Psychonauts 2: The (almost) impossible sequel in the test + video

Psychonauts 2: The (almost) impossible sequel in the test + video

Psychonauts 2

Many of us know it: You have this great game, creative, clever, full of your own ideas. A classic! And then comes the successor, which simply doesn't have it anymore: Suddenly the design is being turned around, the gameplay is simplified, the story is trimmed for mass use. The charm of the original is gone, the disappointment is inevitable.

Table of contents

Page 1. Psychonauts 2: The almost impossible continuation in the test Next page 1.1. How to continue! 1.2. With charm, brain and family 1.3. Off to the green! 1.4. Creative Psycho Circus 1.5. More control, better fights 1.6. Psi powers and cool bosses page 2. Psychonauts 2: The almost impossible continuation in test 2.1. Collecting stuff in abundance 2.2. Well-groomed madness 2.3. Great atmosphere 2.4. Noble sound, but only in English on page 3. Picture gallery for "Psychonauts 2: The (almost) impossible sequel in the test + video" Psychonauts 2 (buy now € 69.99) could easily have fallen into the same trap. The first part has been cult for 16 years, the fans still love its shrill ideas, its imaginative levels, its heartwarming characters. But Psychonauts wasn't a box-office hit, the weird and colorful concept initially left many buyers cold. After Double Fine had to cope with an (undeserved) flop with Brütal Legend, the studio even completely turned away from large triple A productions. By then at the latest, many fans had written off their Psychonauts 2.

Now the game has become a reality after all, thanks to crowdfunding and a saving takeover by Microsoft. Tim Schafer and his development team succeed in an almost impossible feat: After 16 years, Double Fine delivers a successor that has not lost the least bit of the old magic! The original speakers, the familiar gameplay, the wild ideas, the cherished characters - that's Psychonauts as you know and love them. In addition, the story is continued with heart and mind, including a lot of fan service and a magnificent staging.

All of this does not make Psychonauts 2 a work of the century.

But as a successor it is almost perfect.

Psychonauts 2 | REVIEW | Great comeback after 16 years! loadVideoPlayer ('84293', '& sAdSetCsategory = article_featured', 12, '16: 9 ', false, 1378266, false, 222252, 260, false, 0,' ',' ', false); Psychonauts 2 from € 69.99 Update: We have added a test video and many of our own screenshots to the article.

How to continue!

Fantastic for fans: Although 16 years have passed since the first part, the story of Psychonauts 2 begins just three days later. When has something like this happened before? The events tie in directly to Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, the small VR snack thus forms an important bridge between the two main games. If you don't know the predecessor, you can also watch a video summary at the beginning, but it really only provides the bare essentials. Our tip: In order to fully enjoy Psychonauts 2, you should definitely make up for the original (which is also included in the Game Pass).

The playful design is convincing from start to finish. Source: PC Games You control the young Raz again, a courageous acrobat who is equipped with powerful psychic powers. In the first game he earned his spurs, now he can get involved with the big players: He is currently on his way to the headquarters of the Psychonauts, a crazy intelligence agency where highly talented psycho-agents are trained against threats all over the world. In the first game this place was only a side note, but this time we are right in the middle: While Raz can hardly believe his luck, we explore the lively main building on our own, meet new agents and rebellious interns and celebrate a reunion with old friends: Sasha no , Milla Vodello, Coach Oleander, Lilly and Ford are back on board and as personable as ever. On the way we even meet some of the Psychic Six - that's the name of the legendary founding members of the Psychonauts. This group of aging superheroes occupies a central role in the story, because this time Raz has to dig deep into the past of the authority and open old wounds in order to avert a new threat: A traitor has infiltrated the Psychonauts and is now trying to revive the diabolical Maligula, a notorious mass murderer and arch enemy of the psychonauts.

With charm, brain and family

Tim Schafer has given his story yet another exciting facet: Raz receives a surprising visit from his family, a troop more proud Circus athletes who have little love for the psychonauts. We also get to know them better in the course of the plot, although Schafer doesn't forget the first notes despite all the humor and surprises with umpteen touching moments, especially in the second half of the game. Of course, there are also points of criticism, for example that some characters are neglected or that some twists and turns seem a bit artificial. But that doesn't change the result: Psychonauts 2 continues Raz's adventure in a very atmospheric way and should put a big grin on the face especially of fans.

