Psychonauts 2: Tim Schafer followed up his stint at LucasArts by opening his own studio in 2000. Psychonauts, the platform game which came out in 2005 as Double Fine Productions’ first outing as a developer, may have failed to become a commercial hit, but that did not stop it from securing a widespread fan base over time. Ever since then, everyone everywhere has been asking for a sequel. After several unsuccessful attempts at gaining a proper publisher, Schafer finally announced a sequel, Psychonauts 2, back in 2015. However, the game had still failed to acquire a full-fledged publishing deal, compelling Schafer to announce the upcoming title as a crowdfunded effort.
Psychonauts 2: The Story So Far
That seems to have been the golden decision, for since then, the going has been great for Psychonauts 2. While the budget for developing the game was determined to be $18 million, Double Fine Productions initially sought to make $3.3 million. Schafer pointed out that though the set goal was only a fraction of what was needed, the method of developing a game through crowdfunding had the potential to raise significant public interest in the title. This could, in turn, help them reach their final goal. Now looking at the present condition, we can’t help but admire the studio head’s optimism and determination.
Psychonauts 2 ended up raising more than its target amount with days still left to go in its scheduled campaign. Thousands of fans chose to invest in and back the game’s development, and Schafer began meeting some potential parties to be the official publishers. Finally, in February 2017, the studio announced that Swedish game studio Starbreeze had come on board to take on the responsibility of digital marketing and publishing. Starbreeze has invested a cool $8 million in Psychonauts 2 to help complete all development goals. Being the largest shareholders in the game, Starbreeze will keep the lion’s share of the revenue until their investment has been recovered in full, after which the numbers will drop. Double Fine retains full rights to the IP, and the studio has brought in a number of people who were involved in developing the 2005 entry to work on the new game.
So basically, for all those who have long wondered about whether they will ever get to experience Raz the boy psychic’s adventures, they are in luck. Psychonauts 2 is happening and going by the developer updates, all is going well and the game will be launched on time. So now let us get into what the game will be like.
Psychonauts 2 Features and Gameplay
Story: Psychonauts scored high with critics for its character sketches and story development, and there are no doubts that both of these will be taken several notches further in the new game. Schafer and his team have stated that they are hard at work to make Psychonauts 2 a worthy sequel, and that means we will see enough new features along with the old ones to make it thoroughly engaging, yet not alienating for fans familiar with it.
For this purpose, Psychonauts 2 is bringing back the playable character from the first game. The new game will focus on the Psychonaut Headquarters where a lot has changed in the time that has passed in between the events of the last game and the upcoming one. “In Psychonauts 2, Raz realizes his dream and visits Psychonauts Headquarters. However, when he gets there, he finds it’s not the perfect place he expected and quickly realizes that the Psychonauts need him more than he needs them,” reads the game’s description on its website. Apparently, the new leaders have started using their research in pursuit of darker matters, with a focus on unethical experiments. The sequel will also help shed light on Raz’s background and how he came to be the way he is.
Gameplay: Psychonauts 2 will retain a lot of the gameplay elements from the earlier games (including Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin). The upcoming game, like its predecessors, is a platform game playable from the third person perspective, but expect to see a lot of new techniques in Raz’s moves. Not much is known about these, but you can check out the developer update below to know what Double Fine has plans of achieving with it.
Other than these, players can expect to see many of Raz’s previous abilities, like Psi-Powers, make a return. The platform and adventure elements will be back with a bang, and you can control Raz as he picks up different skills as he progresses through the game. Raz’s psychic abilities can be used to delve into the minds of others, explore the area, or even defeat his enemies. Like in Psychonauts, we also expect to see the co-existence of a physical and a mental world, both of which need to be explored to uncover the game’s many secrets. Both worlds have their own threats, and Raz has to navigate his way through them without getting killed. We have a feeling that Raz’s backstory and his “curse” will majorly come into play in Psychonauts 2, and these will have significant effects on the gameplay.
Unlike Psychonauts, which was built on a custom gaming engine, Psychonauts 2 is using the Unreal Engine 4 which is also being used to develop the incredibly hyped Borderlands 3.
Psychonauts 2 Trailer
Tim Schafer officially announced Psychonauts 2 at the 2015 Game Awards with a launch trailer. The video packs in enough nostalgic value for fans of the earlier games, while at the same time engaging newbies with its unique presentation. The trailer begins with officials gaining information about a dangerous island where several hostages are being held. But the way the island is protected keeps it safe from all traditional forms of military attacks. This, obviously, ends up being a mission for the Psychonauts. Watch the trailer for Psychonauts 2 below.
Psychonauts 2 Release Date and Platforms
The upcoming game does not have a release date set for it yet, but Double Fine Studios aims to launch it sometime in 2018. Upon launch, Psychonauts 2 will be playable on the PS4, Xbox One, Windows PC, OS X, and Linux.
The final word is that Psychonauts 2 is one of 2018’s most anticipated titles. With thousands of people being involved with the project, we can expect it not to disappoint. We know that the pressure to deliver on behalf of Schafer and his team is huge, but from what we have seen so far, they have their hands full with ideas. If you’re a Psychonauts fan, let us know why you’re looking forward to the game and what you expect to see in it.