'Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin' bridges story, hits PSVR February 21

Psychonauts
Double Fine Productions

Double Fine Productions announced its upcoming virtual reality experience Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin will release on February 21 for PlayStation VR.

According to a press release, “…players will assume the role of Raz, an intrepid young psychic and fully fledged member of the Psychonauts — an elite group of international psychic secret agents. Gamers will see through Raz’s eyes in first person, using his various psychic powers to affect the world, and solve puzzles.”

Starting directly where the original ended, Raz and pals — Lili, Sasha, Milla, and Coach Oleander — are off to save Truman Zanotto, the Grand Head of the Psychonauts. Their mission will take them to the heart of the Rhombus of Ruin, an oceanic location likened to the mysterious Bermuda Triangle.

The story will take advantage of its VR platform, as players will be forced to use only Raz’s psychic powers to complete the objective. Powers from the first game such as clairvoyance, telekinesis, and pyrokinesis will be at Raz’s disposal.

The original game launched in 2005 for Xbox and PlayStation 2 and a PC port followed in 2006. Although it was well-received critically, it only moved 100,000 copies by the end of 2005. It quickly became a cult hit, but by the end of 2012, total sales had only eclipsed 400,000 copies. In a remarkable turnaround, by the end of 2015, cumulative sales of digital and retail units had surpassed 1.7 million units.

News of the startling sales leap came alongside the announcement of Psychonauts 2 at The 2015 Game Awards. Double Fine setup a crowdfunding campaign on Fig shortly after the reveal. The campaign received more than $3.8 million in contributions, roughly $500,000 more than the stated goal. Those contributions represent a portion of the development cost. Double Fine and an undisclosed external partner will cover the rest of development costs. The sequel doesn’t have a release date, but the Fig campaign has a tentative window of the back half of 2018. The events in Rhombus of Ruin will act as a segue between Psychonauts and Psychonauts 2.

For now, PSVR owners will get to revisit the world of Psychonauts first with Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin. In the meantime, those without PSVR can get nostalgic with the PS2 classic on PS4

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