For years the Psychonauts have deployed their psychically-armed
operatives all over the world, but this time trouble is brewing
right in their own backyard. Someone is abducting students
from the Psychonaut boot camp - a deranged scientist who only
wants their brains. One cadet - a mysterious and powerful
new arrival named Raz - stands alone against the lunatic.
Raz must develop and unleash an arsenal of paranormal powers,
including telekinesis, firestarting, clairvoyance, and his
most powerful weapon of all - the ability to launch himself
telepathically into someone else's mind, and run around in
the demented amusement park of their imagination. Raz takes
on their inner demons face to face, wrestles with their nightmares,
and digs up their secret memories. Ultimately he must enter
the mind of his worst enemy and destroy his dark plans at
their source, while trying not to lose his sanity in the process...
you play the part of Raz, a young lad who dreams of becoming
a Psychonaut and using his psychic powers for the good of
mankind. You have managed to sneak into the Whispering Rock
Psychic Summer Camp uninvited, and have signed yourself up
to Coach Oleander gruelling physical and mental assault course.
You show promise and are allowed to continue your training,
but you soon discover
that there is more to Whispering Rock than meets the eye.
Why is there a large underground network that houses a number
of laboratories? And what is happening to some of the other
campers? Are their brains being removed?
is a platform game that will keep you playing for weeks -
if not months. And you can almost guarantee that it's a game
that once you've completed you'll be returning to in the future.
In a lot of ways it reminded me of Jak
3 and Sphinx
and the Cursed Mummy. While Psychonauts
very different in style to the aforementioned games, I got
the same excited school boy feeling - as though this was the
first time I'd experienced a game like this. I even took this
home and played into the small hours - something I've not
done for years.
the game is original. Odd looking characters living in a near-earth
world. But as about 50 percent of this game takes place in
other people's minds, this allows the developers to really
create some fantastically trippy environments. Our hero, Raz,
reminded me of a cross between Z, from the animated movie
Antz, and Michael J. Fox. (in 1985's Back to the
idea of the game is to learn various psychic abilities (shooting,
levitating etc.) for a much larger mission later in the game.
You can wander around the camp facilities talking to the other
kids and completing various missions. And, while you are walking
around, it's a good idea to collect as many of the half buried
arrow heads and cards you find. These help you buy equipment
and upgrade your abilities.
camp area is quite large, so it's great to see that the developers
have stuck in a couple of handy ways of zipping from A to
B without having to spend ages walking everywhere. First,
there are some alien creatures that will transport you to
various parts of the game you've already been to, and then
there is the underground train which will transport you swiftly
to important buildings and labs that you will be spending
a lot of time going between.
of the best things about this - the element that insures that
adults and kids will get equal enjoyment out of playing -
is the sense of humour that runs throughout. It's dry, and
biting and it's fun just talking to other campers to see what
crazy thing they are going to come out with.
now for the negative points. There are some quite nasty bugs
that should have been ironed out before this was released
onto the market. These include overlapping dialogue, very
poor lip synch (which in a couple of instances sees characters
mouths move while no dialogue is being spoken. So, there seems
to be some conversation going on between characters, but nothing
is said - even though the camera cuts between the characters
and their mouths move), camera being positioned so that you
can't see what's going on in cut sequences; and, on a of occasionally,
the game crashed for no apparent reason.
as annoying as these problems are, this is still a hugely
enjoyable game. And it's certainly one that will keep everyone
in the family amused for a long time.
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