–Description from Psychonauts.com
Psychonauts 2 is a platform video game developed by Double Fine Productions and the sequel to Psychonauts and Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin, headed by former LucasArts employee Tim Schafer. It was initially announced during the Game Awards on December 3rd, 2015. It was crowdfunded on Fig.com, and reached 116% of its $3.3 million goal on January 6th, 2016. According to the campaign page, the game is planned to be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, macOS, and Linux, originally with a tentative release date of Fall 2018. It was changed to 2019, then 2020, and later 2021. It was released on August 25th, 2021 on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Playstation 4, Playstation 5 via backwards compatibility, and PC via Steam, GOG, DRM Free, the Humble store, and the Microsoft store. It will release on Mac and Linux shortly after launch.
- The following is lifted from the game's "about" section on Steam:
"Razputin Aquato, trained acrobat and powerful young psychic, has realized his life long 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!"
Psychonauts 2 begins with a recap of the previous two games in an animation styled after a comic book. Taking place three days after the events of Psychonauts in the year 1982, picking up right after Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. Razputin Aquato narrates his time at Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, and how he was made a full-fledged Psychonaut. He and fellow Psychonauts Lili Zanotto, Sasha Nein, Milla Vodello, and Morceau Oleander psychically interrogate insane ex-dentist Caligosto Loboto to learn the identity of his employer, the suspected mastermind behind the kidnapping of Truman Zanotto, Head of the Psychonauts, by tricking him with a psychic simulation. The plan begins falling apart when Loboto realizes the deception and begins twisting the simulation, and Raz is forced to make his way through Loboto's mind with assistance from Lili, Sasha, Milla, and Oleander. Raz eventually tracks down Loboto, speaking with a shadowy manifestation of his boss. The boss threatens Loboto to keep silent by showing him a giant woman commanding serpents of water, and Raz is thrust out of the mental world. Sasha then identifies the woman as Maligula, a dangerous villain who has been dead for twenty years.
The group arrives at the Psychonauts headquarters, the Motherlobe. There, Raz is introduced to the second-in-command of the Psychonauts, Hollis Forsythe. She escorts the group inside, save for Raz, whose Psychonaut status cannot be recognized due to his induction being conducted by Ford Cruller, who is not of sound mind and thus is unfit to give Raz Psychonaut status. Hollis instead accepts Raz into the internship program, and gives him limited access to the Motherlobe. As he explores, he is accosted by the other six in the internship program. They haze him by locking him inside a storage room and stealing his clothes, leaving him with nothing except his old acrobat outfit, helmet, and goggles. He is found by Sasha and Otto Mentallis. Sasha gives Raz a new outfit and sends him off.
Hollis then assigns Raz to work in the mail room under Nick Johnsmith. Raz finds Nick's brainless body and a key to a room at the Lady Luctopus Casino. Raz enters Hollis's mind to convince her that sending the interns on the mission would be a good idea. However, once there, Raz's manipulation brings out Hollis's latent gambling addiction, and Raz is forced to undo this to get the mission back on track. Inside the room, Raz finds evidence of the Deluginists as well as a slip of paper indicting Lili as the double agent, which he keeps to himself.
Raz returns to Lili by Truman's side to reveal the paper he found but she refuses to believe it and runs off. To Raz's surprise, Truman speaks to him, his silent state an act. Truman urges Raz to bring Ford Cruller to the Motherlobe and reconstitute his split personalities, as he holds the secret behind Maligula. Raz does so, along the way helping the other Psychic Six members with their own mental traumas that had developed after their fight with Maligula. Once Ford is whole, he explains to Raz that Maligula is really Lucrecia "Lucy" Mux, the previously-unknown seventh member of the Psychic Six who was in a romantic relationship with Ford. Lucrecia returned to her Grulovia homeland to quell an uprising, but under the abusive treatment of Grulovia's leader Gzar Theodore, Lucrecia had created the Maligula personality as a fight or flight complex. Maligula went out of control, flooding the country and forcing the Gzar and his family into exile. The Psychic Six defeated Maligula, but instead of killing her, Ford secretly used one of Otto's inventions, the Astralathe, to alter Lucrecia's mind to bury the Maligula personality deep inside her and to make Lucrecia believe she was Marona "Nona" Aquato, her sister who had died in the flooding. Ford also altered Augustus' memories to accept Lucrecia as Nona within his family. Finally, Ford split his own mind with the Astralathe to hide this secret and forget about Lucrecia. Raz, shocked by the revelation, wants to warn his family, but Ford warns that this might unleash Maligula.
