Cult adventure platformer Psychonauts was released back in 2005, but the quirky game remains so popular that its sequel - 16 years in the making and due for release this month - is one of the most anticipated games of this year.
The reason it took so long to get here?
The financial demand of developing a sequel stalled any serious attempts at creating it for several years, but after the project accrued over £2.3 million through crowdfunding platform Fig.
So can the game live up to lofty expectations laid out by its predecessor?
Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is Psychonauts 2 about?
In the first game released in 2005, players took control of Raz, a young boy gifted with psychic abilities who had run away from the circus to join a summer camp for those with similar powers to become a “Psychonaut”, a spy with psychic abilities.
While at the camp, Raz found that a sinister plot was afoot, that only he had the power to stop.
The game took players on an inventive journey through the psyches of its characters, each level a bizarre dreamscape located within the minds of each bold personality.
Taking place within the headspace of its wacky characters, the game allowed its designers to concoct innovative levels unconstrained by the laws of reality.
Making use of several psychic abilities used for both fending off foes and solving puzzles, players fell in love with Psychonauts, and a cult classic was born, one which still holds up in its skillful juggling of imaginative ideas and quirky art style.
In the sequel, players will once again pilot Raz, though now he’s a newly graduated Psychonaut with powerful psychic abilities.
Upon returning to the Psychonaut Headquarters, Raz finds the organisation is not all that it seems, and in the absence of its leader has directed psychic research away from peacekeeping efforts and towards more unorthodox studies.
Is it any good?
Reviews for the game have been flooding in just a couple of days out from release, and the critical consensus is that Psychonauts 2 reaches the high bar set by the first game, and in many ways exceeds it.
GameSpot’s nine out of 10 review called the game “an astonishing achievement in nearly every regard”, and said that Psychonauts 2 is “the quintessential display of Double Fine's mastery in story, gameplay, and distinct direction... the studio's best game to date."
“Psychonauts 2’s weird and wonderfully written story is full of interesting, nuanced characters that I instantly fell in love with,” said IGN, who awarded the game an eight out of 10.
“Fresh ideas go a long way toward elevating the Psychonauts formula into the modern era,” they add.
Pure Xbox gave the game full marks, saying Psychonauts 2 is “an extraordinary achievement in both its gameplay and storytelling, balancing heavy themes of mental health with its whimsical world.”
When can I play it?
Psychonauts 2 will be released on Wednesday 25 August.
It will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and Xbox Series consoles.
Players on Xbox and PC who are signed up to Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service gain access to the game on the day of release at no extra cost.
In the UK, Psychonauts 2 is expected to go live for Game Pass players from 1am; the game is available to pre-load now, which will allow you to jump into it as soon as it is available.
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