Few games have left behind legacy that’s as long-lasting as Psychonauts, Double Fine’s 2005 literal mind-trip of a platformer. So we were incredibly excited when gaming legend Tim Schafer arrived at our offices to give us an exclusive sneak peek at the Psychonauts 2 legal screen. But it wasn’t until he booted up that series of disclaimers that it really hit us: One of the greatest platformer series of all time is coming back, and it has a screen of legal text to fully indemnify it against threats in court.
Gamers are going to need months to unpack everything teased in that black five-second screen of company logos and legalese. But without a question, we left that demo feeling very, very impressed.
Why? Well, to start off, let’s address the elephant in the room: Yes, Psychonauts 2 will still be a registered trademark of Double Fine Productions. This reveal has been anticipated since the game’s announcement in late 2015, but our jaw still hit the floor when we finally saw it confirmed. And if you were one of the diehard fans wondering whether all other trademarks, logos, and copyrights are the property of their respective owners, then boy oh boy, are you in for a treat.
Let’s just say, any self-respecting gamer is going to get chills the moment they see the words “all related characters, names, and distinctive likenesses thereof are the exclusive property of Double Fine Productions” fade onto their screen.
What has always made Schafer such a gaming legend, though, is his meticulous attention to detail, and our five-second hands-on with the screen really showed that in spades. You can see sly nods to the original Psychonauts in the copyright filing. There’s a confirmation of a fan theory that the sequel would take place in the Unreal 4 engine. Plus, you can see a few clues as to whether any resemblance of characters to individuals living or dead is unintentional.
Even more impressive is just how crisp and responsive this legal screen felt. All it takes is a tap of the X button, and the legal disclaimers immediately disappear. Sure, this might just be a beta, but if those five seconds are any indication of the final game, it’s not a stretch to predict that Psychonauts 2 might be one of the games of 2019.
Obviously, we’ll be digging deeper into our hands-on in the coming days. But we can already say it was well worth the substantial amount of time and money it took to fly Tim Schafer across the country, set him up in a nice hotel, and bring him to our office to get this incredible peek into the legal disclaimers created by one of gaming’s most singularly inventive minds.