Dark creepy corridors, Slender Man figures, ambient sounds and a constant underlay of gut-wrenching music. Be ready for all this and more in the accurately named, Little Nightmares 2.
In this sequel, you take on the role of Mono, as he and our protagonist from the original (Six), sneak through the horrifying world of The Mew, for what seems to be a take on society in the 1980s. Escapism is the main theme in this game as conveyed in this claustrophobic city.
Pick On Someone Your Own Size
Themed enemies await as you travel through each part of the city. Each as sadistic as the last, although I am not ashamed to admit the school teacher nearly made me put my switch down and forget the game ever existed. Finding a way to escape or possibly defeat these bone-chilling monsters is what lured me back in. That and wanting to know what happens to our two lost souls.
In the previous title stealth was the name of the game, and the only way to get passed these creatures. This time the ability to pick up and swing various weapons helps you during crucial moments. This mechanic may not save you against any big threats but saves you whilst being swamped by porcelain dolls or crawling limbs.
Although seeing these enemies pummelled with an axe or pipe may be satisfying, due to the 2D fixed camera angle, it can be frustrating blindly swinging in the direction of the enemy and consistently missing as the enemy is much further than you thought. In addition, weapons do take away a bit of suspense. Being able to square up and whack oncoming attackers makes you feel less hopeless than in the first. Not to worry though, this is immediately taken away when it comes to the main bosses.
When asked how the main bosses fit into the world the creators replied with, ‘it's the base instinct of people, so we take this base instinct and pull it in different directions,’ and it's clear to see what they mean when playing. Especially with the teacher. Roaming around the classroom with the teacher following your every move is something most people are accustomed to. Heightening this, making the teacher follow every nook and cranny you explore creates an eerily realistic foe.
Come With Me If You Want to Live
Little Nightmares 2 see the addition of a second character by your side throughout this traumatising experience. For those of you that have played the first you remember your companion as Six or ‘The Girl in the Yellow Coat.’
Six follows you pretty much everywhere you go and sometimes maps the way for you. I cannot tell you the number of times I repeatedly died trying to find a way to hide from whatever was attacking me only to find that six was indicating a clear path for me all along. Her help is much needed during parts of your journey. Six’s help doesn’t stop there. Some Puzzles wouldn’t be achievable without six and she is clearly there to minimise the rinse and repeat aspect of the game. Although the checkpoints are never too far away from where you last died.
In a similar vein as the weapons, Six’s help may be appreciated but doesn’t contribute all that much. The puzzles are simple enough to piece together, and having someone there alongside you takes that lonesome feeling out of the equation making you panic less. Unravel 2 is the perfect example of what could have been done for this game. Apart from the difference in genres the puzzle-solving is pretty similar just used a lot more and more thought-provoking in Unravel. Unravel 2 also supports Co-op, which is something that Little Nightmares 2 could have thrived on.
All that being said I do like the direction they are going with it, it just needs a tad more to make it a greater contribution to the game.
All horror games use music to capture their audience. Creating suspense that usually ends up being the biggest reason you jump out of your skin! This game perfectly draws you in. Your heart will be constantly racing and have you guessing so that the next scare comes completely out of the blue. There is a slight indication before a jump scare, but not enough for you to prepare yourself.
The next layer is the sound effects. Every character has their own specific sounds that at moments, are all you can hear. Sneaking past the doctor whilst the only sound that can be heard is him sawing through some flesh is a particularly spine-tingling moment. You can never see any of the gruesome moments that can be heard. And I think there is a lot to say of a game that creates an atmosphere like this, without being in your face gory.
Whether in handheld mode or docked this game is graphically impressive. The detail that has been added makes the world as dark, dreary and crisp as the game itself. I’m not entirely sure whether the washed out, blurry background effect is the game or a slight pronunciation problem but nonetheless, it adds to the nightmare surroundings.
Whilst there may not be much added from its predecessor, Taiser Studios manage to recreate the perfect formula from the first entry.
If like me, horror games are not your thing, then I urge you to strap yourself in and battle through. This is so much more than a jump scare.
Horror games can either be a traumatising experience, sometimes taking it one step too far (for me personally) or can end up being unintentionally funny. Little Nightmares 2 is a game that nails this genre.