by Ben Edelstein ‘24
Published Nov. 4th, 2021
After 16 years, the critically acclaimed platformer “Psychonauts” has finally gotten a well deserved sequel that ties the game series together in a neat package.
You take control of Razputin Aquato (Richard Horvitz), or Raz for short, a 10 year old psychic prodigy working as an intern for the international espionage group known as the Psychonauts.
In the original Psychonauts, Raz uncovers a plot to take over the world with armored brain death tanks. In order to stop the madman behind this plot, Raz must ascend an abandoned insane asylum and deal with the inmates who were left behind.
A core mechanic of the Psychonauts series is the ability to enter the minds of people and discover their inner traumas. This mechanic was used on the inmates in order to let Raz progress in the story.
Psychonauts 2 has Raz solve the mysteries of a psychic dictator who was killed in a war 20 years ago by the founders of the Psychonauts. Raz must enter the minds of these founders and help subdue their trauma and mental issues.
The writing of Psychonauts 2 is incredibly interesting, as although the game is usually lighthearted and often makes quips, it is not afraid to deal with serious issues such as anxiety and alcoholism. The in-game levels have a great amount of detail and symbolism behind them.
Every mind in Psychonauts features many collectibles, each with a clever play on words. These collectibles include: emotional baggage, memory vaults, nuggets of wisdom, and halves of minds. These collectibles can be used to rank up and improve your psychic abilities.
There are nine psychic abilities in total, with six returning from the original game, and three brand new ones. Your abilities include telekinesis, pyrokinesis, levitation, and clairvoyance. These abilities are the key to maneuvering through the minds you explore and help you with platforming, fighting enemies, and solving puzzles.
All in all, Psychonauts 2 is a fitting sequel for the first installment of the series. It features lovable characters, memorable levels, smooth game-play, and an enticing story.