After a long and spasmodic wait we finally got our hands on Little Nightmares 2, and today we want to tell you about it in our completely spoiler-free review.
After the great success of Little Nightmares, the guys from Tarsier Studios return with a bang after 3 years. Little Nightmares 2, to the delight of fans, it is finally available cross-platform. Despite numerous goodies and novelties, this new terrifying adventure takes full hands from its predecessor, taking advantage of the previous experience and improving significantly. Are you curious? Well, without wasting any more time let's dive into this Little Nightmares 2 review together!
Little nightmares and big responsibilities
Before going into the details, a small premise both for those who know Little Nightmares and for those who don't know him, is due. Little Nightmares is an indie franchise developed by Swedish software house Tarsier Studios and distributed by Bandai Namco Entertainment. The first chapter of the series, released in 2017, was received in a decidedly positive way by critics; defined as "A breath of fresh air in the horror video game landscape", LN has gathered hundreds of thousands of fans in a short time. Built from a simple but compelling story, as well as the puzzles that make up the game, Little Nightmares has earned a respectable place in both the indie scene and the horror video game catalog.
The (very simple) structure of the game is that of a classic 2D platformer in which you have to solve puzzles and overcome small stealth sections to progress in the adventure. Structure resumed in full in Little Nightmares 2, but with some additions and changes that we will talk about later. What really makes the difference in LN, and what sets it apart from classic platformers, is its art and narrative direction. Macabre, sinister and grotesque, from the very first minutes we find ourselves immersed in a horror context that takes full advantage of the tradition of the genre, but that has nothing to envy to its predecessors. Will the guys at Tarsier Studios manage to repeat the feat in Little Nightmares 2?
What changes and what doesn't - Little Nightmares 2 review: a wonderful nightmare
Let's start by specifying that Little Nightmares 2 is a completely new adventure, despite the fact that the style of the game remains almost unchanged. In this second chapter we find a whole new protagonist, Mono, busy dreaming of even more terrifying nightmares. To accompany Mono, after a few minutes, we meet an old acquaintance of the fans: Six. Six is the protagonist of the first game, but this time presented without his characteristic yellow raincoat. The first big news is this: while previously Six was forced to work his way through his nightmares alone, this time he will find himself to act as a shoulder to the brave Mono.
The latter has some arrows in his bow that his predecessor did not have. For example, Mono is capable of using axes and blunt objects both as tools to progress, and as weapons to protect himself and his friend from enemies. Besides that, during the game we will find some items like a flashlight or remote control, which go directly to replace Six's lighter in the mechanics. Consequently, compared to the first chapter, here we will find fewer sections "in the dark", but more runaway sequences or purely puzzles.
In addition, as you may have guessed, some small fights have been introduced against some of the monstrosities that we will encounter along the way. The linearity of the game however, it remains unchanged, with a slightly deeper vertical development of the maps but that does not make us scream at the novelty. Finally, a small bonus of hats (purely aesthetic objects) scattered throughout the game world, which once found can be equipped from the pause menu to give a new look to our little hero.
Goosebumps - Little Nightmares 2 Review: A wonderful nightmare
While the structure of Little Nightmares 2 does not vary too much from the first, the same cannot be said in the narrative. If the narration of the first game could be cryptic and inconsistent during the course of the adventure, here we find ourselves in front of it to a small masterpiece. The most suitable comparison that comes to mind is the one with the series Little shivers. As in those comics, Little Nightmares 2 tells a linear story, stirred by some "wtf" moments, with a final twist to the M. Night Shyamalan from standing ovation. Also here, unlike the first chapter, the narrative it is really coherent and well contextualized.
In the first Little Nightmares we find ourselves passing through very different and not very connected environments, making the adventure quite fragmented (albeit beautiful) and unnecessarily cryptic. Here, on the other hand, the team decided to outline the story and environments based on the fears that have unconsciously haunted children's nightmares forever. In fact, during the course of the game we find ourselves being chased by a wicked teacher or by the bullies of the elementary school.
And again, from the school we pass to a gloomy and disturbing hospital, where we will be hunted down by a very menacing doctor. And what child in the world is not afraid of a severe teacher, of bullies or of running into the dentist's knife on duty? Finally, a disturbing deserted city, washed by a perennial rain, acts as a perfect transition between the various sections.
An example of aesthetics - Little Nightmares 2 review: a wonderful nightmare
If the narration is from 10, the same (or almost) we can give to the artistic sector of the game. Speaking of art direction, Little Nightmares 2 diverges subtly but substantially from its predecessor. As already mentioned, the game world in this second chapter it is much more coherent and contextualized compared to the past. Each environment is perfectly managed and orchestrated both in level design and in the choice of creatures that crowd the nightmare. If technically you have chosen to stay in the same vein, the quality of the animations and models, the richness of details and the management of lights and particle effects it's really noteworthy.
To surround a wonderful artistic sector we find an excellent audio sector, mainly composed of a top-notch sound design. The music, also of quality, includes both themes already heard in the first game and unpublished music composed for the occasion. Last but not least, it is clear how the team has indulged itself with references and references to horror culture (and more). In fact, we find very clear references to “The Ring”, o ai più recenti “The Haunting of Hill House” e “The Last of Us”. Very very good.
The nit - Little Nightmares 2 review: a wonderful nightmare
The only negative detail that (alas) we have to talk about in the review, lies in the technical sector. I immediately put my hands on saying that technically, Little Nightmares 2 is almost flawless. The game runs perfectly on any platform, Mono responds well to commands and in the numerous co-op sections the computer AI it always works as it should. The only drawback of the experience, found in the PC version, a small bug that forced us 2 times to restart the game from the last checkpoint. We would like to clarify that the checkpoints in the game are very many and very close to each other, so these small bugs do not affect the final rating of the game experience too much.
Another very small defect, also found in the first chapter, lies in camera positioning, which occasionally causes the player to run into really ridiculous and unexpected deaths. For the rest, as already mentioned, Little Nightmares 2 is statuesque. The game is very solid, interactions work perfectly with any object and enemy, and the various runaway and stealth sections are really well managed.
Time to wake up
Well friends, we have reached the end of this Little Nightmares review and, as always, it's time to take stock. As you may have guessed in the course of this review, we loved the game from the first to the last minute, for a total of around 9 hours overall. The game is artistically flawless, the story is engaging and full of twists and twists, which will not fail to make your skin crawl. The settings are perfect, as are the monsters that haunt the levels. Technically, although the game does not differ too much from its predecessor, it is handled really well with the exception of the small flaws regarding the bugs and the camera that we told you about.
Letting personal emotions talk, it has been a while since I fell in love with a game that much. To think that an indie team has done such a commendable job, especially from an artistic point of view, it's really crazy. The guys at Tarsier Studios have every reason to be proud of the work done, and we have witnessed such an exercise in style. Little Nightmares 2 enters by right among the best indie games never produced, and must necessarily be played by any lover of the cinematic horror genre, or videogame that it is. Absolutely recommended.
The game is available from 11 February 2021 for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X ed S, Android e Microsoft Windows. As always, we greet you, and we invite you to stay connected on techigames for more reviews, guides, news and much more from the world of video games. Bye!9 A truly wonderful nightmare!
Points in favor
- Artistically flawless
- Perfectly organized storytelling
- Lots of news, without losing its identity
- Goodies, references and collectibles
- Great technical sector
- A small bug could hamper the progression
- Slightly tricky camera