Psychonauts 2 Is a GOTY Contender (Hands On Preview)

Last week I had the chance to play a preview build of Psychonauts 2 and it completely blew me away. It’s weird, wonderful and wild and a serious contender for GOTY (Game of the Year).

The original Psychonauts debuted in 2005 and was an incredibly fun action platformer. I recently went back and gave it another go to refresh my memory before getting my hands on the sequel. Safe to say, it still holds up and I love the characters and world that Double Fine created.

It’s hard to believe the sequel is finally here after all these years. It was originally announced by publisher Double Fine in 2015, after a successful crowdfunding campaign and is now gearing up for launch next month. The preview I played let me explore a number of early levels in the game and I was very impressed. It certainly seems like it’s worth the wait.

Psychonauts 2 kicks off with a video summarizing the events of the original game and the VR sequel Rhombus of Ruin. Which is good because I’m sure most people will need the refresher. I barely remember what I watched on the weekend. I also never experienced the VR game but it picks up right from the cliffhanger the first game finished on.

The sequel has you once again playing as Razputin, or Raz for short, on his journey to become a fully-fledged psychic agent. You start your play-through in the inner workings of Dy. Caligosto Loboto’s brain. Being a dentist, his mind is filled with teeth, gums and all the fun tools a dentist uses on your gaping mouth. It’s gross, weird and really fun to explore.

You quickly learn the Psychonauts might have a mole problem, and it’s up you and your fellow interns to dicover the truth and save the day. Pyschonauts 2 is filled with characters and cut scenes, more than you’d probably expect from a platformer, which really helps build this unique world. The writing is wicked sharp and the characters are each unique and intriguing. I’m very excited to learn more about each character when I get my hands on the full game. It’s got a lot of humour and heart, and the jokes for the most part actually land which can be hard to do in a video game.

Combat is drastically improved from the first game and there are plenty of new baddies to face and take down. There’s plenty of new powers as well, so you longer just rely on punch and psi-blast. Raz has been working out since we last saw him.

From the four levels I played I can say that they are jam packed with collectibles and fun little secrets. They are huge and covered with colours and details. I found myself exploring as much as I can as each world I visited was truly one of a kind.

Pyschonauts 2 is the combination of a deranged Pixar movie meets Saturday Morning Cartoon and seems destined to become a Netflix show. I’d love to see more from these characters and world. Double Fine make some of the best story based games on the market, and this sequel is no exception.

It’s worth noting that despite still being in an early preview state, the game ran at an impressive 120 FPS on my Xbox Series X. It looks and plays incredibly well.

I am so excited to play-through the rest of this game come August 25th. We’re hopefully in for a seriously great game. I’m excited to get my hands on Psychonauts 2 and am very curious to see where Double Fine goes next. I’d love another Broken Age or Costume Quest.

If you want to experience the original Pyschonauts again, or for the first time it is currently available on Xbox Game Pass, despite coming out in 2005 it still holds up really well today and will help flesh out the story laid out in the sequel.

Pyschonauts 2 drops on Xbox and PC August 25th.

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