Returning to the world of Psychonauts after so many years has been such an exciting experience that after spending a few hours with Psychonauts 2 we can only tell you that something big is coming. A few weeks after its premiere, we review the keys to one of the most special and unique action adventures, puzzles and platforms of the moment. Will it live up to the Tim Schafer classic?
If you’ve never heard of Psychonauts, but are here reading this article dedicated to its sequel, either I have done great writing a headline so incredible that you have entered just out of curiosity, or for a long time the new of Double Fine It has captivated you with its colorful and fun trailers, with the design of its characters and its original staging. Whatever the reason you are here, welcome! I love that you did because Psychonauts 2 can become one of the star releases of the next few months. I have played it; I’ve already spent a few hours fighting, exploring and laughing with the new game from the authors of Brütal Legend, and right now I’m really excited about what it offers. Are imaginative and surreal as you might expect from the sequel to one of the hidden gems of the first Xbox generation. And still being faithful to the already classic Tim Schafer, he does not lose that surprise factor that makes you sigh in amazement and smile every time you enter the minds of its hilarious protagonists. Because Psychonauts is about the same thing; of entering -literally- in people’s heads to confront their traumas, obsessions and hidden fears.
Think about Origin of Christopher Nolan. Basically, that idea, all those follies and worlds that deform and rebuild in your path is what you are going to find in the Psychonauts universe from the perspective of an adventure of action, puzzles and platforms. That’s why after so many years you can still enjoy the original game, which is available on Xbox Game Pass. It has aged poorly in some aspects such as the camera or the control, but playing Psychonauts is an experience worth living, especially for its story and great staging. That said, calm down, you can enjoy its sequel without having played the original. Yes, of course, since the story is a direct continuation, if you know the characters and the world around them you will feel at home, but if not, do not worry because Psychonauts 2 starts with a nice summary that will put you a day in minutes. The most important?
Are Razputin, a young man with Psychic powers who longs to become an agent of the Psychonauts; And that wacko in front of you, that strange dentist you wouldn’t want to see even in your worst nightmares, is the villain you faced in the original. What are you doing there? You need to find out who is behind his evil plans, and with that premise, Psychonauts 2 takes off in style taking us to the mind of this lunatic. From there I do not want to go into more details of the story because, on the one hand, I still have a lot to do with it, but more importantly, because one of the great things about the Double Fine game is its ability to surprise you with the imaginative design of your game worlds, and seen in these nearly four hours of adventure, I think Tim Schafer’s team can outdo themselves with a game even crazier, smarter, and more fun than the original.
Action, adventure and humor in Psychonauts 2
Psychonauts 2 will work on PS5 via backward compatibility, but will not have next gen enhancements on Xbox Series X | SBegin the adventure in the mind of the delusional Caligosto Loboto it is quite a declaration of intentions. If it starts like this, with such a wacky villain and setting, what awaits us next? That is precisely why I told you that this sequel does not lose the surprise factor of the original. In the end the action is the same and many of your special powers are identical, but when you enter the mind of another… the magic works, you let out a sigh and you let yourself be carried away by the emotion. It is difficult not to do it when each world in which you get lost feels so unique and special, not only aesthetically, of course, but also in the very challenges it proposes. There are more powerful ones in which the action is constant and others are more brainy, with puzzles here and there that will lead you to use your psychic powers in a different way.
About these unique abilities, there are some new ones that I have loved, but even the already known ones bring new game options. Among the most original stands out the power of link ideas, altering the mind of the person you are trying to help, sometimes in unpredictable ways. There is also a special power that allows us to create mini paper Raz capable of crossing insurmountable barriers for the protagonist. And I’m sure that Double Fine still has the odd secret to surprise veterans and new players, especially considering that we can improve Razputin’s skills like a RPG it was. Nothing particularly complex, it is true, but with plenty of options to allow us to specialize in a very specific way of playing and fighting. Which leads me to tell you about the fight.
The first Psychonauts featured a combat system Pretty straightforward that was hardly taken advantage of, but this sequel seems a lot more fun and exciting when it comes to fighting. It is a simple game, with combos of just a couple of buttons, but the special abilities weigh heavily on the action and the enemies themselves force you to take advantage of them. Simply hitting the attack button is not enough; You have to hit and dodge at the right time, also looking for the weak points of the enemies. The final bosses they go along that line. It’s not so much hitting buttons, as waiting for the right moment to hit, and put like that, Psychonauts 2 is a very fun game. I still have a lot to see, I want to see how the action evolves, to what extent the psychic powers of Raz are taken advantage of; but this first contact is very positive.
The exploration and the platform they are not left behind. Controlling Raz is a real pleasure which makes it easy for you to do stunts, run and jump like crazy without any problem through scenarios that can be the most surreal. I have not seen – yet – any as incredible as the one in The Milkman’s Conspiracy from the first Psychonauts, but in general they all maintain a high level. They’re super varied, imaginative, fun to explore, and packed with secrets and tons of collectibles that seem to be crying out for you to collect them all, for which you will have to unlock specific special abilities. So replayability can become a major asset in Psychonauts 2.
But the best without a doubt is that feeling of amazement at losing myself in each new scenario. It was to get to Psychonauts command center, which acts as a central area through which you access the rest of the missions, and I felt like a child imagining everything I could do there, what I still had to discover. And it’s something that’s still there every time you step into the mind of a new character, hoping to find out what crazy things the Double Fine team has designed. The great thing is that beyond the humor and the quirkiness of the staging, there is always a second reading that shows the part more serious and dark of mental illness that are portrayed. You’ll laugh at the absurdity of the action in Psychonauts 2, how stupid the names of the monsters you fight sound, but there’s always a hidden message behind all that humor, and it’s something that fascinated me in the original, and that I really appreciate this sequel.
It has everything you need to become a great action, puzzle and platform adventureWill it live up to the first Psychonauts? I do not know if it will mark me in the same way, but I am clear that it has everything necessary to become a great adventure of action, puzzles and platforms; Furthermore, nowadays there are not so many to choose from. It is a special game with a peculiar humor, an adventure that captivates with its crazy action and an interesting story of spies with psychic powers. And of course it is also a game that enters through the eyes, because although it is not a technological marvel, its artistic section is ten. I’ve been playing it on Xbox Series X and it looks scandalous; It looks so beautiful that I look forward to discovering its wonderful and hilarious world of madness. Because Double Fine also makes good use of the set of cameras to, in very specific moments, make you feel inside a movie.
If you’ve already played the original, I’m sure you’re dying to try this sequel. If this is your first time with Psychonauts, you have a few weeks until August 25th to discover why this adventure was such a beloved game at the time. Then, Raz and company are waiting for you to live another exciting story of crazy people in a crazy world. I already count the days that remain to enjoy that moment.