Little Nightmares II - Review
Tarsier studio continues to develop its little nightmare franchise, releasing all new projects that become food for fans of game theories. And Little Nightmare II will be no exception.
The events of the sequel unfold in completely new locations. The main character named Mono wakes up in the Forest after a nightmare in which he tries to open the door with the symbol of the eye. As he progresses, he saves the Sixth, who after the finale of the first part was captured by the Hunter. Joining forces, the children must get to the Pale City, where there is a Signal tower that zombies the locals.
The Little Nightmares universe remains an extremely surreal place in which much of the story is fed through the environment. In the second part, this is especially felt.
The concept of levels-dioramas has not gone away, but the locations have grown not only in breadth, but also in depth. At the same time, the developers constantly beat various topics. For example, the Forest makes you think about Resident Evil VII - everywhere is dirt, decomposing meat and other sewage. On the second level, the characters enter a School where a nightmarish Teacher with a long neck tyrannizes over equally creepy porcelain children.
The most frightening place was the Hospital, which plays out one of the most frightening concepts for horror - mannequins that can only move in complete darkness.
But the gameplay of Little Nightmares II differs little from the first part. The foundation still consists of exploring the environment, solving simple puzzles, and playing cat and mouse with zone bosses. Yes, Mono will often have to interact with the Sixth, which helps him jump into hard-to-reach places, but globally this does not change much.
The main innovation of the second part is a simplified melee system. In some places, Mono can find a piece of water pipe, a knife, a hammer, or an axe. Most of the fights take place at the School location, and they are implemented according to the "One Blow - one Death" system, and this is also true for the main character.
And here it is worth talking about the shortcomings of Little Nightmares II, which are related to management. Because of the concept of dioramas in the first part, it was easy to miss when jumping and fall into the abyss. The sequel also makes full use of the increased depth of locations, which makes it extremely difficult to estimate the distance to hit the enemy, and a miss means death, because at this moment you are already twisting the head of a porcelain child. The only thing that saves you is that there are not so many combat segments in the game, and downloads from the checkpoint are incredibly fast on all platforms (even an SSD is not needed).
What's hard to justify is the layout of the controls. Although only a few buttons are used in Little Nightmares II, the combinations are exceptionally poorly chosen. The player is actually forced to use one right thumb to pinch the jump, accelerate, and still interact with the stick, setting the direction (this is not INSIDE, where the character ran strictly from left to right).
The worst will be in one of the locations in the Hospital, where you need to run through a large room with mannequins. To survive, Mono will have a flashlight, which you need to shine on the enemy to make him stop. Dummies stick from all sides, and it is extremely inconvenient to aim them with a flashlight. Therefore, the character is repeatedly thrown to the checkpoint, which is why the atmosphere of fear suffers a little.
Disadvantages (it is not allowed to change the layout of the gamepad through in-game settings) are compensated for by the short duration. Little Nightmares II can be run for about five hours, so it does not have time to get bored, and after the final you already want an addition, which may well follow in the form of DLC.
The developers are trying to stretch the passage at the expense of collectible items. On the levels, you can find phantoms of children, as well as hats and masks for Mono. The latter can be called part of the ent, although they do not affect anything in gameplay.
The strongest part of Little Nightmares II is its atmosphere of horror, which is formed by a great visual range and a stunning soundtrack. Thanks to the increased size of the location, the scale of the world is visible, which literally puts pressure on young children. The eyes constantly cling to small details, forcing you to build theories about what is happening.
Only the features of the PS4 Pro version of Little Nightmares II, which produces 30 frames per second, are a little disappointing. Yes, it boasts a higher resolution, but sometimes you can see soapy textures and lower resolution special effects.
The strange thing is that on a laptop with a GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, the preview version not only looked better (in 1080p resolution), but almost always produced a stable 60 frames per second.
Little Nightmare II can be called a wonderful gift for fans of the original game, but you will not find really important innovations. In addition, the developers started with the management. However, the shortcomings are more than compensated for by the atmosphere of horror and hopelessness, so that the creation of Tarsier can become one of the most vivid gaming experiences of 2021.
Note! At the request of the publisher, the editors of Uniongames posted screenshots taken during the passage of the first three chapters. This is not due to the technical state of the game, but a large number of spoilers.