Tarsier Studios are back once more with the highly anticipated sequel to Little Nightmares. In Little Nightmares 2, this time rather than playing as the “protagonist” Six, we play as a new character called Mono. However Six is back, but this time she is an AI controlled character who will accompany you for the vast majority of Little Nightmares 2’s short but memorable campaign.
Firstly I must address the elephant in my personal room. I hate AI companions. Resident Evil 4 is one of my favourite games in the Resi series, but I hate the sections where you have to babysit Ashley and don’t even get me started on Sheva from Resident Evil 5! So as you can imagine when I learned that Little Nightmares 2 would have Six as an AI companion that would accompany you during the campaign, I was somewhat concerned. Thankfully however my concerns were soon forgotten.
At least from my own personal experience, Six is one of the best AI companions that I’ve encountered. From the best of my memory I cannot remember a single time when I got frustrated with her. The only time that I got frustrated in Little Nightmares 2 was from my own fruition. Despite what happened with Six in the first game, she was not only a companion that I wanted to keep safe but she was also a companion that more than served its purpose. She felt like an actual companion and not an AI that you had to put up with. So thank you Tarsier Studios for developing one of the best AI companions that I’ve ever played with.
So now that my pet hate is out of the way, how good is Little Nightmares 2? In a nutshell it’s really good, full of memorable moments similar to the first game. Speaking of which, the sequel is still very similar to the first game and that’s not a bad thing. If Tarsier Studios would have changed too much in the sequel, the game would have lost some of its identity and the reason that perhaps so many fans loved this series to begin with.
Little Nightmares 2 is crammed with fantastic side-scrolling gameplay, puzzles that will make you scratch your noggin once more from time to time and a soundtrack so good that it’s playing in my head right now as I write this review. However Little Nightmares 2 among a few other things, does implement a standout mechanic, at least for this particular series and that is combat. The first game from what I can remember was combat free and the only way in which Six survived was escaping the horrors that haunted her.
Don’t be concerned if you’re worried that Little Nightmares 2 is a combat-fest of gameplay action, because it’s not. There are only certain sections of the game where combat is implemented and it’s introduced in a way that makes it feel a necessary evolution for the series. Without giving too much away the enemies in which Mono is forced to attack are pretty much on his level and there’s no way that he’ll be able to fight the main monsters of Little Nightmares 2 which very much helps to maintain the fear of needing to escape from its hell.
Now let’s get on to the monsters of Little Nightmares 2 shall we? In the original game other than certain story beats, the monsters of 2017’s Little Nightmares were some of the most disturbing and haunting creatures that I’ve ever experienced in a horror game and this is coming from someone that loves Silent Hill. You may have seen some of the monsters already in Little Nightmares 2 whether it’s via gameplay trailers or the playable demo.
I don’t and won’t give anything away here but my god, some of the monsters in Little Nightmares 2 are scarier than in the original game. Of course certain creatures will creep you out more than others but for me personally, the teacher from the school levels is straight from the book of nightmares. I refer to her as the “Ms. Wind Your Neck In” and even my wife who was briefly watching me play Little Nightmares 2 said “what the hell are you playing? She’s horrible” when referring to the teacher.
As I alluded to before, Little Nightmares 2 doesn’t change too much from the original and it doesn’t have too. It takes what works from the first game, brings it over to the sequel and makes subtle and necessary changes. However as great as Little Nightmares 2 is, it’s not perfect but no game truly is. I don’t know if it’s because I’m used to the first game but I flew through the sequel far easier this time round. If my memory serves me correctly, I felt more challenged from the puzzles in the first game as well as the three pieces of DLC that followed.
I also think it depends on your perspective but while the creatures may or may not be scarier than before, their encounters in the sequel didn’t feel quite as challenging. Sure I died a few times when encountering some of the main monsters but once I had died a couple of times by their hand, it was pretty much plain sailing from there on. If anything I died more often from my own fault such as a mistimed jump or running in the wrong direction. Don’t get me wrong, these issues are more nitpicks than anything else as Little Nightmares 2 is just about every bit as good as the first game.
All in all, Little Nightmares 2 is a fantastic horror game. Short lived but fantastic nonetheless. It’s a memorable game from start to finish that will keep you hooked throughout which gives you that feeling of playing just a few more minutes. The gameplay is great, the game looks stunning, it has a haunting soundtrack and some downright horrible monsters that you won’t be forgetting in a hurry.
Tarsier Studios have created yet another classic which will once again go down as one of my favourite horrors of its generation. We may only be a couple of months into 2021 but Little Nightmares 2 has already started off the year with a bang. Little Nightmares 2 is made up of creatures that would even keep the worst of demons up at night, waking up in cold sweats of terror too afraid to sleep alone in the dark.