genre Adventure
Publisher Xbox Game Studios
Publisher in Russia Absent
The developer Double Fine Productions
Minimum Requirements Intel Core i3-3225 3.3 GHz / AMD Phenom II X6 1100T 3.3 GHz processor, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 2 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 / AMD Radeon RX 560, 30 GB storage , Steam or Microsoft Store account
Recommended Requirements Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2 GHz / AMD Ryzen R5 1600 3.2 GHz, 8 GB RAM, DirectX 11 graphics card and 6 GB memory, such as NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD Radeon RX 580
release date August 25, 2021
Age qualification From 12 years old
Localization Absent
Platforms PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X | S
Official site

Played on PC

Psychonauts is considered by many to be one of the most underrated games. The press and players alike have been very fond of Double Fine’s creation, but sales left a lot to be desired. The budget for the sequel (especially after the failure of Brutal Legend) was difficult to knock out. Therefore, Tim Schaefer’s studio focused on small projects. And, ten years after the release of the first part, the sequel was successfully funded on the Fig.

Almost four million dollars is a decent figure that served as a marker for what people still remember and expect. Psychonauts 2 certainly costs a lot more – thanks to Microsoft for throwing in the missing piece. By the way, it’s ironic, because at the beginning of the 2000s, the latter was listed as the publisher of Psychonauts, which was supposed to be the premiere game for the very first Xbox. But then the corporation abandoned the project.

For the sake of such views, and I want to go through the game to the end

For the sake of such views, and I want to go through the game to the end

⇡ #Like Tim Burton “Start” stripped off

This is exactly the impression Psychonauts 2 made on me. I’ll make a reservation right away that I missed the first part in due time, but I never made it up. Double Fine understood perfectly well that a whole generation had grown up in sixteen years, so it was necessary to sit on two chairs: please old fans and quickly bring newcomers up to date. Psychonauts 2 excels at this masterfully. A short introduction in a few minutes outlines the events of past issues. Razputin (or simply Raz) Aquato – a ten-year-old boy – discovers his psi abilities. The family is not happy with this, so the boy runs off to a camp where psychonauts are trained – special agents who, with the help of unique talents, save people both in reality and in their minds.

Raza delays the cycle of adventures, as a result of which he saves the world from a conspiracy, begins to improve relations with his father and finds himself a girlfriend. In 2018, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin was released for VR devices – a kind of interlude between full-fledged releases. It is from its finale, where Razputin helps rescue the head of the psychonauts center, Truman Zanotto, that the narrative of Psychonauts 2 starts.

The agents seek to find out how and why their boss was kidnapped. To do this, they penetrate the mind of the evil Dr. Loboto and try, in the spirit of the “Beginning”, to find out the secret for whom the antagonist of the previous part worked. The mission, however, ends with only partial success. The heroes eventually return to the base, where it turns out that despite all Raz’s merits, he did not become a full-fledged agent. An intern’s badge is molded onto his jacket and sent to learn the craft of psychonauts.

The Aquato family is assembled.  Family drama attached

The Aquato family is assembled. Family drama attached

However, Psychonauts 2 does not turn into a schoolboy simulator. A brief acquaintance with his peers, the only lesson in controlling someone else’s mind, one great idea, “grafted” on the teacher, and now the hero again goes on a big mission. The plot rushes forward, supported by stunning stylistics in the spirit of the work of Burton and Gilliam. The picture has always distinguished the work of Double Fine among the work of colleagues in the shop.

Every moment of the twelve hours of passing, I admired the game. Technically, everything is quite ordinary, but artistically Psychonauts 2 is one of the most memorable and distinctive games in years. Each location has a unique character and approach to level design. Even the real world, be it a casino in the middle of the ocean or a dark forest behind the headquarters of psychonauts, is mesmerizing. And already in the worlds born of consciousness, fantasy unfolds to its full extent.

The mind of the postman is a chaotic whirlpool of letters over the bottomless abyss of parcels without addressees. A lonely recluse imagines himself on a small island in the middle of the endless ocean. Some nooks and crannies of the mind are dark and uncomfortable, while others give rise to a vivid picture of a plush world. Of course, in fantasy, the laws of physics rarely operate in the usual manner: gravity changes chaotically, space bends in bizarre ways, and perspective plays a cruel joke on the perception of the size of objects.

