Review: Psychonauts 2 – SENSES

Sequels and reboots are nowadays commonplace in the film world and also in the gaming industry. Sometimes movie sequels only lead to dissatisfaction and irritation, but then there are sequels that take the original film and improve just about everything that needs to be improved. For example, I believe that Terminator 2: Doomsday and Spider-man 2 is many times better than the original films. 2005 had a lot of fun puzzle platformer 3D game release with the name Psychonauts. In the game we got to know Raz who trained to become one Psychonaut who can travel into the consciousness of people and find things that are hidden, deep inside. The premise of the game was fun and different. I remember playing it a lot on my first Xbox. Now, 16 years later, a sequel with the logical name has appeared Psychonauts 2 and it’s time to see if it holds up or suffers the curse of the sequels.

Psychonauts 2 - press image: © Double Fine Productions - Raz in action against censors.
Photo: © Double Fine Productions

Raz continues to rise in ranks as a Psychonaut, but he still has a lot to learn. When it turns out that there may be a traitor among the Psychonauts, everyone is in mortal danger and Raz must find an answer before it is too late.

Psychonauts 2 - press image: © Double Fine Productions - Raz in dentist brain.
Photo: © Double Fine Productions

I downloaded the original game Psychonauts before I started running the sequel because I wanted to refresh my memory a bit. Both games are included in Xbox Game Pass (one is played through backward compatibility from the original version on Xbox). After driving the original for a couple of hours, I realized I was hooked again and barely wanted to stop to test Psychonauts 2

Psychonauts 2 - press image: © Double Fine Productions - Raz burns painting.
Photo: © Double Fine Productions

As soon as I start Psychonauts 2 then everything feels wonderful enough again; same humor, same stucco, same controls. What has changed is that the game is now high resolution and in widescreen. You even have the same voice actor who plays Raz. Honestly, it is as if time has stood still in several ways – but in a good way!

Psychonauts 2 - press image: © Double Fine Productions - Raz finds the tooth.
Photo: © Double Fine Productions

You have new abilities to use in Psychonauts 2, but it is based on the same principle – that you collect fantasy fetuses “Figment of imagination” which you can then upgrade your own powers with. You can also buy benefits in different kiosks. The script is quirky and fun and everyone you meet has recorded voices. In short, everything is recognizable and only the presentation is updated and refined. Everything but one thing: just like in one, the controls are not always as tight as you would like them to be. Plus it’s not always easy to see how far a jump really is. Another thing that annoyed me is that when you die, you go back quite a bit to the last checkpoint, but the dialogue that took place shortly after is repeated – over and over again (while playing, not intermediate sequences – you can skip them) . In most, modern games with self-respect, such dialogue is not usually played after every time you die, precisely because it eventually becomes very annoying.

In summary, I still want to hand out high marks to Psychonauts 2, just for its quirky story and fun gameplay. The small flaws above poke down the rating from one must to a really, warm recommendation. So take the opportunity to experience Psychonautsthe universe again. Or why not for the first time ?!