The cult classic from Double Fine is back!
The original Psychonauts from 2005 still maintains a cult following of loyal players that adore it for its iconic humor, colorful and crazy world, and wonderfully distinct gameplay. After a long, 16-year hiatus, Double Fine Productions and Xbox Game Studios are finally bringing players what they’ve been seeking for a long time now: Psychonauts 2. Combining tried-and-tested platforming gameplay with striking visuals and a completely unique premise, players should absolutely be keeping an eye on Psychonauts 2.
If you’re a little bit out of the loop, that’s fine! We’ve compiled everything we know about Psychonauts 2, including the latest trailers, information, rumors, and release date info. Here’s what you should know about Psychonauts 2 on Xbox and PC.
- What is Psychonauts 2?
- Release date
- Watch all of the trailers
- Story & setting
- Features & gameplay
- Xbox Series X|S Optimized
- PS5 release
- Versions & price
Enter the mind
The long-awaited sequel
Psychonauts set the bar for a psychological platformer, with cleverly implemented humor and understated messages about mental health and the state of mind. After many years, Psychonauts 2 is finally arriving to put our nostalgia to rest and bring this fantastic 3D platforming adventure franchise to current and next-gen platforms.
What is Psychonauts 2?
Psychonauts 2 is the long-awaited sequel to the cult classic Psychonauts, which was an intense 3D action platformer that saw players dive into the literal minds of different people, leading to a colorful and insane world in which the imagination of the creators was the only limitation.
The first Psychonauts came out in 2005, so it has been over 15 years since the first entry in this incredibly unique psychological platformer series. Thankfully, Psychonauts 2 is happening and Double Fine Productions, the creators behind the series and many other charming titles, aims to make it better than the original in every way.
Psychonauts 2 was first announced back in 2015, and since then, it has been a very long, bumpy road to release, with numerous setbacks and compromises that Double Fine had to make for the project. After a successful crowdfunding campaign and an acquisition by Microsoft, Double Fine is all set to make Psychonauts 2 a reality sometime in 2021. There were times when it wasn’t sure the project was going to survive, but Psychonauts 2 is pretty much inevitable at this point.
If you want to dive back into the roots of Psychonauts 2, the original Psychonauts is now available through Xbox Game Pass via Xbox backward compatibility.
When is the release date for Psychonauts 2?
The release date for Psychonauts 2 is generally shrouded in mystery, which is on-brand for the enigmatic and charismatic Double Fine studio. However, we can be fairly certain that Psychonauts 2 is slated for release in 2021 due to numerous teases from the Double Fine social media teams. While an exact release date has not been announced by Xbox or Double Fine, we may hear more at the upcoming E3 2021 event with a newly revealed release date of later in 2021.
When Psychonauts 2 does release (hopefully in 2021), it’ll be available on Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, PS5, PS4, Mac, and Linux. It’ll also be available through Xbox Game Pass day one on Xbox and PC, making the game more accessible to a huge pool of players who may not be familiar with the game-turned-franchise and giving Psychonauts 2 a shot at becoming one of the best Xbox Game Pass games.
We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any more information regarding the release date for Psychonauts 2.
Where can I watch all the trailers for Psychonauts 2?
Psychonauts 2 hasn’t been all that forthcoming with the trailers, but the closer we get to release, the more peeks we get of this psychedelic platformer. We’ll be sure to continually update this section with new trailers and videos for Psychonauts 2, including a video of Jack Black from JablinskiGames playing Psychonauts 2!
The first look
Xbox Games Showcase 2020
JablinskiGames and Psychonauts 2
A new psi-power
Tim Schafer Q&A
Who is the developer for Psychonauts 2?
Psychonauts 2 is being developed by Double Fine Productions, a long-running games studio renowned for creating beautiful and truly unique gaming experiences that you can’t find anywhere else. Double Fine is often described as a “AAA” indie game studio, meaning that it makes the sort of games usually developed by smaller independent studios, but with the quality of a “AAA” studio. Double Fine was also responsible for the original Psychonauts in 2005, and fans have been asking for a sequel to that gem for years. In 2015, Double Fine finally answered the call.
