Psychonauts 2 review: An action-platformer game so cool you have to play it

“We writers are most effective when we get inside someone’s head,” says one character in “Psychonauts 2.”

With scenarios that you will want to explore down to the smallest detail, with a captivating story and the perfect fusion between action and platforms, Double Fine dazzles us with one of the best video games of 2021. A worthy successor to that classic that seemed never to have this longed-for sequel. But as you will see in the analysis of Psychonauts 2, all these years of waiting have been worth it.

When the creator of Minecraft wanted to help finance Psychonauts 2, he was surprised by the high production costs of a video game that at that time was nothing more than a wish that was almost impossible to fulfill. Making the dream of so many fans of the adventures of Razputin Aquato come true was three times what Notch imagined ; But now users can thoroughly enjoyed the new Double Fine video game, we fully understand that it was not cheap to create this action adventure , puzzles and platforms.

It may seem like a minor project, we understand that you think like that, but it is just the opposite. It’s so big and imaginative, so ingenious and surprising, so fun and unique, that have no doubt that it will end up becoming one of the best video games of 2021 . But beyond titles and medals, the main thing is that it has lived up to that little hidden gem that was the first Psychonauts , exceeding the -very high- expectations that we had placed on it.

It is a video game that shines with its own light, that thrills with its frenetic action scenes, that captivates with the visual power of its settings and that is even capable of surprising you with its story and script twists. Obviously we want you to continue reading the Psychonauts 2 review here but this is one of those cases where we would cheerfully tell you “buy it, you won’t be disappointed.”

Or if you have Xbox Game Pass, download it and play from day one because you won’t regret it. But our job is to tell you why it is an essential video game and what the hell! We liked it so much that nothing appeals to us more than talking about Psychonauts 2, its protagonists, the imaginative worlds it transports us to, its jokes, its epic moments, its double meanings and how well written the story of this adventure is directed by the great Tim Schafer , father among others of the memorable Grim Fandango.

With its action, the platform, its secrets and collectibles, this game evokes the golden age of 3D adventures that we live in the days of Nintendo 64. A style of play that today has almost fallen into oblivion and, therefore, makes Psychonauts 2 a video game even more special. That it already was! Its history, art and crazy plot premise are a perfect excuse to get lost in its crazy world, but as you will see in the analysis of Psychonauts 2, as a video game it also has an extraordinary quality.

Double Fine proves its worth


More than 15 years have passed since the original game was released, so Double Fine had a colossal challenge before it. On the one hand, satisfy all those who once enjoyed the adventures of Raz in that camp for children with psychic powers., and on the other hand, also to conquer a whole new generation of players who, with some luck, perhaps, heard about the classic but never enjoyed it.

Psychonauts 2 achieves both, and it also does so without losing that point of originality that will make you grimace in amazement and surprise every time you enter the heads of its protagonists.

Because this crazy adventure is precisely about that; to literally enter the minds of others to confront their traumas, obsessions and hidden fears much like Christopher Nolan’s Origin .

The great thing about this adventure is that each of these brains is an independent world with its own challenges and sometimes even with a radically opposite visual style, so Double Fine’s game always finds a way to dazzle you and make you experience new emotions .

Until the final stages of the adventure, he discovers new abilities for you, faces you with tougher enemies or reinvents well-known game mechanics to give your action a different flavor. It is something that the original game did very well, which you have available on Xbox Game Pass , but its sequel goes a step further with a rhythm of the action that does not declinein any moment; with a more worked, more polished platform that encourages you to do crazy things and, above all, with a set design that is the real protagonists of the adventure.

Every time you explore the mind of a new character it is impossible not to let out a sigh of astonishment , and every time you think that you have already seen it all, that Psychonauts 2 will no longer be able to surprise you anymore, the Double Fine team takes you into a setting even more surreal and incredible than the previous one.

All this seasoned by a story written with the usual mastery to which one of the parents of the mythical Monkey Island has accustomed us, masterfully combining humor and mystery to delight us with one of those arguments that hide much more than what they appear to naked eye. And it doesn’t matter if you haven’t played the original.

Although the story takes place just a few days after Raz’s first great adventure and is therefore a direct continuation, Psychonauts 2 manages from the first minute so that even newcomers can enjoy this fantastic adventure in a big way,although obviously, there will be references and jokes that they do not understand at first because they are directly related not only to the original, but also to the Psychonauts In the Rhombus of Ruin adventure for virtual reality.

Action and adventure like old times


We think about the battles we have fought, the scenarios we have explored or the surprises we have taken when we discover a crucial aspect of the plot … and we smile. No more. We can’t help but smile every time we remember the great moments of Psychonauts 2, which from the first minute goes all the way into the mind of the deranged Caligosto Loboto , great villain from the original game, whose brain is a real nonsense.

Everything around you there is insanely fun and surreal, but it’s just a small glimpse of what’s to come; a very effective tutorial to fully understand the powers of Raz and the challenges he will face.

The essence is that of a 3D platform adventure that gives us the freedom to explore large open worlds full of secrets and collectibles, with abundant combats and also challenges that require the specific use of special skills , almost as if they were puzzles. Most of these we saw in the original game as psychic shots or telekinesis, but there are also some new ones that are quite a discovery.

The one that has surprised me the most and the one that we think is most used in action and in the story itself is the ability to connect ideas. In combat it allows you to draw the most elusive enemies towards you, but when you explore the minds of others you can use this ability to “jump” from one disjointed thought to another, thus reaching otherwise unreachable areas.

Good old Raz can also create a mini paper Razputin capable of crossing insurmountable barriers for the protagonist, but when it comes to fighting, he will not stay still attacking whoever we order. And this is something that we love. Combat, exploration, puzzles and platforming are uniquely combined with each other throughout the adventure to the point that even skills like clairvoyance , which basically allows you to see through the eyes of others to uncover hidden treasures, also play a role in the battles.

