Our Rating: 9/10
The plot of Psychonauts 2 is based on the developments of the first game. If you haven’t played it yet, don’t worry; there’s a recap of everything that happened before. This helps introduce new players to the game and to remind those who haven’t played it since 2005; not to mention the virtual reality game Psychonauts In the Rhombus of Ruin, which only served as an appetizer.
Razputin, or Raz as he is known among his friends, is our main character. He’s only ten years old, and he’s run away from a circus life to join an undercover summer camp. This camp is dedicated to teaching children with psychic abilities, which Raz already possessed. He, on the other hand, has no idea how to control them. This camp was primarily a boot camp for youngsters interested in joining the Psychonauts, an international organization dedicated to psychic espionage.
This camp is dedicated to teaching children with psychic abilities, which Raz already possessed. He, on the other hand, has no idea how to control them. This camp was primarily a boot camp for youngsters interested in joining the Psychonauts, an international organization dedicated to psychic espionage. As Raz, we have a fantastic journey in front of us. We have to figure out who the group’s traitor is and restore order. It’s simple to see how a 10-year-old child might be looked down on at first. But with time, he’ll gain his footing and his importance will become evident.
What is reality?
Psychonauts 2 explores mental health issues and the effects that these problems have on people’s behavior. Despite the seriousness of the theme, the game approaches it with a great deal of levity. This is difficult to do when it comes to mental health.
The game appears to be a sequence of cartoons that we watch on television. The world of Psychonauts 2 is extremely well-crafted, and the art style it employs gives it its own distinct identity. The game has a set narrative. There are sections where we can discover various locations and even speak to different characters to learn more about the game’s history, or simply to get into other people’s heads and see distorted but entertaining realities.
It’s not always simple to tell what mental level we’re on; whether we’re in reality or inside someone’s head. As the film Inception did with dreams, which shuffled us between what was real and what wasn’t at times. These mental journeys will take place in the game levels. Each mind will have its quirks and irrational thinking. We are taken to a tutorial in Dr. Loboto’s mind, an authentic labyrinth full of teeth and gums. This makes you wonder whether or not he was a dentist.
We’ll be transported into the minds of other characters, where we’ll experience both impressive and disruptive scenarios. Without giving anything away, one of the first is a journey into the mind of Hollis, one of the Psychonauts’ agents. First, we’ll use keywords to persuade her to change her mind. Then, we’ll be ushered into a sort of Hospital-Casino. We’ll have to solve numerous questions about games of chance for people who are addicted to never winning. The setting is extremely amusing. Bedridden patients are playing slot machines, while others are betting on roulette, among other strange situations.
There is a wide range of puzzles to solve, including many that require us to connect such keywords to make sense and alter the lines of thought of some characters. Imagine having one word to represent luck and another to represent wisdom and caution. Connecting these words can imply that to be lucky, you must first be wise and that when risking a bet that could end badly, you must also be prudent. If we don’t know the right path, the game will assist us in completing these schemes.
However, I enjoyed stopping to think about what made the most sense. Sometimes he got it right, other times he didn’t. But usually, after he failed, he realized right away that it couldn’t be that way. Then there are all of the other mini-games, which make Psychonauts 2 so diverse. I walked on a machine that looked like a pinball on top of a pill until it hit a heart, ran the suit of hearts over patient breathing monitoring lines, walked inside X-rays, and more. You’ve probably figured out by now that the unexpected can happen at any time during the game, which is fantastic.
We have access to a central area between levels, which is similar to the Psychonauts Command Center. That’s where we spend our time exploring, conversing with various characters, and watching the story unfold to gain access to the various levels. Agents’ rooms, classrooms, a cafeteria, a hair salon, and a correspondence center are just a few of the amenities available. I must say that walking around with Raz and having access to several lines of text from which to choose to start potentially interesting conversations gave me a great sense of freedom.
We’ll also be able to go back and finish a level we’ve already completed in one of these areas. It doesn’t look the same the second time we go because of the mental changes that occurred after we left, but rest assured that the artifacts and collectibles, which are numerous, are still there. Of course, moving forward without having to fight isn’t the only goal.
There will be numerous enemies, and we will learn to use a variety of powers in various situations. There are extra psychic powers in addition to the standard melee combat found in this genre, such as Crash Bandicoot punches or twirls. This is often used to unlock access to other areas, in addition to being useful in combat.
We can equip up to four of these abilities at once and assign them to the button that is most convenient for us. In the case of Xbox, RB, RT, LB, and LT. To avoid getting mixed up in fights, I chose to have almost always the same standards, but at first, I went to papers because a power that was on one button, then on another, was on my mind. I thought customizing the game to give players more options was a good idea, but if not, there’s always this one.
Among the various tricks, we can create a fireball to help us burn enemies, or paintings to block a passage. We will also have clairvoyance, which transports us to the minds of other characters, a tool that grabs objects and throws them at enemies, and the ability to levitate to walk faster or jump longer distances, among other things.
As we progress through the adventure, these abilities can be improved. Pins are another type of item that we can equip. We can have three at a time, and the goal is to give us some advantages in a specific situation, such as one that displays artifacts. Others are simply amusing and adorable, such as one in which you can pet animals.
Enemies and Boss FIghts
The most common enemies appear throughout the levels, but the bosses appear after each level segment. These are long fights against characters who are unique in their appearance, such as an octopus who plays blackjack. The fight is done in waves, as in other games of this genre, and the weaker the boss becomes, the more difficult it is to survive. It can be difficult at times, but if you can’t pass, you can put the game in invincible mode, which eliminates the possibility of becoming “stuck” on a particular boss.
While the boss fights are enjoyable, Psychonauts 2 falls short in terms of combat mechanics. It’s not always easy to hit a specific enemy, and the effectiveness of some of the powers we use is sporadic. It’s difficult to choose what to send and to whom when we use the special power of a hand that can grab objects, for example. Everything becomes more complicated in fights with more confusion because we can’t control everything we want to do.
There isn’t much to see in terms of graphics. The game was designed to run at 4K resolution and 120 frames per second on the new generation of consoles. Its distinct art style harkens back to other classic games in the genre, such as Ratchet & Clank and Spyro: The Dragon, which is each unique in their worlds and characters. Its sound fits the world we’re in, and while it’s not epic, we can’t help but hum some of the songs we’re listening to in our heads. The audio for the characters is in English, but translations are available in a variety of languages.
Psychonauts 2 is one of the most amusing platform games I’ve come across in a long time. It has its unique style and tone, with endearing and charismatic characters. This, like Crash, Ratchet, and Spyro, will go down in history as one of the best platform games with a character who has the potential to become one of Microsoft’s flagships. Raz is laid-back and, in all honesty, has a promising future ahead of him. I hope he can continue to infiltrate people’s minds and make them laugh.