Fans of Double Fine’s 2005 cult platformer Psychonauts have done their waiting. After over a decade, the sequel, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, has a release. The game will be launching on Feb. 21, 2017, exclusively for PlayStation VR.It is important to note that this not the full sequel fans have been clamoring for, but rather a bridging episode between the events of the first game and the full Psychonauts 2, still in development. Players will see the world through series protagonist Raz’s beady eyes as he attempts to save his companions and escape this chaotic quadrilateral.
“The story will pick up exactly where it left off at the end of Psychonauts ten years ago, with Raz, Lili, Sasha, Milla, and Coach Oleander flying off to rescue Truman Zannotto, the grand Head of the Psychonauts, ” said developer Double Fine in a press release.” Their mission will take them straight into the heart of the Rhombus of Ruin – a mysterious part of the ocean as deadly as two Bermuda Triangles back to back!”
The premise is suitable amusing, as is often Tim Schaefer and Double Fine’s niche, and I’m sure the writing will be as strong as it always is, but Virtual Reality feels like a hard sell to me. I understand the appeal, being fully immersed in a beloved world, toying with some new mechanics in a way that only that medium really can, such has perspective shifts as the player inhabits other characters and exploring puzzles with an added degree of immersion, but I worry about it.
I imagine this will be a test bed for VR technology, likely why they are pitching this as a connecting story rather than Psychonauts 2, that way they’ll know where to go with the full sequel, and that’s not a bad idea. VR is still young, and it’s up to innovators like Double Fine to see what they can really get out of it.