Double Fine Productions was founded by Tim Schafer in 2000, and has been making legendary games like Brutal Legend, Psychonauts, and Broken Age ever since. In 2019, Double Fine was acquired by Microsoft and became a member of the Xbox Game Studios family, making exclusive experiences for Xbox and PC.
To make Psychonauts 2 a reality, Double Fine needed some extra help with the project and turned to its community to assist with funding. Instead of taking the usual approach and crowdfunding the game through Kickstarter, Double Fine did something slightly different. The studio chose to create its own crowdfunding platform known as Fig, where a fan’s investment can earn them exclusive rewards and even shares from a game’s sales.
With the goal of raising $3.3 million to fund development, over 24,000 backers pledged towards the campaign to raise over $3.8 million in total a month after it was announced.
But, even with this success, the game was far from being a reality. Double Fine reportedly need to cut several boss battles and, unfortunately, accept certain compromises with the game to make Psychonauts 2 happen.
Joining the family
Back in 2019, Tim Schafer, the owner and founder of Double Fine, announced to the world that Double Fine Productions would be joining the Xbox Game Studios, alongside seven other studios that joined Microsoft’s growing family of studios earlier that year. This was a significant shift for Double Fine, but it quickly became apparent that Double Fine would be allowed to embrace its creativity, just without the worry of budgetary concerns. Psychonauts 2 was back on track, and Double Fine was able to restore some of the lost content it had been forced to remove.
There was concern that Psychonauts 2 would miss out on other platforms beyond Xbox One and Windows after the acquisition. However, Double Fine has confirmed that Psychonauts 2 will still release on every promised platform, including PlayStation. This does mean that Psychonauts may very well be the last Double Fine game we see on PlayStation, though, with future games likely being exclusive to Microsoft’s platforms.
What is the story and setting of Psychonauts 2?
Psychonauts 2 will follow the same protagonist as the original game, and will naturally follow the story after the first game’s ending. If you’re not familiar with the premise of the game, that’s all right. We’ve set up an excellent overview of the story leading up to Psychonauts 2 and what players should expect from the story in this new entry.
The story so far
Following Razputin “Raz” Aquato, Psychonauts is set in a fictional government training facility under the guise of being the Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp. Raz gets caught up with the Psychonauts, a group of characters that are gifted with psychic abilities like telekinesis, among several others.
What unfolds is a tale that would make most go, “how do they even come up with this stuff?” Like a few classic cartoons, Psychonauts definitely has the vibe of being created under a drug-induced trip.
After learning of a plot to harvest the brains of other Psychonauts to create a psychic-powered army, Raz delves into his friends’ minds to free them of his enemy’s clutches. The end of the game sees the Psychonauts — Raz included — rushing off to save the leader of the Psychonauts, who has been kidnapped.
Last year, Double Fine released Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, a virtual reality game developed for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive. Rhombus of Ruin picks up where Psychonauts left off and follows Raz’s journey to save Grand Head of the Psychonauts Truman Zanotto.
Psychonauts: The Rhombus of Ruin was meant to bridge the first and second game’s narratives. However, Double Fine has indicated that you don’t need to play The Rhombus of Ruin to understand the story of Psychonauts 2, which includes ways to catch players up at the beginning of the game.
Where the story picks up
The official description for Psychonauts 2 on the official Xbox website reads as follows:
“Razputin Aquato, trained acrobat and powerful young psychic, has realized his lifelong dream of joining the international psychic espionage organization known as the Psychonauts! But these psychic super spies are in trouble. Their leader hasn’t been the same since he was kidnapped, and what’s worse, there’s a mole hiding in headquarters. Raz must use his powers to stop the mole before they execute their secret plan — to bring the murderous psychic villain, Maligula, back from the dead!”
Double Fine founder Tim Schafer held a Reddit AMA a couple of years ago where he noted that Raz would be heading to the Psychonauts’ headquarters, his lifelong dream. While there, however, he ends up finding “several things strange about the organization.”
