Little Nightmares 2 can be easily recommended as a good platformer and as a confusing, but still entertaining mystical story about dreams and nightmares. Its main heroes look like characters from slots you can play with nationalcasino.com/en_ca/promotions. Yet, it is much more surprising that this game can be just recommended as a horror. A truly scary one – frightening not with screamers, but with creepy images, as if generated by someone’s deeply sick mind.
The first part of Little Nightmares is also formally a horror, but despite the creepy creature images, being in its world is not that scary. Uncomfortable, yes, but hardly scary.
Although Six appears in the new game, the protagonist here is different. It’s a boy named Mono, wearing a paper bag on his head with slits for eyes. The setting has also changed. It’s not a creepy cannibal restaurant in the middle of the sea, but a crumbling nameless city where it’s raining and dark all the time.
As in the first part, you have to overcome five locations, each of them has its own theme and its own set of dangers and enemies. For example, in the forest, where the game starts, you’ll be surrounded by traps and a faceless hunter with a huge gun, and when you get out of the forest, you’ll find yourself in a nightmarish school, where Mono and Six have to escape from a completely demonic teacher and a whole brood of her empty-headed students.
Little Nightmares 2 is not the same as the first one because Mono occasionally hits small enemies with a hammer and wrench, and smashes fragile boards with a small axe.
Yet, this is not a key element, and it’s not much of a combat system either. At the center of the process – still the spatial puzzles and, in fact, the game itself, tied to a realistic physical model. It is not Portal, but to jump over the bookshelves, you have to feel your character’s weight and understand how your inertia will work in certain cases.
At the same time in Little Nightmares 2, there are much more sensible and logical puzzles – in contrast to the Inside game, where the developers did not understand the most important elements of their own gameplay. Tarsier, on the other hand, knows well what clues should be left for the player to come up with a solution.
The studio understands that the gameplay in its platformer can hardly be called perfect. Mono sometimes can’t grasp the ledge even though you seem to have pressed the right button, and the harsh timings during chases is a separate story altogether. Just because Tarsier understands all of this, she’s spread out the checkpoints as generously as she can.
For this reason, barely noticeable gameplay flaws are not annoying and are forgotten instantly, not even trying to distract from the story. It makes you want to play just because of it. At times it is scary to play, but it is extremely difficult to turn off and be distracted by something else.
All in all, Little Nightmares 2 is an excellent game. It’s a dark, interactive tale full of spooky adventures and nightmarish monsters. It looks great and plays beautifully, so it can easily be recommended to almost anyone. Even if you think buying such a short game for that kind of money is just an excessive luxury, don’t discount it completely. Try it on PC or wait for some sale, you won’t regret it.