At its preshow press conference today, Microsoft officially announced Psychonauts, a 3D platformer for the Xbox. The game will be the first project from Double Fine Productions, a studio headed up by former LucasArts designer Tim Schafer. Schafer's previous work includes a number of highly acclaimed adventure games, such as Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, and Maniac Mansion. Though Psychonauts will be a departure from these previous efforts in terms of its gameplay, the game's creative style and unique look give it the same feel as Schafer's other designs.
In the game, players will assume the role of a psychic character whose powers enable him to literally enter and explore the minds of the people he meets. He'll need to use his gifts to brave numerous bizarre challenges, thwart an evil villain, and eventually join the ranks of the Psychonauts, a brigade of psychic superheroes. The brief bit of gameplay footage we saw showed the main character navigating some decidedly strange-looking levels. Exact details on the gameplay are still to come.
Psychonauts is scheduled for a spring 2003 release. For now, check out our first batch of media and stay tuned for more information.