It may have taken 16 years to get here, but Psychonauts 2 is about to hit, leaving many wondering how the story will build from Psychonauts 1 and Into the Diamond of Ruin. Yes, both of these prequels are important and their stories are worth living, whether or not you play this new sequel. But for those hoping to jump straight into the new version, is the plot important or can you just dive into it? Do you need to play Psychonauts 1 and In the Rhombus of Ruin before Psychonauts 2 to get the most out of it?
Do you need to play Psychonauts 1 before Psychonauts 2
Obviously, any sequel will contain story elements from its predecessor, and to get the most out of the game's story, you should have played Psychonauts before. However, with 16 years between full releases of the platformer, players naturally might not want to go back and play the original Psychonauts or have forgotten most of what happened. So for those gamers, there are really two questions: does Psychonauts 2 rely heavily on the plot of the first game, and does it do a good job of wrapping it up.
The answer to both questions is yes, which makes it easy to recommend Psychonauts 2 to all gamers, even if they have never touched and will never touch the first game in the franchise. As soon as the game starts, you can get a solid recap of what happened to Raz and his friends last time. However, your connection to certain characters will be minimized and you might come across story beats or characters that seem like you should know more but don't. So it's not perfect, but you shouldn't feel like you're getting much less of an experience just playing Psychonauts 2.
So the answer to "do you need to play Psychonauts 1 to understand Psychonauts 2" is a no, with a few caveats. What about the interquel VR?
Do You Need To Play In The Diamond Of Ruin Before Psychonauts 2
This one can again be managed via the in-game recap. However, since it is a short game and Psychonauts 2 jumps right back into the story after its events, we suggest you pick it up and to play it before Psychonauts 2 if you are able. Of course, Psychonauts in the Rhombus of Ruin is a VR-exclusive game, so it can be tricky to play if you don't already have a headset. In this case, you may just need to exit the game summary, which should handle most of the heavy lifting.
So again you don't need to play the predecessor but if you can we would recommend it. All three Psychonauts games are excellent, so you won't be disappointed playing them. However, if you don't have the time, money, or ability to collect them, you may feel fine diving straight into Psychonauts 2.
And that's the answer to the question, should you play Psychonauts 1 and In the Rhombus of Ruin before Psychonauts 2 to get the most out of it?