The game was originally funded by xbox, but ultimately, microsoft gave up the publishing rights because of various development issues. Now, 16 years later, the story of the psychonauts finally continues and with double fine being an xbox first party studio as of 2018 psychonauts 2. Has this time made it to release with the full backing and support from the xbox organization? This shows in every regard and results in what is the best game created by the studio. Thus far, Music Applause, Music, psychonauts 2 takes place just three days after the original game. If you havent played the first game, fear not the game will start with a nice comic book, animation, recapping the story of the previous two titles psychonauts, as well as the vr experience psychonauts in the rhombus of ruin you play as rescued in ocarto in short raz, Who? Finally fulfills his dream of visiting the psychonauts headquarters quickly, realizing that there are several strange things happening within the organization? Youll, absolutely understand the story of the game without having played the previous titles, though there are some nice references for fans of the series hidden throughout. I dont want to mention too much about the story, but i will say that the game features many more cinematic moments than your typical platforming adventure with tons of lovely cutscenes and handcrafted animations throughout the entire experience, its not a big deal, but especially during boss fights The game did take control away from me a bit too fast and too often playing the next cutscene psychonauts 2 mixes humor and intrigue and connects the colorful creative world of the psychonauts with a serious theme of mental health and even surprises us with unexpected twists.

As the game progresses, the story of raz and his mission is told wonderfully and its no surprise that one of the key highlights of the game is the writing, given that this has been a strength in past titles by double fine already, the humor is on point. The motivations of all the individual characters are reasoned and understandable. Youll always want to continue the game, because you want to know how that story is going to unfold double fines. Latest adventure is a meaty package by the time id finished. The main story id spent almost 20 hours with the game, while also taking my time to patiently explore the world and im not done yet psychonauts 2 is a platforming game with loads of collectibles and a lot of cinematic storytelling at its core. The game goes steps beyond that, though, featuring many additional gameplay systems like leveling up your character, which basically mirrors your collectibles completion, progress, upgrading your power abilities, unique boss, fights a surprisingly fun combat system, varied foes and selected side missions and dialogue, options that allow you to Dive deeper into that story and world, as well as multiple, smaller but unique gameplay moments which elevate the game to a multi genre ride. You can even get an auto shot item in the game to unlock a photo mode, including unlockable filters, in fact pretty much everything that psychonauts 2 does. It does well well almost everything there are some mini game moments that felt slightly frustrating to control the stuff.

You do the majority of the time, though, which is platforming and combat work really well. The advanced movement set of raz in combination with his nine upgradeable power abilities throughout the game, results in a fun and challenging jump and run experience with fresh ideas being thrown at you. The further you progress into the story, the virtual shadow spot beneath your character in mid air. To give you an idea of where youll land could be a bit more obvious, but combat feels smooth. The encounters are fun and there is good variety, its not a deep combat system, but i think the simplistic combat style is a really good fit here. Youll, dodge enemy attacks, different foes, have different weaknesses and mechanics and to combat them. Youll use a combination of melee attacks and psychic powers. Foes are designed around mental metaphors and how it affects a person and the game. Mechanics are directly paired with that. As an example, when the persons brain urine gets a panic attack for whatever story related reason, the enemy that appears is a panic attack, encounter thats fast and hits hard, as with everything in psychonauts, 2 enemies are animated beautifully, which makes the encounters feel alive. The camera is a common problem in these types of games, so its worth mentioning that i didnt experience any issues with it here. One core gameplay system is called mental connection. You connect a variation of written brain ideas, like anger, delight or death, with grapple hook like movements and can cause psychological effects.

By doing so, you basically control the thoughts of the brain youre currently in by connecting words in a puzzle like gameplay scenario, there were moments. I loved the creative gameplay scenarios that these sections resulted in, but there are also moments where i didnt really understand. Quite what the game wanted me to achieve, which caused some slight frustration. Ultimately, creative voice over will guide you to the combination. The game expects you to connect excellent dialogue from writing. Even when connecting wrong thoughts still makes these sections interesting either way. The world in psychonauts 2 is filled to the brim with collectibles. There are tons of things to find everywhere. In fact, there are so many items to collect in the beginning of the game. I almost felt a bit overwhelmed by the sheer volume of them. Ultimately, though, youll get a better understanding for all of the gameplay systems that give all the different types of collectibles. As the game introduces you to each of the different mechanics, every environment offers a unique ui with which you can see all the items to be found in a world. There are obvious collectibles to find some require you to solve light puzzles. Some are well hidden. Some can be found with sound clues and many will put your platforming skills to the test. The collectibles themselves are designed beautifully with varied animations and unique visual effects, theres a great sense of progression, as you find more and more collectibles to vertically upgrade your abilities like boosting your health bar customizing, visual effects or acquiring other upgrades for raz.

