Tip: Do you know your Psychonauts characters? We have a comprehensive gallery, complete with screenshots, right here. It's just what the doctor ordered.
What is to be a glorious summer of Psychonauts content updates begins with the addition of the w.i.p. enemies section, detailing the game's many foes.
Ryan pulls the venerable Tim Schafer away from the excitement of Psychonauts' impending release for a few seconds, and asks him three brief (read: long) questions about the game and himself.
Article: Looking into the future > Page 1.
During Psychonauts' many years of development, I have often sat down with a hot cup of tea and used the ever-popular chat medium that is IRC to discuss the incoming bombshell of brilliance that is Psychonauts with fellow gamers. I love to talk about things that excite me, it helps me to tone down my quivering hands. One thing that I have noted to be common with practically all of these conversations is being asked one question in particular. "What the fluff is Psychonauts?".

And so, I spend a good few minutes which are selflessly chopped out of my highly meticulous schedule () explaining the hybrid of happiness and joy that is Psychonauts. Words such as "awesome", "beautiful" and "stupendous" are used. Once I've finished reading off words which relate to "very good" from the thesaurus, I then move onto describing what exactly sets Psychonauts apart from other platform/action games that're doing the rounds. What gives Psychonauts its meaning.

The essence of the game is fairly simple. It is a 3D platforming game, the kind of thing demonstrated by past giants such as Mario 64, or the slightly more niche, Banjo-Kazooie. You run around, you kill enemies, and you solve basic puzzles which are carefully structured to not completely boggle your average player, but still provide a reasonable amount of thinking or trial/error to complete. There are also, of course, dozens upon dozens of pick-ups to collect throughout the game.

That's not all though by any stretch of the imagination. Tim Schafer, the man responsible for Psychonauts' realisation, has a long history of creating top-notch adventure games. Ranging from the wacky Day of the Tentacle, to the more serious Full Throttle, to the afterlife adventures of Grim Fandango, he has a huge range of experience in the genre. It will come as no surprise to hear that Psychonauts will also inherit a lot of the adventure genre's gameplay.

Sporting an extremely immersive world, stacks of memorable, interactive characters each with their own speech trees, and a gripping, humour-driven storyline that will extract laughs from even the stoniest of stones, Psychonauts has all the good elements of an adventure game all tucked up inside a platformer.

One of the most distinctive things about Psychonauts is the easiest thing that there is to judge in today's gaming community -- its graphics. Whilst Psychonauts doesn't boast treble-enhanced normal mapping with per-half-pixel lighting and ultra high dynamic range lighting, it does have some of the best art direction around sturdily supporting it. Whilst Psychonauts' action rendering is no laughing matter, it's the way that it's put together which utterly grips your eyes by their roots and doesn't let go.

Every single square inch of the game is packed chock-full of artistic splendor. Ranging from the dozens of individually drawn little hearts on the Black Velvet level's floors, to the miniature battlefield created in the mind of a certain Napoleon wannabe, to the incredible and disturbed character design, Psychonauts never fails to please the eye in a way that hasn't been accomplished since Emma Watson was allowed a part in the Harry Potter movies (as a certain G-man would have you believe).

In all seriousness though, Psychonauts really does look astounding. In most cases when I'm browsing through my concerningly large screenshots collection, I have to resist the temptation to do it one-handed. And just like with Tim's previous games, the sheer brilliance of the art direction will give the game an almost timeless visual coat, rather than becoming dated and outcasted by the gaming communtity within a matter of months like the other 98% of the current gaming market.


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