Article Author :PCGS Date : 19th May 2005 Comments :0
Clairvoyance isn't a power you'll use too often, but it does occasionally come in handy. It allows Raz to see the world from the view of whatever enemy he's targeting. This can sometimes help you to figure out specific puzzles. Marksmanship is Raz's ability to shoot a beam of psychic energy at his enemies. It's basically his long-range weapon. One of the more frequently used abilities is levitation. When using levitation Raz can create a virtual ball of psychic energy and stand on it to either jump to a higher area or roll around on it. He can even pull it above his head to float down to the ground much safer. It's neat to see in action and is one of the more innovative abilities. At any given time, Raz can have three of his abilities equipped for quick use. The others can be easily exchanged through the use of the game's inventory system which also houses all of his items and collectables. Although it would have been much nicer to have the ability to use all of his powers at the same time instead of switching them back and forth.
Throughout these mental worlds you will come across a number of different enemies. There are some enemies specific to certain minds, but the most frequent that can be found in any of the environments include censors and personal demons. The censors roam the psyche of a person's mind stamping out thoughts that don't belong. Obviously Raz doesn't belong in other people's minds, so the censors are always on his case. So no matter where you go chances are you're going to run into some censors, but fortunately they can be stamped out with some quick psychic work or punches. The personal demons are very small creatures that randomly roam the areas. They'll blowup right in your face if they get too close. Another strange enemy is only found in water and is basically a large gooey claw which can only be seen by Raz. Raz's whole family has been cursed by a neighboring circus family that if they go in water they will die instantly.
As far as the technology side goes, Psychonauts displays a very unique and colorful art direction. Some textures and skins may seem a little bland, but the world is vivid and even the smoke is cell-shaded giving the overall game a nice cartoon look. Each character has their own look and is shaped completely differently. While the game does hint at them being humans they certainly don't look like a regular human. Raz himself looks like a small alien child. Either way, though, the awkward character designs really breath some life into this title. The voiceovers for the characters are also exceptionally done well. The only real problem we noticed here was that occasionally some textures would flicker when near the water in certain levels. While not being a huge issue, it's still a noticeable problem nonetheless.
Psychonauts is a welcome breath of fresh air for PC gamers. From a certain standpoint it may look like a childish game, but it's quirky and sometimes creepy style, humorous attitude, and unique characters make it accessible and fun to all ages. It may not offer too much replayability, but going through one time is satisfying enough. Psychonauts is a refreshing blend of action and adventure that shouldn't be missed.