Little Nightmares 2 First Impressions (PS4/Switch)
A sneak peak before diving into the world of Little Nightmares again
Available on: PC/Consoles
Genre: Atmospheric Horror Adventure
Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment
Back when I saw Little Nightmares releasing, it instantly caught my eye. Not only was it horror, where I will certainly end up playing it at midnight, but it was unique as you control a child trapped in a world where everything is significantly larger than her. Though, it wouldn’t be until another two years until I got around to buying it and playing it (and somehow avoiding any spoilers). Apart from having some perspective issues, I ended up loving it as traverse the tense world presented in Little Nightmares. I wanted to know more about the world and the characters. Though there was only the little and hidden details to expand the world and the antagonists, the unfinished comic that was meant to go beside the first game, and the mobile game to take in (though at the time, I did not have a phone that would be able to play it). Well, not counting the theories made by the community. Well, until we got the announcement that a second game was indeed coming out.
With Little Nightmares 2 release coming in hot, a demo was made available for those interested and can’t wait to dive into it. The demo takes place at, what I’m assuming, to be the beginning of the game where we see our main character, named Mono, having a dream about a strange door at the end of a blue-lit hallway. A door with an eye looking downward. But when we get close enough to see the details, Mono wakes up in front of a tv with static. As we already know the static TVs will play a part in the gameplay and a main staple of the main antagonist, it’s safe to assume Mono traveled through it to get to where he is now, whether intentional or not. It turns off right as Mono awakens and as the player takes control, we find ourselves in a forest. Though, as we get further in, it’s clear that we’re not the only ones here. There’s traps laid out, some not triggered yet with others having something in their clutches, or almost in some cases. Here, we see how we’ll be getting environmental puzzles like before, where you’ll be solving a way to continue on your journey. None of these seem that hard, just noticing what’s around you. As well as figuring out how to get down high places without falling to your death. You’ll also have to try and dodge traps laying around, or figure out how to trigger them so you don’t have to worry.
Sooner or later, you arrive at a cabin, with food laid on the table and an eerie song being played somewhere in the cabin. Following the sound, we come across another child, which while not obvious, is Six without her signature yellow raincoat. Locked within the room, you have to find a way to get her out and all the sewing material here isn’t strong enough. While you scare Six, she eventually sees working with you beneficial as you both work together to get out of the cabin. We also run into The Hunter where he chases you two, shooting at you with precision unless you figure out a way to avoid it, and trying to not get spotted as he guards the only exit that you can take.
While we only got a small snippet of gameplay with Six to see how her AI is, it seems like it was programmed well. When you need help with moving heavy objects or get up a place that’s too high for you to reach the ledge, she comes along to help. She may even help guide you to where you need to go and she does get into position to help you up high places. Once you have a needed object to complete a puzzle, she even goes straight to picking it up, getting it ready, and detects when you’re right there for her to push the lever. She also does her best at staying out of sight from The Hunter, though you can still hold her hand. All the times I got caught, it was because I was in The Hunter’s light and not because of Six stupidly walking in front of him.
If you decide to explore an extra room in the cabin, you will also find a hat. It looks like hats/masks will be a collectible in Little Nightmares 2 compared to needing to buy them or for breaking all the statues in the first game.
The atmosphere Little Nightmares 2 gives off was absolutely perfect. Coupled with the creepy environment of the forest and the cabin, the ambient noises you’ll mostly be hearing as well as your own footsteps sets out for a tense atmosphere. Making any other sound, like the sharp clunk of a bear trap closing or something falling stand out. Or even the strange noises that must be coming from the area’s antagonist. And the rare moment where you do get music matches as it makes you dread what could be making it. Once you get inside the cabin, it brings back how utterly creepy it was in the first game as well as letting you see a snapshot on who lives here. With The Hunter in particular, you see how he has an interest in taxidermy, the many pelts he has piling up, how he skins the animals with his bare hands as you hear it rip and rip, and how either he’s lonely or killed other adults as he has some strewn about (which also act as a scare) stuffed. Pretending their alive eating or dozing off their their chair.
In terms of whether it’s worth picking this up for your Switch, I’d say go for it. It looks absolutely breathtaking on the Switch and plays great. I didn’t notice or feel like the demos for these two consoles played or felt any differently. Though, it does look a tad blurry if you’re playing on handheld, so you may want to just play this in TV Mode.
Before Little Nightmares 2 releases on the 11th, there has been a tie-in comic being produced that takes place a month before the events of the second game. As of writing, 4 out of 6 episodes are available under the mobile app called Little Nightmares Comics, with the last two episodes I’m sure will be releasing before the game does. After playing the demo, I don’t believe reading the comics are needed. They are more to give you more lore and what happened before you got there. The most it reveals story-wise is how Six was captured by The Hunter, with the other episodes focusing on other children. Nonetheless, they are interesting and I do recommend checking them out. Alongside the nice art style, it also takes advantage of it being on mobile and adds in what I believe is called parallax scrolling where the background moves slightly as you scroll or tilt your phone around while the foreground stays still or slightly moves along with it to match the new perspective. It only takes a minute or two to read each chapter and the app is free.
While I was already planning on picking Little Nightmares 2 up, this demo strengthened my need to find out what happens, going through the other areas this game will feature, and trying to escape the various antagonists all wrapped in this tense atmosphere. If there was any worries that the atmosphere wouldn’t be carried over from the first game, this demo surely squashed them.