“While Truman Zanotto was missing, several changes to the direction of the organization were made by his second in command,” Schafer said. “Funding was cut from traditional psychic research and peacekeeping and redirected to unorthodox, fringe endeavors, including the discredited practice of necromancy. Raz soon uncovers sinister things at work in the shadows of Psychonauts headquarters, including double agents and evils of the past. Raz’s own family history plays a pivotal part in the story, and Raz must confront the roots of the curse placed on his family once and for all. And also deal with this whole ‘girlfriend’ term and what it really means.”
It seems that players will have to take control of Raz and attempt to circumvent a nasty plot to resurrect Maligula, a violent serial killer with powerful psychic abilities. That’s not all there is to Psychonauts 2, however, as Raz will need to confront the past as well as his future to overcome the challenges in front of him.
What are the features and gameplay in Psychonauts 2?
Psychonauts 2 is a 3D action platformer, so players will have to navigate through chaotic levels filled with enemies, obstacles, and even puzzles. Players will take control of Raz and utilize his psi-powers (with several new ones making their debut in this game) to overcome every hardship and make it out on top. According to this Xbox blog post, Psychonauts 2 will feature a wide variety of worlds from colorful and silly to dark and morbid, all with Tim Schafer’s signature sense of humor and crisp platforming fun.
We don’t know a ton about Raz’s powers in Psychonauts 2. Still, we do know of a “Time Bubble” ability that will allow players to slow down entities and objects to open up new platforming opportunities or make fast-moving enemies easier to destroy. We’ve also seen “Mental Connection,” a unique power that allows Raz to connect thoughts, enemies, and more for strange effects. This can be used for platforming, fighting, and more!
There are bound to many others as well, and Raz will be led by a strange glowing companion. This orb may be the owner of a brain that has been suspended in a jar for far too long, leading Raz to take a journey through their brain to reawaken their memories and senses.
Oh, did I forget to mention that this companion is voiced by Jack Black? Well, yes, yes, it is. Jack Black and Double Fine are once again teaming up, with Jack Black lending his incredible voice and personality to Psychonauts 2. Psychonauts 2 will feature a wide cast of colorful characters, both new and old, for players to come to know and love.
A taste of the action
Dubbed the First Playable, the gameplay seen in the video above is an early look at what Psychonauts 2 will end up being. Commonly referred to as a “vertical slice,” this is an area created to fully test the game with all of its assets working together. These include art, animation, tech, design, cinematics, and more. This way, the team can view a playable chunk of gameplay as intended in the final product, aside from any tweaks that will come along during the development process.
The First Playable isn’t meant as an advertisement for fans so much as it is for the development team themselves. Double Fine gets to view everything working harmoniously to see what needs to be adjusted as they continue to develop and iterate towards the end goal. This isn’t a polished build by any means.
But if you can’t take my word for it, take Double Fine’s: “This doesn’t mean that we now have a final area made to shippable quality, there’s still a lot of work to be done. It does, however, represent a fully playable area that has all the things a level of the game should have: elements like player movement, combat, quests, experience, UI all working together with scratch dialogue and audio, some rough visual effects, textures, lighting, even a cut-scene. This means we can iterate on these systems so they can be as good as possible for the final game.”
What are the accessibility features in Psychonauts 2?
During Global Accessibility Awareness Day, which Xbox celebrated, Double Fine held a stream to discuss the plethora of awesome accessibility features present in Psychonauts 2. Accessibility is a vital facet of video games, and Double Fine seems to have put in the work to ensure that as many players as possible can play their game.
Psychonauts 2 will feature the usual bout of accessibility features for colorblindness, font legibility, full control bindings, and much more, but will also include a ton of game difficulty settings.
If players need or want to, they can even make themselves invincible, disable fall damage, or massively increase Raz’s damage in combat. This is all to make the game easier for players who may desire this, as Double Fine has decided that letting players enjoy their beautiful world and narrative is far more important than arbitrary difficulty. All of these settings are entirely optional, and give players a ton of control over their Psychonauts 2 experience.
It’s fantastic to see Double Fine take accessibility seriously in Psychonauts 2, and highlights why Xbox Game Studios is one of the leaders in game accessibility.
If you want to see some of the (initial!) accessibility settings Psychonauts 2 gives players at the beginning of the game, check out the screenshots below! Double Fine has also indicated that there are additional settings and options that haven’t been shown yet.
