Recently, I was invited by Xbox Canada for an early hands-on preview of Double Fine’s upcoming third-person platforming video game Psychonauts 2. In this preview build I was able to play through 4 brain levels: Loboto’s Labyrinth, The Motherlobe & Lady Luctopus Casino, Compton’s Cookoff and Cassie’s Collection.
In total, I was able to play approximately 3-4 hours of the game. I would love to be able to share with you the entire 3-4 hours of my time with Psychonauts 2. Unfortunately that is not possible. Instead, I’ve made a video of the first 30 minutes of Loboto’s Labyrinth for you to enjoy.
After you’re done reading my preview and watching my gameplay video, be sure to check out my Psychonauts 2 developer interview. Tim Schafer, Lisette Titre-Montgomery and Lauren Scott from Double Fine talk about Psychonauts 2.
Please note, Psychonauts 2 is still under development and a work in progress.
Psychonauts 2 Details
Platforms: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4 and PC
Release Date: August 25, 2021
Developer: Double Fine
Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
A powerful array of psychic powers
Psychonauts 2 picks up right after the first game. You play as Raz who is working his way up from a Psychonauts intern to a Junior Psychonaut. In the game you are able to upgrade your psychic powers in a variety of ways including PSI challenge cards. These items allow you to gain “intern credits”, which allow you to upgrade your powers. As you can see in my gameplay video, one of the abilities you obtain is Telekinesis. This allows you to carry and throw objects at enemies and the environment.
One of Raz’s powers gives him the ability to see the world and interact with it as someone else. This is useful because you can find hidden items or solve puzzles that are otherwise impossible for you to do. Additionally, there are optional missions you can complete. For example, in the mail room at the Psychonauts headquarters, I was sorting the mail and ended up personally delivering a package to the head of the Psychonauts.
Bizarre, twisted and trippy worlds
In all, there were 4 levels that were open to me to play during my preview. The following are brief descriptions of each.
Loboto’s Labyrinth: Raz explores the mind of Dr. Loboto to find out who ordered him to kidnap the grand head of the Psychonauts, Truman Zanotto. This level also serves as a tutorial to learn the basic movements and powers.
The Motherlobe & Lady Luctopus Casino: Once the Psychonauts arrive at The Motherlobe, Raz meets Hollis Forsythe who has been in charge while Truman was missing, she decrees that Raz may join the Internship program. After a run-in with his fellow Interns, Raz attends a class in Hollis’ mental classroom where he learns a new Psychic Power, Mental Connection.
Compton’s Cookoff: Compton Boole is one of the original founding members of the Psychonauts, the Psychic Six. However, when Raz first encounters him he has retreated to live inside a Psychic Isolation Chamber. It appears that Boole is suffering from acute anxiety issues and when Raz enters Boole’s mind, he finds it manifested as a high-pressure cooking show in which Compton is the sole contestant, enterally judged, overwhelmed and feeling unworthy.
Cassie’s Collection: Cassie is another member of the Psychic Six, who now lives secluded in The Old Colony and when Raz encounters her, she is having self-control issues. Inside her mind, Raz meets many “aspects” of Cassie – a writer, a teacher, and a counterfeiter’s accountant, all controlled by a dominant, giant, aspect of herself: The Librarian. The Teacher aspect of Cassie teaches Raz the “Projection” power.
Psychonauts 2 launches August 25, 2021
You don’t have to wait long to get your hand on Psychonauts 2. The game launches August 25, 2021 on Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Windows, Xbox Cloud Gaming, PlayStation 4 and PS5 (with backwards compatibility). After spending a few short hours with the game I’m even more excited to get my hands on it at launch. Look for my full review right here on the Best Buy Blog in August!
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