Psychonauts 2: the power of representation in one of the games of the year 2021

Psychonauts 2: the power of representation in one of the games of the year 2021

Psychonauts 2

2021 was a strange year from a gaming point of view. In a certain sense it seems to have given a little space to everyone, highlighting games that in other circumstances would have been considered unfairly minor. For this reason it is difficult to indicate what the game of the year could be, but it is very easy to make a list of the games that best represented it and how the genres, subjects and themes that the industry has marginalized in the last few years have returned to the headlines. years.

In hindsight, what struck us most about Psychonauts 2 is its conceptual purity, that return to forms that the modern video game seems to have abandoned, at least in its most opulent expression. Raz's adventure is a nostalgic poem, a journey through the wastelands of the medium that a certain industry now looks at with apprehension, if not with disgust. It is a finished work in the highest sense of the term, an author's fresco that exudes creativity from the beginning to the end, not so much and not only in what he tells, but in the way in which it becomes pure representation. It is a game of dream worlds that do not aim to psychoanalyze their creators, but to project their essence towards the player, called to interpret them. Dreams become circuses in which Raz performs his stunts. We are at the theatricalization of delirium, at its staging as a revealing moment of the individual.

Game of the year?

Raz, the protagonist of Psychonauts 2 A good look at it, Psychonauts 2 is more from the part of a Manic Miner than a Super Mario Bros., and perhaps why we liked it so much: because it is the highest evolution of a different vision of conceiving the genre of platformers, a vision that many want to ignore putting all its exponents under the same umbrella. Double Fine has a way of conceiving gameplay that no longer finds space in triple A.

He excels in imperfection, in his letting go without pretending to keep everything under control. His secret is the uncertainty in a juggling number, that being able to continually produce the emotion of recovering from a mistake that seemed to have compromised the show. Where other studies aspire to impeccability, creating increasingly aseptic gaming experiences, Tim Schafer and colleagues recognize the value of the shapeless and chaotic, continually leaving him the space he needs to make the dazzling idea blossom. Not that their game design is not rigorous, but it is certainly less anxious than certain canons given for established.

We don't know how many game prizes of the year Psychonauts 2 will win, but we don't really care, because, however it goes, it remains one of the most representative products of this 2021, and no one will be able to take it away from it. It is unique in more ways than one, beautiful as a game and as a video game vision and comes from a nice studio, which over the years has never given up on its essence. It was born out of popular push, both for the continuous requests made to Double Fine, and for the money given by the players to the development studio with the fundraising campaign launched on FIG, before the acquisition of Microsoft. In a certain sense it is a work born from the pure passion of those who created it and those who received it, a condition that inevitably transpires by playing and contributing to the involvement.

The Psychonauts

Levels burst with creativity Psychonauts 2 is the sequel to Psychonauts and Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. The three titles put together basically form a unique story, linked to the protagonist Raz and to his past. The game begins with a journey into the mind of Doctor Loboto, the kidnapper of Truman Zanotto, the leader of the Psychonauts, in Rhombus of Ruin, looking for clues to find out who manipulated him. From here an adventure will start that will lead the boy, a new psychic agent, to visit the base of the Psychonauts and its surroundings, in search of a way to stop the rebirth of an evil that threatens the whole world. Of course, his investigation will not only take place in the physical world, but will also require entering the minds of different characters, to resolve their inner conflicts and stimulate their action and memories. Raz has different powers with which he can fight enemies and overcome the puzzles scattered throughout the levels. In addition, some of these unlock new areas of the areas already visited, giving them access to very useful bonuses to make them progress. The individual powers can be improved by spending so-called intern credits, which ours earns as you level up.

Let me tell you

Will Raz be able to take home some recognition? Unfortunately, Psychonauts 2 is terrible when told only through its game systems. As we wrote in the review, there isn't a single element that doesn't have a narrative justification and that doesn't help form the big picture, so breaking it all up into so many little pieces is simply counterproductive. Each level is the discovery of one more piece of this fascinating world, where you always do different things. It's hard to get bored in front of such a kaleidoscope of creativity and artistic awareness, which cannot leave you indifferent.

We repeat: we don't know if Psychonauts 2 will be someone's game of the year, because they haven't actually played it in many (unfortunately the strength of the numbers is decisive in these cases). However, we know that you would commit a crime to underestimate it, perhaps only because graphically it does not make your eyes pop (although it does not miss some wonderful moments) or because we are not talking about an intellectual property of tens of millions of copies per issue. Regardless of the prizes and rewards, give it a chance because it's really worth it, especially if you want to see other games like this.

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