I really enjoyed the character design, the dialogue and the story, but the game-play was very dull.

User Rating: 5 | Psychonauts PC

Razputin (Raz, for short) has ambitions to become a Psychonaut; a group of elite agents who battle with their minds. Raz runs away from his circus and join the Whispering Rock Psychic Summer Camp; a place where kids can train to become a Psychonaut. The instructors detect that Razputin is gifted, hence let him stay until his father comes to pick him up. During this time, someone starts stealing the children's brains, and so is up to Razputin to save the day.

The game quickly reminded me of those old 3D platforming games like Banjo Kazooie. You wander the main hub world (the camp) and find new levels with the abilities you gain as the story progresses. Later on in the game, you find the run-down insane asylum on an island which then becomes the new hub world.

There's plenty of things to collect. All stages have a certain number of mental luggage that can be opened by finding the appropriate tag, a few vaults containing memories on a slide-show, and an abundance of figments. In the over-world, Raz can find PSI cards, which form a PSI Marker when placed in a PSI core (purchased at the camp's store). These cause Raz to earn a rank which unlocks new psychic abilities. Psitanium Arrowheads act as currency and are buried in the real-world or can be found in the levels by smashing objects.

The weird, freaky, character designs reminds me of the aesthetic and colour scheme of the cartoon "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters". The character's personalities are eccentric; very mentally troubled. The style of game usually is aimed at children, but the themes are probably aimed at a slightly older audience.

The levels are found by entering people's minds, so have various aesthetics, themes and level designs.

In terms of platforming, Raz can jump, double-jump, climbs ledges, tightrope walk, and swinging from poles. This suits Raz's upbringing since he was raised in a circus. Additionally, you can punch to attack, and dodge to avoid damage.

There's your psychic abilities too such as marksmanship (shoot energy projectiles), pyrotechnic, levitation, shield, telekinesis, invisibility, confusion grenades, clairvoyance (seeing through a character's eyes). The skills are mapped to 3 buttons meaning you have to keep reassigning them via a menu as needed.

With Levitation, Raz conjures a balloon that he can run on, giving him a faster travelling speed. When you jump, you perform a large, floaty jump. In the air, Raz can hold the balloon to slowly descend. Therefore, this is an important power that you will often use.

I found the game really interesting at first, but once you get about 5 hours in, it soon becomes a bit clunky. There's areas where the camera is badly positioned, objects that you will get stuck on, areas where the level design doesn't guide you etc. For a platforming game, there's too many areas where it lacks platforms etc.

The climax of the game drags on for a long time, and includes all the bad points of the game. The section where you have to protect a character and help him catch a rabbit is so stressful. No matter how quick you reach him, he will take damage and reel off the same few phrases Ad-nauseam.

I really enjoyed the character design, the dialogue and the story, but the game-play was very dull. When I reminisced about the levels, it made me realise how dull the game was. Levels like Gloria's Theatre and Milkman Conspiracy were such a chore to play through, and even the more interesting levels like Waterloo World and Lungfishopolis weren't exactly fun.