Developer Double Fine has given Psychonauts 2 an invincibility toggle, and its positive messaging surrounding it is as nice as it is rare.
At long last, the hotly anticipated video game Psychonauts 2 is finally coming out 15 years after the original’s release. This game is the culmination of a successful crowdfunding campaign and fans’ hopes and dreams, bringing to market a title that many feared would never come to fruition. However, a lot of things have changed in the years since the original Psychonauts released, and one of these is the conversation surrounding difficulty and accessibility in video games.
Developer Double Fine has announced that Psychonauts 2 will feature an Invincibility Mode, which will make the game more inclusive to all kinds of players. While some may argue that this takes the challenge out of playing a game, Double Fine has refuted that, reminding everyone that providing more options has no impact on those who choose not to use them — an admirable and refreshing message for the gaming world as a whole.
Psychonauts 2’s Difficulty
Double Fine announced Psychonauts 2‘s in-game toggle for difficulty, with the lowest setting possible literally making the character invincible, via Twitter, saying “If you beat Psychonauts 2 with the invincibility toggle on, you still beat P2.” With this, Double Fine is ensuring that Psychonauts 2 is a game for all ages, skill levels and needs. This will allow even more players to enjoy the game’s world and story. Plus, those who complete the game on a lower difficulty who want more of a challenge can get that from a second playthrough.
But while the invincibility toggle is itself a cool idea, what’s even more refreshing is Double Fine’s messaging around it. As the thread that follows the tweet alludes to, there is a rising sense of elitism in both competitive and single-player games. This aura acts as a form of gatekeeping for certain games and their communities, making them less than enjoyable for certain players. Instead of staying silent or openly encouraging such behavior, Double Fine is making its stance on the matter clear.
Why Psychonauts 2’s Difficulty Toggle Is a Good Thing
Double Fine’s tweet openly mocks the gatekeeping culture surrounding video game difficulty, something that is nice to hear from a developer. This likely stems from how fan-oriented the development of Psychonauts 2 has been. The original game was definitely a cult classic, and this is an opportunity to bring even more fans in. And while Psychonauts has never been considered a “hardcore” game like Dark Souls, allowing players of all ages and skill levels to enjoy it is a good thing.
The developer’s lighthearted tone and positive messaging on the matter is ultimately nice to see. While gaming has become more inclusive and welcoming in some ways, there’s still a long way to go, particularly when it comes to game difficulty. There are still many who shame those who need or want easy modes, viewing them as lesser than those who play with the hardest settings. While the game isn’t out yet, Double Fine has made it clear that Psychonauts 2 is meant to be a game for anyone who want to play it, and that’s an attitude that the industry at large could learn from.
Developed by Double Fine and published by Xbox Game Studios, Psychonauts 2 will release on August 25, 2021, for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and PC.
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