Article Author :PCGS Date : 19th May 2005 Comments :0
These days the growing number of WWII shooters and tricked-out import car racing games is making it increasingly difficult to find something truly original and unique. Sure each of these type of games are fun to play and all offer up their own style of gameplay to their respected genre, but there comes a time when we just need a break from it all. What we need is something original to the PC platform and something that can deliver up a humorous atmosphere to break the ice. This is where Psychonauts makes its entrance. Not only is it an action/adventure platformer (which is quite rare on the PC), but its concept and game design is as unique as it gets, making it just what the doctor ordered. Coming out of the mind of Tim Schafer, who is responsible for previous titles Grim Fandango and Full Throttle, Psychonauts is simply a fun and enjoyable experience that no gamer should miss.
The story of Psychonauts takes place at the Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp, a training camp for young psychics. The students are trained on how to use their psychic powers to fight the forces of evil, and if they are talented enough, they can become the ultimate psychic agent: a Psychonaut. Psychonauts fight their battles in the mental arenas of people's brains as they can fix a person's insanity and kill off their inner demons. The camp is designed to train gifted children in this area by using a number of different classes and courses. You play as a newcomer, Razputin or Raz for short, who has actually run away from his circus life and has snuck into the camp with the high ambition of becoming a Psychonaut. It's not too long before they find out that someone is stealing the brains of the students, and Raz is the only one who can stop it.
The game starts out with you arriving at camp and taking a small stroll across the camp grounds. You can talk to any of the other students and get some insight on their backgrounds and personalities. Many of them usually have something funny to say and this is where the humor comes into play. There is always something humourous going on, and most of which can be found within the dialogue of the cutscenes. This really livens up the game and certainly discards the ability for the game to be serious in anyway. Once you have mingled with your peers a little, you can then walk around the environment and explore some more areas. Giving it a sense of free-roaming you can come back to any area of the camp at any given time to explore more areas and find new items that you may need later.
More areas of the camp can be opened right after you get through your instructors training course first. Coach Oleanders training course takes place inside his mind, and you need to get past training in order to advance. Once past training, the whole camp is then open for your exploration and the main story will continue on from there. The entire camp itself is rather large, and there are many different areas to explore. In a true platformer tradition, there are also many different items that can be collected which gain you new items later on.