The first part turned around Six, a little girl in a yellow rain suit, who woke up aboard a ship full of carnivorous monsters. Chased on the heels by monsters big and small, she managed to survive her bad dream and get into trouble again. In Little Nightmares 2 we see Six again, but she is no longer the playable character. This time, that is the equally mysterious Mono. With a paper bag over its head, Mono is as quirky as its tacit predecessor.
On the run as a couple
It clicks immediately between the two and no doubt also helps that they are almost immediately pursued by a giant taxidermist with a shotgun. Little Nightmares 2 knows very quickly what kind of nightmare you have ended up in. At first glance, little has changed in gameplay. Also Mono is not a born fighter, so flight and hide are his main achievements.
Little Nightmares 2 does much of the same thing as its predecessor, but also introduces a lot of new. The variation between the different chapters is much greater. The game takes you to a dark forest and a gigantic ghost town. Gameplay-wise a few things have also changed. The collaboration between Six and Mono is very nice. A cooperative mode might be obvious, but the computer-controlled Six has a dual role as a guide. When you flee, she regularly runs ahead of you to indicate the safe route and gives – without saying a word – subtle hints for solving puzzles.
Short loading times
More successful additions will be made later in the game. For example, the part with a flashlight in the basement of an abandoned hospital is particularly creepy and the game contains moments of genius here and there in which you can finally fight back against your attackers. Little Nightmares is such a game that you don’t really want to reveal too much. You can bet the game has enough surprising twists to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The original already managed to evoke that feeling, but in Little Nightmares 2 everything actually feels better. This is still mainly a cinematic platformer that borrows a little from Limbo and Inside here and there. That is, if Momo gets caught by a monstrous school teacher, the game is over and you can try again from a nearby checkpoint. Those checkpoints are neatly placed, so you hardly ever have to replay large pieces. Also important: the loading times between each failed escape are minimal – quite a difference compared to the first game.
Even the excellent graphic style and brilliant use of light cannot compete with how terribly good this game sounds.
While this game is less frustrating moments than its predecessor, there are still parts that you have to try again five or ten times. As a result, the original tension of a chase is gone. Sometimes it is just unclear what exactly needs to be done in the heat of the battle and you are forced to try the same piece a few times over and over.
It also doesn’t help that Little Nightmares 2 is consciously a bit vague is. There is no mention anywhere in the game and explanations about the controls or how new game elements work are omitted. The result is that not everything is clear, but on the other hand, the game remains mysterious.
What exactly is going on in this nightmare? Don’t expect too many answers to your questions. Little Nightmares 2 happily serves up new villains and lurid moments. No time is wasted on audio logs or diaries explaining the motivations behind your nightmares. This game understands that nothing is stranger and more disturbing than monsters you don’t quite understand.
That arcane is an important part of the game, but even more important is the rock-solid audio. Creaking shelves, stumbling in another room and the squeaky sound of an antique prosthesis add so much to the scary atmosphere that it would be a lot less creepy without this element. Even the excellent graphic style and brilliant use of light cannot compete with how terribly good this game sounds.
But is Little Nightmares 2 also a good horror game? The number of scares is limited and except for the sometimes lurid moments or oppressive atmosphere, there is nothing to worry about for the seasoned horror fan. Yet this sequel also manages to squeeze itself into a unique position. This is horror, but a bit different. Genuinely creepy, but never too scary. Easy to understand, but at the same time not completely fathomable. The first part had that too, but this sequel knows how to match that feeling with ease. It makes this game worthwhile, despite the sporadically annoying moments.
Little Nightmares 2 will be available February 11 for PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The game will get a free update for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X and S later this year.