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Psychonauts 2 Review – Phenomenal Psychic Platforming

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As a person with two Psychonauts tattoos, I used to be all the time anticipating to at the very least get pleasure from Psychonauts 2, though the concern that it would not be pretty much as good as my childhood favorite was looming overhead. To my shock, it not solely surpassed my expectations however is leaps and bounds forward of the unique game in just about each approach. It has its points but it surely patches over them with a lot coronary heart, allure, and intelligence that it’s virtually unimaginable to not discover it endearing.

Even after I was screaming into the void looking for the final collectible for 100% completion, its ingenious worlds, vibrant characters, and tight platforming saved me grinning from ear to ear. I’m glad to say that it was definitely worth the wait – Psychonauts 2 is the sequel I’ve all the time wished and extra.


You take management of Razputin Aquato, a younger circus-runaway and up to date graduate of a summer time camp for Psychonauts, a global spy company who’re basically James Bonds of the mind, projecting themselves into the minds of others to assist them overcome trauma. When Raz arrives, he joins the intern program and discovers there’s a mole within the organisation. From right here, he should work out who that is whereas saving the world from a protracted-dormant psychic risk. Normal spy stuff, actually.

Related: Tim Schafer Would “Love To” Remake Psychonauts


Psychonauts 2’s greatest victories are its story and characters. The thriller that permeates all through the unfolding narrative retains you invested, and the entire large reveals land with the supposed weight. At one level within the story, I assumed I’d found out the principle thriller. I couldn’t have been extra incorrect, which is an indication of wonderful writing. Even although this looks like a given from a studio like Double Fine, it’s one of many funniest video games I’ve performed in a while.

If you’re a fan of the unique, this expands on it in some vital methods. Seeing lengthy-theorised characters like Compton Boole and story components surrounding the Aquato curse that have been merely referenced 15 years in the past come to life here’s a actual deal with, and there are such a lot of particular moments for many who have been ready for a sequel. You don’t should be invested within the first game to get pleasure from any of what Psychonauts 2 has to supply, however such winks and nods are much more efficient if you’re.

Psychonauts 2 approaches some critical themes, and it does so with the correct mix of humour and care. At one level within the story, Raz is reprimanded for attempting to vary somebody’s thoughts for his personal good, leading to disastrous penalties for the characters concerned. How Psychonauts 2 manages to deal with robust topics like alcoholism and anxiousness while additionally being wickedly humorous and respectful is spectacular.

All of that is wrapped up in the identical great visible type from the primary game, however on a a lot grander scale. Psychonauts 2 seems and sounds nice and retains its wonky aesthetic, managing to shift its sight and sound between totally different worlds and ranges effortlessly. Psychonauts 2 is very similar to its fledgling protagonist, in that it’s a grasp of the balancing act and all the time manages to shock you.


Nowhere is that this extra current than in Psychonauts 2’s mind ranges, that are simply the game’s spotlight. These worlds are representations of a personality’s psychological state, staring down critical themes with tact, dedication, and luggage of creativity. One degree has Raz platforming over bottles of whiskey and reminiscences overgrown by vegetation as he tries to reignite the fervour of a psychic who specialises in gardening. Another stage, arguably the game’s best, has Raz attempting to reunite the senses of a personality who suffers from synesthesia, which performs like an acid-fuelled ‘80s rock adventure. This level of creativity extends across the whole game, and there’s not one degree that isn’t a Psi-Blast to play via.

Psychonauts 2’s gameplay is an indication of how far it’s come, which lastly looks like a match for its visible presentation and world design. Platforming is great and motion possesses way more weight than earlier than. It nonetheless feels distinctly Psychonauts, however you received’t be lacking jumps or questioning the place to go anymore, as the extent design has additionally been sharpened. Of course, for those who’re like me, you’ll nonetheless find yourself falling into the abyss and getting misplaced when looking for collectibles.

Combat is punchier and at last makes use of Raz’s psychic skills. Each encounter is sort of a puzzle, with totally different enemy varieties prone to sure powers, comparable to an eccentric choose that may be overwhelmed up together with his personal gavel by utilizing Telekinesis. There’s additionally a great deal of customisation choices because of an precise improve tree, which makes it really feel a bit extra in-depth. I’d nonetheless argue it’s not the game’s sturdy swimsuit, as it may be overly chaotic and onerous to handle when there are a number of enemy variants on display screen, but it surely’s an enormous enchancment over the primary game’s method of getting kamikaze foes break your day.


The solely time the place these ranges disintegrate considerably is throughout the boss fights, which really feel pressured and overlong. Once you’ve found out the sample, it’s only a case of repeating the actions again and again till the boss falls. Not each world has them and I’d argue that none of them really want an enormous confrontation, particularly after they convey the pacing down.

Just a bit of warning, you received’t be resting straightforward for those who attempt to go for 100%. There’s lots to do in Psychonauts 2, and it took me over 20 hours to completely end. Even although collectibles are typically simpler to identify, Psychonauts 2 provides you with little or no assistance on the odd event you’re lacking only one merchandise, which may make it very irritating within the closing few hours of cleansing stuff up. It’s nonetheless satisfying getting each merchandise, however I felt my endless love for the game dissipate as I went via the identical areas again and again combing for another Psi-card. A bit of level in the appropriate route couldn’t harm.

Even in these moments of collectible cursing, I had an absolute blast enjoying Psychonauts 2. It’s uncommon {that a} lengthy-awaited sequel does most issues proper, however that is a type of instances and I’m assured in saying that Psychonauts 2 is Double Fine’s greatest game so far and an early contender for game of the yr. Just don’t hold us ready a decade for the subsequent one.

Psychonauts 2 Review Card

Next: Psychonauts 2 Complete Guide And Walkthrough

Psychonauts 2 is on the market on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series, and PC. We examined the Xbox Series X model for this evaluation. Review code was offered by the writer.

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