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Psychonauts 2: How Double Fine Cooked Up Its Most Unexpected Level - Art of the Level

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When you think of Psychonauts, you may envision large areas with quirky enemies, difficult platforming feats, and special abilities. Psychonauts 2 is full of brilliantly designed levels that make smart use of all these features, but Compton's Cookoff, the second full 'brain' world in Psychonauts 2, is unlike anything that has preceded it - both within the game itself, and platformers in general. It trades Psychonauts' signature sprawling psychedelic design for forensic attention to detail, while traces of the brain owner's intense psychological conflict shape almost every aspect of the stage. Psychonauts 2 has no shortage of levels built around addressing key issues, but Compton's Cookoff stands out as an expertly realized exercise in combining unique gameplay with thoughtful, thematic storytelling - even if some of it happened by accident.

To find out more about how it came together, and the changes it underwent during development, IGN picked the brains of members of the Double Fine development team to break down how such a hearty, memorable meal of a level came to life. This is Art of the Level.

This video was originally published on July 8, 2022 on IGN Games.

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