Psychonauts 2 goes way beyond the game

by Nathan Dutil

Marcelo Jabulas | @mjabulas – Addressing issues such as psychological issues and mental health is necessary for understanding and respecting people with disorders that cause their behavior to deviate from what is accepted as a social norm. However, entering this realm, while necessary, requires tact and sensitivity. And that’s what “Psychonauts 2” does in a fun, but informative and questioning way.

The second title in the series from the ingenious Double Fine studio, founded by Tim Shaefer (ex-LucasArts) arrives to continue the 2015 production, which despite its praise was a commercial disaster. The game once again puts the player in the shoes of Raz, a young acrobat with telepathic abilities.

Raz precisely symbolizes the social distortions surrounding the different. The character is rejected by the family because of his powers. It is a metaphor for many people who suffer from prejudice due to impairments or even extraordinary abilities such as a high level of intelligence.

The protagonist enters a special camp and develops new powers, but discovers that one of the rulers of the place, Dr. Loboto, intended to use the brains of telepaths to equip themselves with weapons. Raz discovers that the villain had childhood conflicts involving his father that fueled his hatred.

These are traumas, disorders, and illnesses that affect most people, but are still viewed with prejudice and without due attention. Sheafer seeks to create thinking about mental health, using games.

All of this is placed very discreetly in the plot. This is not a game for learning to deal with disorder, but within the story it opens up thoughts on how to deal with anything that is neither the same nor considered normal on our own.

The game

“Psychonauts 2” is a 3D platform game that offers insignificant functionality to any game of its style. Jump, dodge, attack and use special abilities. However, the whole thing is peppered with a plot with surreal elements, which explores the theme of the brain.

The player gets involved in missions that seem to exist only in their imagination and needs to use their telepathic powers in order to be able to win the puzzles and know how to deal with enemies and level bosses.

Pyschonautes 2

The game is intuitive and it doesn’t take long for the player to understand the logic of the controls and not even the camera changes, which makes the game very dynamic.

Psychonauts 2 Graphics

The artistic direction of “Psychonauts 2” is awesome. Shaefer, who has worked on LucasArts headlines like “Day of the Tentacle,” “The Secret of Monkey Island,” “Grim Fandango,” and “Full Throttle” seems to have unloaded all of the aesthetic baggage of the game.

At the start of the game, there is a scene in which giant rope prostheses appear, attacking one of the characters. Anyone who has played “Day of Tentacle” will remember that dentures are fundamental to the development of the game.

Dr. Loboto himself refers to the mad Dr. Fred Edson, of “Maniac Mansion”, predecessor of “Day of Tentacle”.

With cartoon characters, surreal scenarios, which change the game pattern, it is a game in which the visual is not just a background, but an element that involves the player.

last word

“Psychonauts 2” is a fantastic game. Like recent productions like “Lost in Random”, which seeks in narrative resources to go beyond a combination of commands, the game encourages the player to think about sensitive subjects, but without indoctrinating or creating d ‘labels.

It subtly shows how not understanding differences or emotional issues can harm individuals. All of this mixed in with a lot of jumps, powers, cartoon characters and fun missions.

Pyschonautes 2

Games have long been used for promotion, ideological propaganda, like war games that create a parallel reality on cultures and different peoples. And instead of creating a new enemy of humanity, Tim Shaefer and his team are simply showing us that there are serious issues that need thinking.

Available for PC, PS4, Xbox Series X / S, and Xbox One, with prices ranging from R $ 250 to R $ 320.

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