Ford and Raz find Nona in the nearby Green Needle Gulch, the home of the Psychic Six, where the Astralathe is kept. Nona shows signs of remembering her time as Lucrecia, and Ford determines that with the help of the Psychic Six, they need to use the Astralathe to create a further hole in Nona's mind to banish the Maligula personality for good. Within Nona's mind, they learn that she had been already recalling elements of Lucrecia much earlier, as she was the one to convince Raz to go to Whispering Rock as a indirect means to call for help from the Psychonauts. As Ford and Raz prepare to banish Maligula, Raz is suddenly pulled out of Nona's mind by Truman. Finding Truman's actions suspicious, Raz enters his mind accompanied by Lili and they discover that his brain is actually that of Gristol Malik, Gzar Theodore's spoiled son. Malik posed as Nick to infiltrate the Psychonauts and get revenge for his family's fall from grace, and instituted a plan to have Loboto replace Truman's brain with his, using Truman's position to revive Maligula, destroy the Psychonauts and reconquer Grulovia.
The rest of the Psychonauts arrive too late to prevent Maligula's reawakening, which takes them all but Raz and Lili by a hurricane storm. As Lili goes away to find Truman's brain, Raz races back to his family, who figured the truth out as Augustus has regained his lost memories, but they still assist Raz in reaching her and entering her mind. Raz battles Maligula, weakening her until Nona can come out inside, and both work together to push Maligula into the dark depths created by the Astralathe. As Nona is returned to her family and pardoned by the Psychonauts, Truman's brain is returned to his body while Gristol Malik is put in psychoisolation for his crimes, and Raz and the interns graduate and are pronounced junior agents. In a post-credits scene, Raz witnesses Loboto escaping back to Whispering Rock.
- Psychonauts 2 was briefly released on the Xbox store for pre-load on May 5th 2021, but was removed less than an hour later.
- Psychonauts 2 was developed without any development crunch, as Double Fine founder Tim Schafer learned from the severe crunch times on the first game how unsustainable that style of game development is.
- GameInformer's May 2021 issue featured Psychonauts 2 as its cover story, and provided exclusive details about Hollis' Mind.
- Psychonauts 2 was stated by Tim Schafer to have "even more brains than the first game," which included 10 mental words. The game in general seems to have a much larger scope than its predecessor.
- The final line of dialogue to be recorded for Psychonauts 2 was Richard Steven Horvitz as Raz, saying: "I hope Ford dismantles this thing... or Bob turns it into a planter."
- There are a lot more characters with five fingers on each hand in Psychonauts 2, than in the first game. It's possible the reason is that the models in the second game are much more detailed. Still, most of the characters with 4 fingers are recurrent characters.
- There is an artwork gaffe in the intro video to the game, which recaps the events of both Psychonauts and Rhombus of Ruin. It depicts Raz, Coach Oleander, Milla, Sasha, and Ford running to the jet for the rescue mission to find Truman Zanotto. However, at the end of Psychonauts, Ford was briefly put out of commission, and it was Lili - not Ford - who went on the mission to find her father.
- In addition to the callbacks to the preceding Psychonauts and Rhombus of Ruin, Psychonauts 2 has multiple references to prior games worked on by Tim Schafer at both Double Fine and Lucasarts:
- The PSI-King's Sensorium has numerous references to prior Double Fine game Brütal Legend, including and due in part to Helmut Fullbear's voice actor, actor/comedian/musician/songwriter Jack Black, who also voiced that game's protagonist, Eddie Riggs.
- The roulette croupier at the Lady Luctopus Casino says the same French and English lines said by the croupier at Manny's night club in Lucasarts' Grim Fandango.
Concept Art and Promotional Materials