People are complicated. Nobody is simply selfish or sad. No one is born bad or heroic. We are a collection of memories and experiences, some good and some…not so good. These messes of thoughts and emotions can be hard to handle sometimes, but they’re also what makes us unique. It’s what makes you, well, you. Psychonauts 2, even more than the first game, truly explores all the challenging, painful, wonderful complexity we carry around inside our heads. The end result is an action platformer with a lot to say, a ton of heart, and only a few minor design flaws.
Microsoft provided me with an early code for Psychonauts 2, which picks up shortly after the events of the original game and its VR spin-off. Fresh off of rescuing the head of the Psychonauts, protagonist Raz and his fellow agents make a jubilant return to their HQ, The Motherlobe. However, Raz’s joy is short-lived as he’s soon informed that despite his displays of bravery and brilliance, he’s not an actual agent yet; he’s simply an intern. That’s quite the demotion!
Suffering this blow to your pride, you must work to track down a mole in the organization, eventually teaming up with some founding members of the group to defeat a nasty and powerful villain once thought to be dead. But circumstances, like people, are often more complicated than they seem, and while I won’t spoil the narrative at all, this villain, the people connected to her, and the folks who defeated her back in the day all have their inner demons, regrets, and secrets. Raz will have to help them all if he’s going to save the day. That means jumping into a lot of brains!