Sixteen years after the original game, Psychonauts 2 finally released on August 25 on Game Pass, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. Once again, you play as Razputin “Raz” Aquato as the game drops you into the colourful and sometimes nightmarish minds of NPCs. As Raz, you help them defeat their inner demons so they can help you face an ancient threat.
Psychonauts 2 has been met with critical and commercial success, and it’s even nominated for Game of the Year in the 2021 Game Awards. It’s also nominated for Best Game Direction, Best Narrative, Best Art Direction and Best Action/Adventure. Just looking at that list, it’s clear that there’s a lot going on in this game, so don’t worry if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed about diving in. We’ve got all the tips and tricks you’ll need to play Psychonauts 2 on EZ Mode.
Psychonauts 2 is also included in Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass, and if you have a Windows 11 computer, the Xbox app comes built already into your operating system, meaning you can play Xbox games in the cloud on your PC and Xbox, so long as you have a compatible Xbox controller. That means you can still play Xbox exclusives and new release games on almost any Windows 11 device, even without a high performance gaming PC.
As you play, you’ll unlock various psychic powers for Raz, like telekinesis, pyrokinesis and levitation. There are nine psychic powers in total, although not all of them can be used in combat. Mental Connection lets you grapple between thoughts to form connections in NPCs’ minds, and Clairvoyance gives you the power to see through the eyes of other characters and animals to reveal new details about the world.
You can have four powers equipped at once, but you can switch them out on the fly if you realise you don’t have the right ability for the situation you’re currently in.
Each psychic power has three upgrades that make it stronger or change its effect. PSI Blast, for instance, shoots concentrated beams of psychic energy from your mind to damage opponents when you first unlock it. As you upgrade it, you’ll learn to overcharge your PSI Blast to cause a bigger explosion and gain additional blasts. The final upgrade unlocks Chain Brain, which causes your PSI Blast to burst on impact into smaller projectiles.
LOOK AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Raz starts with 12 hit points, which are represented in the game by purple brain icons and called Mental Health. Each bar of Mental Health has four hitpoints, which disappear as you take damage. You can increase your total amount of Mental Health — up to 72 hit points — by completing an NPC’s mental world and by collecting Jarred Brains.
At the start of the game, you’ll want to dodge as much as you can to preserve your Mental Health. Look out for health deposits scattered around the map to heal yourself, and try using your Time Bubble ability to slow enemies and give yourself a chance to heal in the middle of a fight.
FACE YOUR FEARS
Each level in Psychonauts 2 is centred around a different character’s mental world — think of it as a physical representation of their worst fears. When you’re inside a character’s mental world, your goal is to help them overcome their mental trauma so they can move on with their life. To do that, you’ll first need to understand what trauma is affecting them, which will influence the kind of puzzles and challenges you’re faced with.
Because of this unique setting, each level in Psychonauts 2 is wildly different from the last. They all have a different theme which is brought to life by the game’s quirky art direction and Raz’s snappy dialogue. A lot of the fun in the game comes from discovering each character’s mental world and literally seeing how their mind works.
COLLECT THEM ALL
Whether you’re exploring in the real world or diving into someone’s mental world, be sure to look in every corner. There are collectibles hidden all over Psychonauts 2, like Figments, Emotional Baggage, Nuggets of Wisdom, Half-A-Minds and more — and they all reward you for your efforts.
Figments are glowing 2D drawings of objects that raise your rank and let you level up your psychic powers. There could be dozens or even hundreds of Figments in any given level, so keep an eye out for them on the ground, in dark corners, and in the air. To collect Emotional Baggage, first you’ll need to find the right baggage tag to go with it. Memory Vaults give you backstory for the person whose mind you’re in, and finding two Half-A-Minds give you an extra Mental Health.
If you don’t find all the collectibles in a level the first time, don’t worry. Psychonauts 2 lets you revisit areas so you can find things you missed or might not have had the ability to reach when you first played a level.
HOW CAN YOU PLAY PSYCHONAUTS 2?
Psychonauts 2 is available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S. If you’re playing on PC or Xbox, the game is available on Xbox Game Pass and Cloud Gaming. Thankfully, the Xbox app comes pre-installed on Windows 11, so you can jump straight into the action if you have a Game Pass subscription.
Although Psychonauts 2 isn’t a hugely demanding game, it is gorgeous, and you’ll want to play it on the highest settings you can. Don’t worry if you don’t have a brand-new PC or console, though. Xbox Cloud Gaming lets you stream games via your browser or the Xbox app. All you need is a Game Pass Ultimate subscription and a compatible controller, and then you can play Psychonauts 2 (and over a hundred other games) without a high performance gaming PC, you can now get a great experience with cloud.
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