Finally we get to know Raz's acrobat family better. Source: PC Games

Off to the green!

In the first Psychonauts you could explore the cozy Whispering Rock. That is now over, this time the psychonaut headquarters and three larger outdoor areas, which are strongly reminiscent of the atmospheric holiday camp from the first game, are taking its place. Between lots of climbing paths, caves, campsites and uphill waterfalls, Raz can romp around to his heart's content again, looking for secrets and collecting treasures. Most of it is completely optional, but just like in the first game, great fun for anyone who wants to take every secret with them. A few side tasks also provide employment, for example Raz can take part in a scavenger hunt like in the previous one. Here it could have been a bit more for our taste.

The new outdoor levels bring back pleasant memories of the Whispering Rock holiday camp from the first part. Source: PC Games

Creative Psycho Circus

But the lion's share of Psychonauts 2 are again the levels that take place in the upper rooms of various minor characters. They all have to struggle with inner demons, personality disorders and trauma, which manifest themselves in wonderfully wacky level constructs, each with its own design and fresh ideas. The transitions are wonderful when suddenly the camera tilts to the side and you just walk up the wall, when completely opposite level sections simply morph into each other and a new, dream-like structure waits behind almost every door, which apparently defies all the rules of physics. For example, we're in a hospital casino that happily mixes medicine and gambling. In a giant mirror construct, we link thought bubbles with the help of "Mental Connection", a new ability that lets Raz race along lines of thought. We balance a gigantic bowling ball through a big city full of pitiful germs and take part in a cooking show with lively ingredients. We shimmy along huge carpets of hair, sail across lakes full of ink, explore the inside of a message in a bottle. In one of the most beautiful levels we are on the move in a screamingly colorful, psychological concert setting, where we help a ghostly being to drum up his old band, to throw suspiciously colored pills and then to defy the occasional sensory overload. What fun!

Creative madness: The level design is fantastic. Source: PC Games The bottom line is that the levels of Psychonauts 2 are not quite as varied as in the first part, but the quality is consistently high: Where in the predecessor there are umpteen great moments (hello milkman conspiracy!) And a few rivets like the meat circus or the theater, Psychonauts 2 presents itself at a consistently high level.

More control, better fights

It doesn't matter whether you jump, climb, slide or balance around on a psi ball of thought : Double Fine has put a lot of effort into improving the controls, but at the same time maintaining the distinctive feel of the predecessor. Connoisseurs will immediately feel at home. However, this also means that Psychonauts 2 is never as precise as, for example, a Mario. So there are always moments when Raz lands in the abyss or just misses an edge instead of automatically clinging to it. Thanks to fair reset points, this rarely causes frustration.

Opponents react much more aggressively and faster than in the first part. Source: PC Games In the battles, the developers have made a big step forward. Raz deals out again with huge psi blows and thought shots, the controls are much more jagged and precise than in the predecessor, and there is now an indispensable evasive role. Because the opponents have also learned, in addition to the well-known (and much more dangerous) censors, Raz competes against all sorts of new thought-creatures. For example, regret presents itself as a flying opponent throwing weights at us, while doubts are presented as sticky blobs. Later we also have panic attacks in the form of a brightly colored creature that dodges all our attacks at lightning speed. We quickly notice: The level of difficulty of the fights is generally higher than in the first Psychonaut. Good this way! And if you are bothered by it, you can simply lower the claim in the options menu or even activate a few cheats.

The boss fights fit in well with the plot. Source: PC Games

Psi powers and cool bosses

This is where our old and new psi powers come into play. Raz, for example, has recently been able to slow down time in one area, which takes away the fear of fast opponents. And telekinesis is used to pull the hammer out of the hands of the imposing judges and throw it back. Of course, these intellectual talents are also used when exploring and puzzling, especially the slowing ability is used extensively in the second half of the game to freeze rotors or moving platforms. That works fine, but it is only very rarely really demanding.

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