What are the Xbox Series X|S Optimizations for Psychonauts 2?
We know that, thanks to Psychonauts 2’s appearance at the Xbox Games Showcase 2020, Psychonauts 2 will be an Xbox Series X|S Optimized title when it is released. This means additional performance and visual features for Psychonauts 2 over the Xbox One version. Unfortunately, we don’t know exactly what the Optimizations for Psychonauts 2 entails on Xbox Series X and Series S.
Faster loading speeds and superior performance are a given on Microsoft’s powerful new gaming consoles, but the exact details are unknown. We can speculate that Psychonauts 2 will run at higher resolutions and frame rates on Xbox Series X|S, and may include additional graphic and visual features not present in base console versions. Hopefully, we’ll learn more about how Double Fine has tailored Psychonauts 2 to the powerful hardware inside Xbox Series X|S before release.
One thing we can confirm is that Psychonauts 2 will fully support Xbox Smart Delivery. That means you’ll always get the best version of Psychonauts 2 for your Xbox console with no additional cost or hassle. Smart Delivery has proven itself to be an extremely useful next-gen console experience, and it’s great to see Microsoft continue to use it with its first-party titles.
Will there be a PS5 release for Psychonauts 2?
Despite the fact that Double Fine is now an Xbox Game Studio, it’s already been reaffirmed that Psychonauts 2 is still heading to PlayStation consoles like initially promised. Microsoft has been clear about upholding previous deals and partnerships when they acquire a studio, which has remained true even with more recent acquisitions like Bethesda. That means Psychonauts 2 is heading to PS5 and PS4.
However, we don’t know if Psychonauts 2 will be properly upgraded to run better on PS5. While the game should run without any issues through PS5 backward compatibility, Double Fine hasn’t confirmed if the game will receive similar treatment on PS5 as it will on Xbox Series X|S.
Because Double Fine is now an Xbox Game Studio, there’s a good chance Psychonauts 2 will not be upgraded for PS5 consoles. Before Double Fine has confirmed for themselves, though, take this with a grain of salt. Hopefully, Psychonauts 2 takes full advantage of the PS5 and gives every player on every platform the best experience possible.
What are the versions and pricing of Psychonauts 2?
As far as pricing is concerned, there’s absolutely no information available there. Psychonauts 2 has an Xbox page and a Steam page where the game will eventually be available for purchase, but there’s no pricing yet.
When the game was still being crowdfunded through Fig, players could pre-order a copy of Psychonauts 2 for $33 to $51 (depending on whether you wanted the PlayStation/Xbox versions), but that is no longer available and isn’t necessarily indicative of the final retail pricing (the Fig page mentions that those prices are discounted from the retail price, but it also includes multiple perks and benefits).
It’s also not clear whether Psychonauts 2 will have different versions from which to choose. If I had to guess, I’d speculate that Psychonauts 2 will only be available as one version and won’t have any “Deluxe” or “Ultimate” editions like many other “AAA” games do. I also don’t expect Psychonauts 2 to be a full-priced $60-70 game, but this is also pure speculation.
One thing to keep in mind is that Psychonauts 2 will absolutely be available through Xbox Game Pass on Xbox and PC day one, taking away the pricing concerns for millions of potential players.
We’ll have to wait a little bit longer for Double Fine and Xbox Game Studios to confirm anything about Psychonauts 2’s pricing or pre-order information, and be content for now with the knowledge that it’s coming to almost every major gaming platform and Xbox Game Pass. We’ll keep our eyes peeled for any new information and update this section as we learn more.
We don’t have Psychonauts 2 yet, but the love and care given to it by the charismatic Double Fine Productions may be enough to propel this bizarre 3D platformer to the list of best Xbox games. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait much longer to discover for ourselves.
Enter the mind
The long-awaited sequel
Psychonauts set the bar for a psychological platformer, with cleverly implemented humor and understated messages about mental health and the state of the mind. After many years, Psychonauts 2 is finally arriving to put our nostalgia to rest and bring this fantastic 3D platforming adventure franchise to current and next-gen platforms.
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