You can also acquire pins which may augment your abilities in completely different ways and change how a power actually works. It feels rewarding to discover the world beyond just getting to that 100 completion. From a visual standpoint, all the collectibles stand out well enough from the game world, although there were rare instances in which some items were kind of difficult to see, blending too much with the environment out of the box. Psychonauts 2 has a post game state where you can replay every brain level and continue to explore the world trying to get to that maximum rank of 102. From a technical point of view, psychonauts 2 feels like a very competent and polished product during my entire playthrough. I didnt experience any crashes nor any relevant bugs running on unreal engine. The game features a very crisp image: quality tons of beautifully handcrafted animations, both in game and in cutscenes, destructive props, everywhere and great lighting conditions supported by colorful worlds. Loading times are fast only taking around three to five seconds at max when travelling between them. The one issue i did encounter with the tech side of the game is something that were all familiar with when it comes to unreal engine titles, which is the typical delay in loading textures with them appearing a second too slowly when a cutscene starts, it shouldnt be Too noticeable for most, though, and was limited to some rare occasions at the time of writing this review, the game already works flawlessly with quick resume on xbox series x and s out of the gate.

Hdr support looks great and results in all the colors popping. Even more, although options to adjust the hdr, brightness white point or contrast, are missing, the soundtrack of psychonauts 2 is gorgeous, providing all the individual brains, a unique auditive identity, solid and distinct sound effects for footsteps on a variety of services, psychic powers and so much more Round off the technically impressive overall package, i experienced most of the game on xbox series x running in its 1440p 120fps mode, and you can, alternatively, choose the slightly crisper 4k 60fps mode. From my observation, the only aspect that differentiates the two modes is the higher resolution. Both feel absolutely smooth, but once youve played psychonauts 2 in 120 fps, you likely wont ever want to go back with the whole platforming and combat experience, elevated to a smoothness level, ive not experienced in a console platforming game. Yet the tech team at double fine, did a fantastic job with the core technical aspects of the game, and the result is a super smooth and beautiful experience, theres something to the animation of raz in particular. That just feels right, you can tell a lot of work. Went into making sure that the whole movement set of raz feels believable and alive with the appropriate weight and responsiveness which makes jumping and moving satisfying and combat, smooth and predictable. The real highlight of the visuals in psychonauts 2 is not the core engine work though, but more so the art style created by art, director, lissette, tito, montgomery and her team, every location or brain has a very unique and believable look attached to it.

No two brains. Look the same and youll get a great sense of that from the more than a dozen environments youll explore, the environments themselves are memorable and that unique double fine art style is the primary reason for that. As a result, psychonauts 2 is a creative colorful, visual showpiece. With a diverse set of characters, that impresses particularly on xbox series x and s and high end pcs, the amount of accessibility features double fine have implemented deserve a separate mention. A lot of effort went into clever options, so more people can enjoy the game. The feature set is exemplary for accessibility options and i hope, more xbox game studios can follow this route in the future, combat adjustment tools, full button, remapping, larger subtitles, colorblind modes, many control and camera options, and even gameplay changing assists like invincibility without blocking the ability to Unlock achievements add up to a great package allowing more people to enjoy the game their way. It is all the more regrettable, however, that the localization selection, just cant, keep up with the other accessibility options in the game at launch. Only english voiceover, with optional french, italian, german, spanish and brazilian portuguese subtitles are available. I totally understand that kovid still affects these kinds of things, but for an xbox first party title, i simply have to ask them to do better in this area, even if its just in the subtitle category, the selection right now is just too limited on the bright Side, the english voiceovers are very well produced and create a believable cast of unique characters in closing.

Psychonauts 2 shines by delivering an absurd amount of creativity to the player. The story is filled with heart. The gameplay is smooth and fun the character cast and the environment show incredible diversity throughout the entire experience. The next brain youll visit will always be even more creative than the last and the game does. All of that, while also being absolutely gorgeous to look at psychonauts 2 is the best game. Double fine has ever created and the best release from xbox first party.