Hello Neighbor Review: Stay away from the neighbor!

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Steven L. Ken
@stevenlken
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More than a year after the publication of the first alpha that had intrigued gamers from all over the world, Hello Neighbor finally comes out in its full version. Will he have been able to meet the expectations we placed in him? Let's find out in the full review

Hello Neighbor is the classic video game that has been discussed since the very first versions produced, even before seeing it in its final version. Accomplices a decidedly customized technical sector, excellent insights into artificial intelligence and a wide success (as happens more and more frequently) on the YouTube, has been able to attract attention to itself despite its decidedly indie nature. We therefore had a very positive approach towards this title but .. he managed to destroy it in the blink of an eye.



The neighbor is a psychopath but who are we?

The opening words of the videogame, which on paper is defined as a horror stealth, it is as simple as ever. We play as a little boy playing with the ball near the house we just moved into. At one point we hear heartbreaking screams inside the house opposite ours. We can not pretend nothing has happened and we spy from the windows, discovering our gruff neighbor intent on mistreating someone and locking him up in the basement.

Seeking help, calling whoever is responsible would have been too simple at this point, but no, it's up to us to go against any law and sneak into our neighbor's apartment to find out what's going on. Unfortunately it won't be that simple, the neighbor is psychopathic but certainly not stupid. He will make life difficult for us in every way, planning traps and chasing us himself to avoid letting us discover the truth.



The pleasure of discovering a non-existent story

Hello Neighbor is structured in three acts. This subdivision has a purely gameplay value as, in every act, we will find ourselves having to face a house that is always different, with different puzzles and traps. This differentiation is actually very much appreciated, the desire to know what awaits us in the different houses is the only thing that has pushed us to move forward. And it's really the only one, you don't have to expect a plot, a hint of characterization of the characters, you won't understand anything from start to finish. The only certainty is that your neighbor is your worst nightmare and you will have to face him in three different stages of your life (as a child, as a boy and as an adult).

The formula of gameplay it's really very simple, you can only run, jump, grab and use objects through a first person view. Your best weapon will be your wits, or maybe not.

If only there was some fun in all this frustration ..

We said that you have to rely on your wits but in reality you will soon realize that it is therethe biggest lie that this game wants us to believe. Most of the puzzles are poorly structured, with solutions bordering on the thinkable. We found ourselves having to use technical bugs in our favor to solve some puzzles.

Moreover, the artificial intelligence of our neighbor is really suffocating and badly calibrated, he will be able to see you even through the walls and run to catch you immediately. What happens when it catches us? Absolutely nothing, we are simply catapulted out of the house and we will have to repeat the same actions to get back to where we were. The whole videogame therefore translates into a kind of “trial and error” how boring and stressful. The hours of play are therefore a direct consequence of your luck, ranging from almost 2 to well over 10.



The art sector is a pleasant surprise, unfortunately supported by a poorly optimized game engine

The graphic style of Hello Neighbor turns out to be really appreciable and definitely inspired. The graphics cartoon of the videogame makes every element visible on the screen credible but, unfortunately, totally eliminates the horror sensation that the developers would have wanted to instill in us. Despite the excellent insights into the style, the poorly optimized game engine tends to overshadow the good things. The problem is not in the performance because, in fact, the game runs very smoothly in every situation.

In particular, what most leaves you incredulous is the inaccurate game physics. We just tell you that we were able to finish the second act in an instant thanks to a bad collision by a box. Hopping on a simple box literally catapulted us out of the entire play area, firing the trigger that allowed us to get through the act without having to go through all the puzzles. To be fair, the physics of the game have been partially improved with a patch one week after release but there is still an element on which to rely little.


On the other hand, the audio compartment composed of a set of verses spoken by our neighbor and a couple of simple melodies (albeit apt and musically appreciable) audible in a few phases of the game.


Hello Neighbor: Stay away from the neighbor!

In conclusion, we feel we do not advise you to play Hello Neighbor. Surely you have to stay away from it if you are looking for a horror, especially if you like linearity and hate having to collide with seemingly unsolvable bugs and puzzles. Instead, it is the game for you if you love that feeling of frustration that only some video games are able to instill. Personally, from Hello Neighbor, I will remember what could have been and was not.

Furthermore, the high price of 27,99€ puts it in a price range to which it is impossible to recommend it.  

Hello Neighbor It is available for PC ed XboxOne and, in the last few hours, it has also been announced for Nintendo Switch.

5.5 NOT RECOMMENDED!

Points in favor

  • Great insights ..
  • Clean and appreciable graphics

Points against

  • .. badly realized
  • Poorly optimized game engine
  • Frustrating and without a texture
  • Very high price
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