With Psychonauts 2, the developers of Double Fine continue the adventures of young Razputin, this time under the supervision of Xbox Game Studios. The 3D action jump game is still available on Playstation – fortunately for all Playstation fans, because Psychonauts 2 is one of those games not to be missed. We’re Going Ahead: The successor to the 3D jumping game released in 2005 tops the original title. This was pretty close, which shouldn’t come as a surprise – after all, Psychonauts was already a real hit.
It was 2005 when Double Fine Productions laid the foundation for a gaming brand with Psychonauts, which we hope will have more branches. At the time at the helm: Tim Schafer, who worked on cult games Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle, or Monkey Island 1 and 2. At least that hasn’t changed with Psychonauts 2. Schafer is still at the wheel. Which will probably be very different: Pychonauts 2 will also be a commercial success – we expect it given the high quality. This was not the case with the predecessor at the time – although enjoying excellent games, the title did not live up to his expectations in economic terms.
Weird characters, weird levels, lots of humor
First and foremost, Jumping Hot is the order of the day: a short introduction that gives those unfamiliar with Psycho Pioneers an understanding of what it’s all about (a trip to the occasional “Psychic Pioneers in Havoc by the way), which characters are dealing with and how the basics of Triple Jump work. Dimensions with a strong action and adventure element. “3D” is especially relevant, because the game continues to change perspectives. Not only is this unusual, it’s very cool. On the powerful Xbox Series X, it looks great and runs smoothly. This is necessary because it is not uncommon for proper timing to be important when Raz has to combine his various psychic skills in order to be able to advance through the levels.
Psychonauts 2 isn’t particularly difficult, but it’s not that easy either: the game has a noticeable learning curve that allows players to solve challenging passages over and over again. The game always remains fair, despite the multiple deaths, no frustration. Why: It’s always clear how you should approach the jump and climb sections. You can improve yourself through practice – and sooner or later you can celebrate successes. It is similar to puzzles, which are often funny and unfair, often transparent, and always creatively designed. Here you burn stickers, there you shoot opponents, drop climbing opportunities, and in other places you have to overcome obstacles in a certain way in order to get rid of all the bonuses. So the detours off the main roads are worthwhile and provide a welcome change of pace.
The gameplay changes from a linear introductory stage to an action-packed action game where you can move more freely in its world. The developers then take advantage of what the genre dictates: collecting opportunities, side quests, and in-game currency to improve skills. So there’s a bit of character development in Psychonauts 2 – both comically and visually.
Small highlights, big game
Psychonauts 2 builds on many highlights, which together make for a great mix of jumping games: in addition to Raz, there are other weird characters like Agent Forsythe, Sasha or Doctor Loboto – a great music compilation and each crazy in their own way. This is a story that is more than just a rudimentary background story for a driving platforming game – again and again you encounter deep segments with core undertones that are highly socially significant. The human psyche is processed in many ways – in terms of content and appearance. This motivates you, because you want to know how the story will go, but above all as a player you want to know what crazy ideas the developers still have. Whether you like the basic style of the game is a matter of taste. Anyway, everything is coherent, well processed in terms of subject matter, but here and there with little detail. The humorous scenes make up for it.
Technically, you could definitely have gotten more out of a game that’s not exactly Triple-A, but it’s also not budget, but somewhere in between. It’s not the graphic presentation that shocks you in the first place, but the tremendous creativity that the developers worked with when designing the level. Camera panels, zoom in/out, twisted perspectives – it uses the full range of modern 3D jumping game mechanics and always puts one on top. Everything is accompanied by the phenomenal soundtrack of Psychonauts 2, which is as diverse as the game worlds themselves: pop, rock, synth and even the sounds of an orchestra – Double Fine Productions gets the most out of the music. The same goes for the speakers, who do a first-class job.
Number of players: 1 player
Age: USK from 12
Long term motivation: Medium
Sub-genre: Jumping and adventure game
Entwickler: Double Fine Productions
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Official Website: connection
Release year: 2021
platforms (test system): PC, Playstation 4, Playstation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Xbox X| S.
Costs: from 59.99 euros
Admittedly, the presentation gets used to it, sometimes even a matter of taste. Not everyone will like everything about Psychonauts 2 – at least there’s a good chance you’ll appreciate the game as a whole. As well as Psychonauts was in 2005, Caliph could do everything a little better, nicer, and funnier. What Double Fine Production has put together under the leadership of Microsoft Game Studios requires respect. Psychonauts 2 isn’t exactly compelling in terms of gameplay, but then the other elements make up for it.
If sections of the level seem like standard food, funny scenes suddenly tear it apart – until you suddenly find yourself in a section of the world that’s a screaming stranger. Psychonauts 2 is full of high-pitched moments that prove motivating. The incentive to keep playing is always noticeable, and you feel connected to the characters after a few hours of playing. Although Psychonauts 2 doesn’t take itself too seriously, the game continues to present its players with serious problems: mental illness, for example. Psychonauts 2 makes players rethink the health of their mind and soul in a magical way.
Tim Schafer and Double Fine were known to be able to make great games. However, with Psychonauts 2 they have achieved an initial masterpiece that blends story, gameplay, and presentation into a must-do experience.
Last updated on 08/29/2021/Affiliate links/Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. * = affiliate links. Images from the Amazon PA API
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