I know for a fact that if the narrative told me exactly what the inciting incident was it would lessen the experience. And yet.
Maybe Horizon: Zero Dawn taught me to expect every mystery to be satisfactorily explained with accompanying voice acting and emotional score. And maybe it’s the same instinct that saw me reading every then-published Honor Harrington novel in a row one summer, and perusing the Trivia section of IMDB for every single thing I watch.
I like knowing things.
I like the feeling of besting the puzzles in the Talos Principle. I like the Portal-esque “break free from the constraints of the system!” story, done one better in this game by having you actually break the game (but not actually breaking it because there are collectibles to collect by doing so). There’s wonderful mechanics-informing-story stuff here. And by pointing out explicitly the game that you’re playing makes for some lovely “where does the game end?” “who is really playing this?” navel gazing nonsense that I just adore.
The story is the obvious one. And the way it is told through journals and audio recordings and crawled fragments of the web holds together so well. There’s only the one thing they keep you from learning (as far as I can tell)
And I know not knowing makes the Talos Principle better. I know ambiguity can be a deliberate choice, the better choice, the only choice.