Ahh the day has finally come, fans of Psychonauts and owners of the PSVR are given the gift that is meant to hold them over until the release of Psychonauts 2; and lord knows when that will come out. From the brilliant minds that brought you Broken Age, Grim Fandango, Day of the Tentacle and of course Psychonauts, comes a new VR experience Psychonauts In The Rhombus Of Ruin which brings back the characters we loved in Psychonauts. But this isn’t just a game for fans, but for everyone with interest in another one of Tim Schafer’s creations.
After your short, spoiler free summary to catch you up to speed, you find yourself in a plane with all of your favourite Psychonauts; this where you get your mission debrief which instructs you to save a fellow Psychonauts operative and also where the adventure begins. The story overall is rather long for a VR experience, which was a pleasant surprise as I was expecting it to be a lot shorter rather than a full game. I had played my first half an hour of the game when a title sequence came up, I would have been satisfied if that was the end of the game but that was only the beginning.
The gameplay was the best way to do this sort of puzzle VR experience, where the best action VR gameplay definitely goes to Resident Evil 7. The way you move is unique and fits in well with the Psychonauts series, you switch from brain to brain and therefore point of view to point of view; this is done to avoid motion sickness and it also gives more freedom to this almost ‘on rails’ experience as there are lots to explore through going to each brain. This is also a key part of progression, as some puzzles can only be solved from seeing things from someone else’s eyes.
You are also given powers as you gain control of each person; this allows you to control a device someone is using if you take over their head. The way this works is very similar to I Expect You to Die, you are stuck in position with the ability to drag things towards you; although Psychonauts adds the power to use a ‘Psy-blast’, which sends a bullet of power at wherever you aim it. It is also similar to this game due to the spy theme, and the title sequence is a parody of the James Bond franchise. Despite the game being in VR, it does a wonderful job at combining the PSVR with the point and click genre; it’s nice to see a game do this as it suggest there’ll be more in the future.
The reason I say this is a VR Experience for those who aren’t familiar with Psychonauts, as this game does a pretty good idea with catching you up to speed with who everyone is without spoiling the first game. And if this VR experience tickled your fancy then you can always buy the remastered version of the PS2 classic on the PlayStation store, you’ll likely get the full experience if you have at least a bit of Psychonauts knowledge beforehand but it isn’t essential. It’s just great to see all of the friendly faces and voices back in action.
Overall, Psychonauts In The Rhombus Of Ruin has been one of the best experiences I’ve had in VR as it gives you the opportunity to puzzle solve in a variety of settings, it is worth a play by those even somewhat interested in how I’ve described it. It brings the point and click genre into a whole new light, and is a great light-hearted VR experience which any Psychonauts fan will love. The Psychonauts games are both great and I can’t wait to see what the second one has to offer, Double Fine has done another amazing job for fans and first-timers. It can be a bit tough in large doses motion sickness wise, but don’t like this stop you one bit!
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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