Little Nightmares 2 brings more nightmares, more weird CGI claymation horror, more unsettling and gross noises, and for the first time a hand to hold.
You play as Mono, a small boy with a paper bag on his head, helped by Six, the protagonist from the first game. If that’s reassuring, it probably shouldn’t be, since nothing in the Little Nightmares world is particularly nice. You can hold Six’s hand and lead her places though.
That’s kind of nice, right?
Slightly Larger Nightmares
Little Nightmares 2 allows you to explore the larger Little Nightmares world. You’re no longer restricted within the cramped and confined Maw from the first game. Instead you get wide open fields, houses, and underground tunnels to explore.
Spoiler alert, when you’re a tiny child, it sucks just as much as the Maw did.
Where Little Nightmares used confined spaces to build up tension and make you feel like you were being led into imminent danger, Little Nightmares 2 uses wide open space to make you feel like there’s nowhere safe to hide. That’s not to say that you won’t be hiding and creeping silently, but with so much more variety to your surroundings, you’re often left scrambling to change tactics on the fly. It’s a very effective way to build a feeling of dread, and uneven odds.
As if being a third of the size of the adults in the world wasn’t enough.
As always, Little Nightmares 2 features creepily detailed CGI claymation models that are horrifying in both their detail and design. From Classy Slenderman to Evil Elastigirl, there are a range of new antagonists trying to make Mono and Six’s lives more difficult. Not only do they look awful, but they’re excellently animated to make sure that they hit that primal part of your brain that does not like jittery, and unnatural movements.
It’s a couple of turns past the Uncanny Valley, right into Nightmare Fuel territory.
The audio design is amazing, giving you a range of gross, squishy noises at the perfect time to give you the creeps. Terror creeps in when dull thumping sounds from the next room mean you’re either about to see the Hunter walking about or, just as likely, something banging its head against a wall.
Or someone else’s head. Whichever is worse… it’s definitely that one.
Fight the Night(mares)
Little Nightmares 2 builds on the puzzle/platformer action of the first game. While it does rely a little too heavily on a ‘try and die’ mechanic to solve some puzzles, overall, Little Nightmares 2 brings about interesting puzzles with satisfying solutions.
This time around, however, Mono allows you to use weapons. Weapons that are heavy enough to do damage, but also heavy enough to make sure you’re only able to do slow, calculated swings. In other words, don’t miss, because a weapon really doesn’t make you that much safer.
What it does let you do is search hidden areas for traps, face down some of the smaller bad guys, and even brute force a few obstacles. Having Six as your AI companion also allows for a range of new puzzle solving solutions, like getting up on high ledges, or pulling two levers at once. As an added bonus, Six is actually a very competent companion. She’s even nice enough to point you in the right direction if you’re having a hard time. How considerate!
The New Nightmare
If you enjoyed Little Nightmares, then playing Little Nightmares 2 should be a no brainer. It’s more of the creepy and unsettling horror we’ve come to love/hate, with slightly more refined controls, a few new mechanics, and a rather heartbreaking story.
If you’re new to the franchise, you may experience a little bit of a learning curve, but should be able to pick up and enjoy Little Nightmares 2 easily… As long as you can bring yourself to keep playing, of course.