The first recreation ever developed by Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions was the unique Psychonauts, a unusual 3D platformer with Tim Burton-esque character designs, modern gameplay mechanics, sharp writing, and a fantastic humorousness. Psychonauts was critically acclaimed on the time of its launch in 2005, however regardless of its sturdy opinions, the sport was a gross sales failure, and so plans for a sequel had been placed on the backburner. Dedicated Psychonauts followers have been ready 16 years for Psychonauts 2, and so they’ve been rewarded for his or her endurance with what’s Double Fine’s finest recreation and a Game of the Year contender.
Psychonauts 2 was definitely worth the wait. Fans of the unique recreation ought to fall in love the sequel just about instantly, with it choosing up precisely the place the Psychonauts within the Rhombus of Ruin VR recreation left off. And no, the Psychonauts VR recreation is not required-playing for many who need to get pleasure from Psychonauts 2‘s story. In reality, one does not actually need to have performed the unique recreation to know what is going on on, as there is a useful, detailed recap originally to catch everybody up to the mark.
In Psychonauts 2, Raz and his fellow Psychonauts have efficiently rescued Truman Zanotto, the Grand Head of the Psychonauts and father of Raz’s pyromaniac girlfriend Lili, from the clutches of the disturbed Dr. Loboto. They arrive on the Psychonauts headquarters, which serves as the brand new hub world within the sequel, changing the Whispering Rock campground from the unique recreation. After clearing some introductory ranges, Raz is usually left to his personal gadgets, capable of freely discover the headquarters and its surrounding wilderness to assemble collectibles and full facet quests.
Exploring Psychonauts 2‘s world and determining the easiest way to make the most of Raz’s psychic talents is a whole lot of enjoyable, with the sport leaving the door open for gamers to experiment relating to finishing platforming challenges and overcoming sure obstacles. Raz retains most of the talents he earned within the first Psychonauts recreation, however Psychonauts 2 throws some new talents into the combo as effectively. Besides the same old telekinesis and levitation, Raz can now zip across the recreation world utilizing floating thought bubbles and can even create a replica of himself to achieve in any other case inaccessible areas.
Every new capability Raz good points in Psychonauts 2 permits him to additional discover not solely Psychonauts Headquarters, but in addition the Brains he visits. For those that could also be unfamiliar with Psychonauts lore, the titular Psychonauts enter the minds of individuals utilizing tiny doorways that they connect to their heads. These minds function ranges and, in typical Psychonauts vogue, Psychonauts 2 is not content material recycling the same old levels that gamers have come to anticipate from 3D platformers.
Instead of generic water, hearth, ice, and so on. worlds which are typical of the style, Psychonauts 2 builds its ranges based mostly on psychological sicknesses and problems. Psychonauts 2 tackles playing habit in one of many earlier ranges, and a later one manifests panic assaults as literal monsters that Raz has to combat off. There’s loads of conventional 3D platforming all through the sport, however every stage has its personal gimmick to assist it stand out from the remaining. From begin to end, Psychonauts 2 has some really genius stage design and gameplay mechanics for gamers to find. It’s so thrilling to see what insane, hilarious new concept Tim Schafer and his staff at Double Fine got here up with subsequent so it turns into laborious to place the controller down.
Players will discover that the controls have been massively refined for the reason that unique recreation, which makes exploring Psychonauts 2 ranges a a lot smoother expertise. Platforming feels nice and is an total huge enchancment from the unique, whereas fight has additionally gotten a noticeable improve. There are many extra enemy varieties than earlier than and a brand new dodge mechanic has been carried out to make it extra concerned.
Not solely does Psychonauts 2 management significantly better than the primary recreation, but it surely additionally seems to be loads higher, too. This is to be anticipated with a 16-year hole between releases, however Psychonauts 2 nonetheless deserves reward for its visuals regardless. The recreation seems to be attractive on Xbox Series X, with top-notch lighting, reflections, and element to the setting. It brings Tim Schafer’s imaginative and prescient to life like by no means earlier than, and at instances seems to be prefer it might move for a Hollywood-level animated transfer. There is a few minor texture pop-in all through the sport, however in any other case, Psychonauts 2 has nice graphics.
As gamers are taking in Psychonauts 2‘s sights and amassing all the goodies hidden all through its ranges, they are going to get to get pleasure from an enthralling, hilarious, and shocking story written by Tim Schafer and his staff at Double Fine. Psychonauts 2‘s writing is a few of the finest in any 3D platformer ever, with a memorable forged of characters and a narrative filled with twists. It opens the Psychonauts lore up in a giant method, and by the point the credit roll, gamers can be anxious to discover extra of the world.
But although Psychonauts 2 will make gamers need to see extra video games set within the Psychonauts universe, the ultimate quarter of the sport does undergo from some pacing points that drag it down. Whereas a typical criticism aimed on the first Psychonauts recreation was its brief size, Psychonauts 2 is a contact too lengthy, with a few ranges overstaying their welcome and having collectibles in annoying locations that can inevitably drive gamers to replay chunks of the stage.
The previous couple of hours of Psychonauts 2 even have a nasty behavior of continually ripping management away from the participant to point out cutscenes. Admittedly, the Psychonauts 2 story cutscenes are nice and gamers can be fascinated with seeing what occurs subsequent, but it surely nonetheless hurts the pacing when gamers are solely allowed to play for a couple of minutes earlier than they’re made to observe one other lengthy cutscene. It occurs excessively on the finish of the sport and can make some individuals annoyed. But ultimately, gamers can be executed with Psychonauts 2‘s story and they are going to be let free within the recreation world once more, free to discover to their coronary heart’s content material to finish its attention-grabbing facet quests and discover all of its hidden collectibles.
Anyone that was a fan of the unique recreation will seemingly love Psychonauts 2, because it improves on every part that made the primary recreation nice. But newcomers must also make it a degree to test the sport out, as it is a phenomenal 3D platformer and a Game of the Year contender. And whereas it is price each penny, Psychonauts 2 can also be on Xbox Game Pass because of Microsoft’s acquisition of Double Fine, so anybody can attempt it out with out making a giant monetary dedication.
Psychonauts 2 launches August 25 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. Game Rant was supplied with an Xbox Series X code for this overview.