During the Xbox Conference at E3 2019, it was revealed that Psychonauts 2, the sequel to the cult classic Psychonauts, was in development. This was following a merger between Microsoft and developer studio Double Fine. This sequel was much awaited, as the original game had amassed a cult following over the years since its release.
During the Psychonauts 2 booth at E3, a demo was revealed to those fortunate enough to stop by and view it. The demo showcased the beginning sequence of the game, which follows main character Razputin “Raz” Aquato (with returning voice actor Richard Steven Horvitz) directly after the events of the first game.
The beginning of the demo shows Raz in his daily office life as a Psychonaut agent, where he and his fellow psychic coworkers are in the middle of their latest mission. The task at hand involves tricking the villainous dentist, Dr. Caligosto Loboto, into revealing who hired him to attempt to kidnap Truman Zanotto.
The gameplay during these segments is pretty similar to that of the original Psychonauts. Raz quickly relearns many of the psychokinetic powers that he obtains in the first game, such as telekinesis, pyrokinesis, and levitation. Within the mental world, the opponents include different mental blocks, such as doubts, censors, and regrets.
The world of Dr. Loboto’s mind is also an ever-shifting environment filled with teeth, gold filings, and nefarious “anti-snitch” propaganda. The areas are chock full of creative and imaginative imagery, such as teeth that can be unzipped to form doors and different stages of going to the dentist being used to “wash out” the invaders within Dr. Lobato. Raz and his fellow Psychonaut agents all traverse through the dynamic space in an attempt to find the mastermind hidden within the doctor’s, well, mind.
The humor and cutscenes of Psychonauts 2 remains just as charming and tongue-in-cheek as its predecessor. An NPC asking you to handle all the fighting in a room while they try to find an exit? Annoying and cliche. Having three different characters on three separate occasions request the exact same thing as Raz gets continuously more annoyed? Hilarious. The artstyle is also consistently a joy to look at, with the avantgarde character designs and environments always drawing your eyes somewhere new.
Overall, it looks as though Psychonauts 2 will retain all the traits that made the original game such a unique experience. If the rest of the game is half as charming as the demo, then Psychonauts 2 will be a treat for fans and new players alike. The game will be released sometime in 2020.
For more information regarding Psychonauts 2 as it is released, be sure to keep your eye on Mammoth Gamers.