Where’s your head at? It’s a question that we could all serve to ask each other a little more in this, the year of Perpetual Anxiety. Indeed, mental health is a topic that videogames have, over the years, become increasingly bolder about addressing. But there was one game that famously showed us the power of getting inside the minds of others a whole 15 years ago. That game, of course, was Psychonauts. Double Fine’s hilarious, and often heartfelt, brain-hopping 3D platformer had a way of sticking in the memory – to the point that the sequel crowdfunded over $3.8 million dollars.
Psychonauts 2 features on the cover of Edge this month, and strangely enough, its premise couldn’t feel more of the moment. We were the very first media to go hands-on with a psychedelic new level, and we’re bringing you all the exclusive details on how Raz’s next adventure is coming along.
We’ve also gone inside the minds of the team at Double Fine – including art director Lisette Titre-Montgomery and Double Fine co-founder Tim Schafer – to figure out what makes a good Psychonauts level tick. A very large Google Doc, set up by Schafer 15 years ago, is one part of it. But elsewhere there’s talk of multiple script passes, algebra, prog-rock jam sessions – even a little bit of Uncharted. And, of course, novelty. The inside of everybody’s head is different, after all.
Naturally, then, we had to bring you something unusual for our Psychonauts 2 cover. The result is a very special glow-in-the-dark treatment that’s positively mesmerising to behold. Draw the curtains, turn off the lights, and take a look for yourself.
E349 is on sale now – and, after a few months of absence due to the ongoing pandemic, we’re finally back on shelves in all good UK shops. The issue is also available to purchase online, and ships worldwide.
When you’re quite finished being hypnotised by that glow-in-the-dark cover, flip the lights back on, then pretend you’re a chicke- erm, we mean, take a look at what else awaits you in E349.
Outside the box
Microsoft’s idea of what the next generation in gaming really means feels diametrically opposed to Sony’s, the next iteration of Xbox is built around how we play games, rather than what we play games on. Game Pass is a key part of it: we take a look at just some of what’s coming to Xbox Series X – and theoretically, beyond – via the subscription service.
After last year’s funding wobble, and then Kickstarter success, 2020 was due to herald the glorious return of arthouse game show A Maze Berlin. And then the pandemic hit. In response, Thorsten S. Wiedemann and his team created A Maze Total Digital, the most innovative event we’ve ever attended; we speak to him about how it all came together.
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