Characters in Psychonauts 2 always talk to me. They make suggestions, make suggestions, and execute strong implication.
I first noticed these lines, known as player nudges, when I was stuck in a platforming puzzle early in the game – at least, I thought it was a platforming puzzle. It turned out to be a “literal use of the blaster power you just picked up, you idiot” puzzle. I realized this when the main character, Raz, helpfully said musingly that he really wanted to “explode” the enemies I was powerless to fight back.
It’s an incident where the game feels smart and premeditated, like it understands the fallacy I’m using and wants to help me.
But at other times, Psychonauts 2The punches to the face drive me crazy. A mid-game boss battle with a bunch of vomiting goats (just…watch the vid. Or not.) Watching almost every character nag me with lines about their performance me when as far as I know, I didn’t do anything wrong.
In the video above, I wanted to explore how those lines made me feel, and I’ve seen hints implemented in other video games, such as No game: False Dimensions, an extremely clever puzzle game that uses both a nudge and a big red hint button that will give players up to three obvious clues.
Check it out, and if you haven’t yet subscribed to Polygon on YouTube, please do!
https://www.polygon.com/videos/22882064/psychonauts-2-player-nudges-hints How video games give you hints