Jamie Knight
Fri, 05/05/2017 - 17:26

Whilst the wait continues for a true sequel to much beloved 2005 platformer Psychonauts. Rhombus of Ruin is a smaller, VR only title.

The game starts literally moments after the original title ends, on board the Psychonauts ship. This opening section acts as both a useful re-introduction the team, and a training ground for how Raz's various PSI-powers work in VR.

It's hard to discuss the story without spoiling it, but your mission begins with the investigation of the missing Psychonaut Grand Head, Truman Zanotto. And the focus of the game switches between each of the Psychonaught crew members, who are intrinsically linked to the larger mystery. For fan's of the original you'll be pleased to hear the same voice actors reprising their roles, and for those who didn't play the original (which is also now available on PS4), the plot is self-contained enough for it not to be much of an issue.

Most importantly, the writing and humour remain on point throughout the entire game, which you can likely wrap up in around 2-3 hours.

What's interesting is how well Raz's PSI-powers map to what would have been traditional point-and-click controls. Whilst you can navigate using teleportation, Raz's clairvoyance ability which allows him to jump into and mind control other beings is frequently used as a mechanism for movement, jumping between jellyfish for example to transverse underwater.

The ability to jump your VR consciousness between characters works incredibly well, and subtle changes to object scale and field of vision do a good job of conveying the dramatic difference between how Raz sees the world, compared to say a mouse.  Objects which appear small and trivial suddenly become towering monoliths.  And many of the game's puzzles are hard to spot (and even harder to solve) until you often look at it from a different perspective.

Unlike Tim Shafer's classic point-and-click title, the game doesn't have a choice of difficulty level. So whilst the puzzles are inventive and fun, none of them particularly difficult to solve which further exacerbates just how short this game can be completed.

If you are looking for 2-3 hours of fun point-and-click style escapades, this is a great little title to pick up. And it's great to see new technology being used to inject new ideas into an old genre. I felt it was worth the £15, which puts it in movie ticket territory. But I've already seen it drop down to less than £10 which is a no-brainer.