Operation Backlog Completion 2024
Dec 222021

The original Psychonauts is an absolutely fantastic game, and this year saw the release of its sequel at long last. So, how does Psychonauts 2 compare?

I was a little nervous going into Psychonauts 2, because whenever I love a game so much, I worry that a sequel won’t live up to it.

Fortunately, Psychonauts 2 is fantastic.

Set shortly after the events of the original game (and the VR game, which I watched a playthrough of), Psychonauts 2 sees Raz officially join the interns at Psychonauts HQ, only to learn of a plot to resurrect the Psychonauts’ nemesis Maligula, with the help of a mole within the organization.

Like in the first game, Raz’s quest to get to the bottom of these sinister happenings involves him traveling inside people’s minds (usually with permission this time).

These mental worlds you travel through are shaped by the person’s memories, dreams, fears, etc., each with its own unique twist. Now, I felt they weren’t quite as creative gameplay-wise as the original’s levels. That is to say, the themes might be unique and there are a couple levels with standout gimmicks, but everything comes down to platforming a lot more often.

Narrative-wise, however, they work wonderful to convey the character’s minds in a variety of entertaining and often heartfelt ways. In that sense, they might be more creative than ever before.

Speaking of which, Psychonauts 2 is filled with humor just like the first. Nothing reaches the heights of something like the Milkman Conspiracy, but there were a lot of lines and moments that made me laugh.

Meanwhile, I’d say the story itself is better than in the original, and it even had a couple of plot twists that took me by surprise. I do wonder if a few parts of the story could have been slowed down a little to let you get to know the characters better, but the pacing feels fine in general.

When it comes to the gameplay, Psychonauts 2 is a collect-a-thon platformer at heart, so there are a ton of things to collect. In the real world, you’ll be scouring the large hub areas for Psi Cards and other collectibles to rank up and improve your psychic powers, while the mental worlds will send you in search of figments, emotional baggage, and more. As someone who loves collect-a-thon gameplay, it was easy to lose myself in exploration.

You also have several psychic powers at your disposal, all your abilities from the first game plus some new ones learned here. It feels like the original in many ways, but smoother than ever.

Psychonauts is one of my favorite games, and Psychonauts 2 is a delightful sequel. I still have a few last collectibles to hunt for, but it was a great adventure through and through. If you enjoyed Psychonauts, I think it’s safe to say you’ll also enjoy Psychonauts 2.

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  2 Responses to “Psychonauts 2 is a Fun and Creative Sequel”

  1. Looking forward to when I get the chance to finally play!

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