and body-blocking lasers, interrupting lasers with other lasers and manipulating laser-switching with chain-connection knowledge. If you're confused by reading that last sentence then you're a fraction of the way to how confused you'll be trying to solve some of these puzzles.

the talos principle 2 road to elysium
Devolver Digital / Croteam (via Digital Spy)

The difficulty of The Talos Principle 2 was something that became a talking point after release, with many veteran players calling it too easy. After all, it's the long-time players who experienced the challenge increase in Talos 1's Road to Gehenna DLC, so going from that to Talos 2 left some players underwhelmed, and the DLC is now addressing that.

Road to Elysium is the equivalent of Talos 1's Road to Gehenna DLC, providing more uniquely challenging puzzles and building on the lore in meaningful ways.

While the puzzles are difficult in Into the Abyss, they're still really fun and not unreasonable, with prior puzzles and DLC chapters preparing you for the mechanics required to complete them.

Into the Abyss also does a good job of balancing tightly-focused puzzle rooms and large awe-inspiring environments that take puzzles to the next level. Sprinkled among the contained rooms are a few landscapes with unique structures and mechanics, like conveyor belts, rotating globes and pulsing cube walls that bring another dimension to the game.

In fact, across the whole DLC there were many times I would walk into a puzzle room and just smile at what I was met with, with many set-ups invoking a sense of inventiveness like I had just stumbled into a quirky anomaly.

the talos principle 2 road to elysium
Devolver Digital / Croteam

Related: How Life Is Strange: Double Exposure handles Chloe's fate

One of the more impressive aspects of this expansion is that it ships with three independent chapters that are unique and substantial enough to stand on their own.

Croteam and Devolver Digital could have easily spaced these out and probably charged more money for each chapter, but instead, we get them all bundled together in the Road to Elysium package.

I spent around 25 hours across the DLC solving its 70+ puzzles and investigating its mysterious secrets with no guides, but your time may vary depending on how much you want to do. You can finish chapters by not solving every puzzle, but you will get rewarded with additional story details and endings for 100% completion in some cases.

the talos principle 2 road to elysium
Devolver Digital / Croteam (via Digital Spy)

The new DLC is an easy recommend for fans who want more content with just enough twists to keep things fresh and interesting, but for players who aren't into complex laser mechanics, be warned that a lot of puzzles may turn your brain into a convoluted RGB puddle of despair.

Overall, Road to Elysium is more of what makes The Talos Principle 2 great, giving players new fun and challenging puzzles, more lore to uncover and lots of Easter eggs to find, with plenty of creative innovations across its three chapters that make it a worthwhile expansion to the base game.

The Talos Principle 2 and the Road to Elysium DLC expansion are out now on PS5, Xbox Series X|S and PC.

You Might Also Like