One of the psi-abilities allows you to look at the world through someone else's eyes.  Once everyone sees in his own way

One of the psi-abilities allows you to look at the world through someone else’s eyes. Once everyone sees in his own way

Psychonauts 2 wants to go to the end, if only in order to see all these amazing mini-universes. How incredibly insulting that, with all the surreal beauty, playing it directly turns out to be boring.

⇡ #Routine service

The gameplay takes a painfully long time to swing. In the first third of the passage, the rhythm constantly gets lost. It is worth going through a few steps as the video turns on. Used the newfound ability once – another scene. Such inserts were recorded wonderfully, with good staging and sharp dialogues with a funny play on words (alas, no localization even in text form), but at the same time they interfere with the integration into the gameplay. The situation improves slightly when the narrative loosens its grip and allows you to calmly explore several spacious locations.

And then it turns out that Psychonauts 2, in principle, does not indulge sophisticated mechanics. The game combines the usual ingredients of a classic adventure: some jumps and acrobatic pirouettes, a pinch of fights, a bit of simple puzzles and a lot of collectibles. It’s a pity, she doesn’t do well anywhere.

Sometimes the game turns into a classic platformer

Sometimes the game turns into a classic platformer

The best part about fighting is designing enemies to represent different emotions. Many of them are interestingly played: flying regrets bombard with a heavy load, doubts slow Raz, and panic attacks suddenly disappear and appear in different parts of the arena. Various techniques are effective against certain types: it is better to burn some with pyrokinesis, from others, you should first take away the weapon by the power of thought, and so on. But battles do not add up to an interesting process.

How can you make telekinesis boring? Quite simple, it turns out. What’s the point of using it if it’s useless against most opponents? So with all the skills – they must be applied strictly in certain situations, and there is practically no room for experimentation. The animation of simple punches cannot be canceled, and enemies are poorly telegraphing attacks, which is why Raz constantly gets punched in the face.

Apparently, Double Fine understood that the warhead did not stick, so they generously poured health on the hero, scattered first-aid kits around the arenas and allowed them to buy sweets for a modest amount, which would completely restore strength if you were suddenly knocked out. Because of this, boss battles are devoid of tension and sharpness. Although, again, visually, they are fantastically ingenious.

Glides on the railing no worse than Crash or Sonic

Glides on the railing no worse than Crash or Sonic

Jumping across locations and looking for secrets is a little more interesting, but here the game is overtaken by the classic curse of a three-dimensional platforming game – sometimes it is difficult to understand whether you are landing on solid ground or flying into an abyss. Otherwise, moving around the world is pleasant, but nothing more. There are no memorable sections in the game from the point of view of the process itself.

A few interesting skill-based ideas never develop. For example, Raz is able to literally jump between thoughts that float overhead in the form of clouds. Some of them denote an idea, and if you connect the two together, then a new logical chain in consciousness changes the environment, opening new paths. But ideas must be connected exclusively correctly, otherwise nothing will change. In fact, this is a simple switch, only originally visualized.

Having acquired a full range of psychic abilities, it makes sense to visit the already studied locations in order to get to the previously closed secrets. Finding them is perhaps the most interesting part of the gameplay. Mostly there are hidden collectibles, the collection of which allows you to increase the rank of Raz as a psychonaut. The higher it is, the more improvements for skills you will be able to open.

In the store, be sure to buy a melee upgrade to stun enemies

In the store, be sure to buy a melee upgrade to stun enemies

* * *

Psychonauts 2 can be forgiven, if not all, then a lot for the stunning design and exuberant fantasy in an amicable way. But if you are new to the series and are waiting for an exciting process in the first place, then you risk being disappointed. In its peak gameplay moments, the game is solid at best, but mostly downright boring.


  • for the sake of a beautiful visual part, I want to forgive all the flaws;
  • bright characters with oddities.


  • as mesmerizing to watch Psychonauts 2, just as boring just to play it.


Simple detailing does not prevent Psychonauts 2 from surprising with a variety of fantasy worlds.


The sound of the characters is beyond praise. The witty dialogues played out by talented actors are very good.

Single player game

A competent platformer at best, without any gameplay or addictive game situations.

Collective game

Not provided.

General impression

The eye cannot be taken away from the picture, but the brain does not want to be involved in the process at all.

Rating: 8.0 / 10

More about the grading system


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