Basic Braining Episode 2: Psychic Powers

Hi folks! Heather here and I’m very excited to bring you another episode of “Basic Braining,” our preview series for Psychonauts 2 offering a sneak peek into all kinds of different aspects of the game. We started with some characters—the new Psychonauts interns specifically—but that didn’t leave a lot of time to chat about Raz. Well, today it’s all about Raz and what he can do, as we break down a little more about his various powers.

Fans of the original will be glad to know that Raz keeps the majority of his old powers for Psychonauts 2. This isn’t some Metroid situation (even though, make no mistake, Metroid rules) where you have to relearn everything. By the end of the first level, you’ll have access to tons of bread and butter abilities including PSI-Blast, Levitation, Pyrokinesis, and Telekinesis. That means zapping enemies, rolling down intense ramps on your lev-ball, and burning enemies to a crisp.Shortly after that, once players arrive at the hub, you’ll have access to Clairvoyance. This ability is frankly my favorite since it allows you to see how other characters view the world and what they think of Raz. Most characters have a unique perception of Razputin and it will even change over the course of the story. These are the familiar powers you’ll get to play with early on. The only catch is that in adding some new powers, we got rid of some old ones. Goodbye Confusion Grenades and Invisibility. We will miss you, except for the fact that you make us think of all those hard times in Meat Circus.

To compensate, Raz will learn three new abilities in Psychonauts 2. We’ve revealed them bit by bit but if you’ve missed out on the details, here they are:

Mental Connection - Mental Connection or “MConn” as we sometimes call it is an ability with a lot of uses. On a basic level it can be used as a navigation tool similar to a grappling hook, allowing Raz to leap to thought bubbles and nodes inside peoples’ minds. In combat, it can allow you to close the gap with enemies by either pulling you to them or dragging small baddies to you. But Mental Connection is also a puzzle solving tool, particularly in the level it is introduced in. By connecting different thoughts, you can change what people think and doing that will alter the mental landscape you’re in. This will be essential to early game progression!

Time Bubble - What can I say about Time Bubble except that it’s really dang cool. It’s a localized burst of perception-shifting psychic energy that affects the speed of whatever it connects with. Is a platform spinning too safely to stand on normally? Do you need to freeze something in place to create a bridge across a gap? Time Bubble has you covered. In combat, it’s used to slow enemies down. It is particularly good against Panic Attacks, a new enemy that moves incredibly fast and can fire speedy projectiles. If you ever find a combat scenario difficult, I highly recommend using Time Bubble to even the odds.

Projection - Projection is a silly one. It allows Raz to summon a sketchy copy of himself called an “archetype” that can be used to solve certain puzzles. A lot of this revolves around the archetype’s 2-D nature. It can slip through bars or mail slots on doors to unlock new paths to supply chests or other hidden areas. In combat, it mostly acts as a decoy. This is another fun one to use if you find there’s a lot of baddies beating you up; you can just send out your double to distract them while you get in some free hits.

All of these abilities can be upgraded in a variety of ways. We have another video to outline how that all works, but as you progress through the game you’ll have ways to customize your favorite powers and boost their efficiency. A fully leveled up Pyrokinesis blast isn’t some piddling little popping puff of fire; it’s a huge area attack around Raz that… well, I mean I don’t have good words for explaining how big the attack is. Mondo big? Mega big? It’s big! Upgrading Mental Connection can unlock new pathways through minds, while using some other augments and ability adjustment items can turn your abilities into sillier things. You can have a Time Bubble that speeds things up, telekinesis that pets animals, or a rainbow colored PSI-Punch. Look forward to more details in a forthcoming episode of “Basic Braining.”For now? Familiarize yourself with these powers, Cadets! Because they’re gonna be a lot of fun to use once the game launches on the 25th!