That’s why the fighting they are so funny. Although Psychonauts 2 is a fairly straightforward game with just a couple of button combos, Raz’s skills are essential to survive the rain of cakes and explosions that rages around you. A delicious chaos oh that does not lose interest throughout the adventure because, in the end, the game always finds a way to surprise with more challenging confrontations.

Slow down time, set other enemies on fire, pick up objects from a distance and throw them with fury… and of course, punch and dodge at the right moment. The action in Psychonauts 2 is constant and reaches its zenith in the boss battles , which have surprised me very positively not only because of the originality of these enemies, but also because they are more elaborate than we expected.

They all have something special, they all require you to take advantage of a unique combat strategy, and they are all a spectacle. We still think about many of these fights and we am amazed by the talent of Double Fine, who signs here one of his best works with an incredible artistic section.

The greatness of Psychonauts 2: its history and settings


We’ ve barely delved into the history of Psychonauts 2 because we don’t want to ruin that magical moment that occurs every time you step into the mind of a new character without really knowing what to expect, but we have to say: it’s fantastic. The premise is to hunt down the mastermind that guided the steps of Caligosto Loboto in the original game, and although at first it seems like a small thing, the story gets more and more complicated until, completely captivated by its protagonists, you begin to discover one and another and another surprise.

And you smile, you put on a face of astonishment and you even vibrate with emotion in the most epic moments. Because there are also. And a lot of humor, with some hilarious scenes that help to empathize even more with the crazy characters that populate this great world of crazy.The story is written with exquisite taste and it knows how to catch you and surprise you by using mystery well. Those moments before losing yourself in someone else’s mind are priceless; and one in particular is spectacular.

The way you go from one scene to another; how it dazzles you with the image and the sound, with the words of its protagonists and the game mechanics that it proposes. Already the first Psychonauts delighted us with a couple of worlds that were an absolute genius, not only because they looked good, of course, but because of the concepts they explored and how they did it. And this sequel is not far behind. It is true that we have not seen any scenario that impacts me as much as that of The Milkman Conspiracy, which delved into the idea of ​​paranoia, but after about 20 hours of adventure I can only applaud the work of Double Fine.

Each world feels unique; every mind you explore is a paradise you don’t want to run away from. And that’s the reason why we’ve gone crazy looking for all the collectibles . With scenarios like this, so beautiful, so varied, with so many small details that denote the care and affection with which they have been designed, how could we not? And what we like the most is that they all feel, in their own way, different.

There are those in which action is the main protagonist, others that seem like open worlds designed to delight platform fans, and another in particular that proposes us to overcome challenges in the middle of a cooking contest. Double Fine has unleashed its imagination to design a world-class action-platformer adventure.

Although the stages are full of collectibles, sometimes the screen is crowded with them, at no time has it been difficult for us to go in search of them. Not even when it is necessary to return to previously explored minds to discover new paths using Raz’s new abilities and enhancements. Up to that point we liked Psychonauts 2, which, as you can see, is an admirable video game artistically. Before I btold you that the new Double Fine might seem like a minor game but as soon as you start to see its crazy scenarios, how varied they are, and the level of detail with which they have been created, you will see that it is just the opposite.

We have gone from playing in dark environments that seem out of a movie by the best Tim Burton, to exploring islands as if we were a castaway, fighting in psychedelic scenarios emerged from the mind of a hippie from the 70s, or getting lost in a colorful casino where nothing makes sense. And in all these places there is something that surprises and attracts attention, including 2D platforming phases with great aesthetics.

It is difficult for us to contain the emotion because we have enjoyed a lot of Psychonauts 2 in all its dimensions. As an action adventure and platforms, it seems to me a great video game with a lot to offer, but also in the plot it is capable of surprising; he knows how to fall in love with his characters , humor and the mystery behind all those jokes; and the best thing is that it will also captivate you with its graphics and fantastic soundtrackby Peter McConnell, which also has a song sung by Jack Black. Not everything is perfect, of course.

We would have liked to find a greater variety of enemies because, although new rivals appear until the very end of the adventure, their number is not particularly high. It makes up for this by forcing you to use different abilities simultaneously, but certainly the combat experience would have been gained with a few extra enemies. On the other hand, some guided or rail sequences feel somewhat limited, but are quite effective thanks to the brutal staging of the game. So yes, I would have liked to have the occasional extra option on the platform, but I say this after having thoroughly enjoyed this adventure..

We have played Psychonauts 2 on Xbox Series X and PC, with the cross-save option which is a blessing, and its performance is perfect. 4K and constant 60 images per second that will make you enjoy even more this strange universe populated by histrionic characters and endearing crazy people. You can check all the details about resolution and FPS of Psychonauts 2on all other platforms, taking into account that the game works on PlayStation 5, but only through backward compatibility with PS4, so it does not enjoy the technical improvements of the new generation.

With that said, go get him. It is a game that is worth it, with which it is easy to have fun and that we are sure will surprise you with its history and the imaginative design of its game worlds. Psychonauts 2 is one of those games that we would recommend without fear. And just hope that you too enjoy for the first time, or as veterans in this saga, all the charm and magic that defines what is one of the great video games of 2021.

5things you should know:
  • The The Psychonauts’ barracks acts as a central world and is larger than it appears.
  • You can buy cosmetic upgrades and earn some perks in Otto’s shop
  • There are a wide variety of worlds to explore, and they are all cool in design.
  • Solve some unknowns from the original and delve into the past of the Psychonauts
  • Improve combat, the platform feels more polished and the story will catch you

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