When the nightmarish platform game Little Nightmares was released in 2017, we were captivated by the unpleasant atmosphere, the surreal surroundings and the terrible enemies. Everything we dreaded most as children was manifested in a little horror adventure that left deep traces in our memories. And we loved every second of Six’s journey through the horrific ship The Maw.
In the forest, no one can hear you screaming
Ahead of the sequel to Little Nightmares 2, developer Tarsier Studios has replaced the rocking ocean environments with more solid outdoor environments. Just like last time, the opening minutes of the game are decisive for what is to come. In a dark forest glade sits a little boy wearing a big coat. On the head a paper bag with only two large holes for each eye. Crowded and waiting for us to take control.
We barely have time to take a few steps before everything becomes bloody serious. A large net trap dangles from a tree, filled with what appear to be dead, human bodies. Nearby are a number of shoes that most likely belonged to the victims.
The further into the seemingly empty forest, the more we witness traces of a long-ended hunt. All we hear now are the rustling of the trees and occasional dripping sound effects. Like part one, Little Nightmares 2 also has a minimalist sound mat where only the most vital things can be heard.
Two is stronger than one
As we struggled past bear traps and climbed over a bunch of empty steel cages, we saw a dilapidated house. The feeling of discomfort becomes stronger when we realize that it is the only way forward. Once inside, the eerie atmosphere changes to become more disgusting. We sneak past huge, disfigured dolls and disgusting kitchen surfaces reminiscent of Resident Evil VII. Eventually we find our way down to a dusty basement, where we free no one less than Six from the first game.
Now the conditions suddenly change as two characters require new ways of thinking. Sometimes it is a matter of giving Six commands to get her to help, other times the segments are similar to pure escorts. Whether we hold Six hand as we sneak past enemies or solve puzzles together, her presence adds a new dynamic to the experience. Now, suddenly, two lives are also at stake.
A hunt for life and death
The rest of the demo puts us both on the run from the eerie house with a dangerous antagonist notch in the heel. He also does not withdraw from shooting at us without warning. The calm pace is now replaced by an adrenaline-inducing cat and rat game. We both hide and divert the hunter’s attention, for example by felling an old and worn tree.
When he finally seems to have us surrounded in a corner, everything seems to be run. Revealing how the scene ends would be a great disservice to all fans who are waiting with excitement. However, we can assure you that this is one of the most charged moments we have experienced during this game year.
The nightmare continues in 2021
The only problem in this context is that we have to wait until the beginning of 2021 to take command of our heroes again. But so far, Little Nightmares 2 seems to offer everything we liked with its predecessor, albeit a little more screwed up.
With more varied environments, tighter control and fixed control points (which was the first game’s big Achilles heel), we thus have every reason to long. Even if it means a couple of extra nights of recurring nightmares.
Little Nightmares 2 will be released on February 11, 2021 for Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC. A version for the next generation of game consoles is also planned.