Hard as hell.
When you enjoy a game as much as I enjoyed The Talos Principle (original review), the requirements for an enjoyable expansion can be as simple as “be more of that”. Road to Gehenna passes that test with ease, providing more puzzles and an interesting new narrative building on the first game. It’s an excellent expansion, and definitely a challenging one.
Road to Gehenna begins with Elohim summoning his messenger Uriel, who is to go to Gehenna (often translated from scripture as hell) and retrieve programs that were imprisoned there because of their actions. Like the original game the expansion features a thought-provoking narrative, played out through text interactions between Uriel and the residents of Gehenna, not all of whom trust his presence.
Road to Gehenna doesn’t waste any time – right out of the gate the puzzles are hard, and they don’t get any easier. It caused me a rough beginning, because having not played the game since reviewing it 7 months ago I had forgotten some of the more advanced techniques, which were immediately required. In fact, it took me over an hour to find a puzzle I could solve, to the point that I started wondering if this expansion was perhaps an elaborate commentary on purgatory, with unsolvable puzzles. After I got back into the swing of things solutions started coming easier to me, but Gehenna is definitely a step up in difficulty from the main game.
For players who enjoyed The Talos Principle, Road to Gehenna is exactly what it should be – more, harder puzzles and another opportunity to dig into a deep and interesting narrative. The initial challenge can be slightly jarring, but it’s still a great puzzle game, one in which the solutions make sense in regards to the mechanics. In addition to just the standard solutions there are more stars and sigils to be found, providing a further challenge. It’s a definite purchase if you enjoyed the base game.
Review copy of game provided by publisher.