Published on February 21st, 2021 | by Abdul Saad
Little Nightmares II PS4 Review #Nightmares
Summary: Overall, I enjoyed Little Nightmares II almost more than I did the first game. If you're a fan of the first game or even have a mild interest in the series, I can't recommend both games enough.
I’m proud to say Little Nightmares II is the first game I’ve completed this year. While this is a result of a terrible schedule and a slew of unforeseen circumstances, I’m nevertheless pleased with the time I spent with the game, short as it was. Suffice to say, I’m a massive fan of the series and have been following the sequel in anticipation since its announcement. I also played both demos prior to its release, and now that I’ve finally able to complete the game, I’m happy to say it met my expectations and even managed to surprise and intrigue me with its plot and shocking ending (that I obviously won’t spoil).
If, for some reason, you’ve decided to read this review with no prior knowledge of the series, then allow me to provide a synopsis. Little Nightmares II is the sequel to the grim and disturbing original hit game released in 2017 by developer Tarsier Studios. It follows Mono, a boy who dawns a stylish paper bag on his head alongside Six, the protagonist of the previous game, as they venture through Pale City to reach the Black Tower controlled by the mysterious Thin Man. As you start the game, you immediately take control of Mono as he pushes through the woods outside the city and into the domain of “The Hunter,” one of the game’s four main bosses.
As you go further into the woods, you’ll encounter multiple traps and other hurdles along your way where you’ll have to use your wit and quick reflexes to evade them. You eventually come across the hunter’s shack where you’ll meet and free the captured Six. Once you finally free her, you’ll both then have to deal with the hunter, and he’s threatening shotgun. This sequence starts as a frantic run for survival as your platform your way to freedom but then quickly devolves into a stealth sequence for survival. The first level served as a great start to the game and clues you in on what’s to come.
As players transverse from stage to stage, they’ll see a significant change in tone and aesthetic. One stage aptly titled “The School” has the kids encounter, fight, and avoid bizarre mannequin children overseen by their equally strange and frightening “Teacher,” who’s yet another grotesque and creepy boss in the game. While another stage has the pair move through an eerie hall filled with full-bodied mannequins in “The Hospital”. I also found that the music in the game works really well in matching its intense scenes and atmosphere, seen with the manic music played in the aforementioned stage and foreboding music played in the latter stages.
As with the first game, Little Nightmares II focuses extensively on environmental puzzles as hurdles to progression, most being easy and straightforward with only a few headscratchers. Thankfully, players will also have our former heroine Six as an AI partner who’s around most of the time to help boost you up platforms, point at some clues, carry items, and keep you from falling off ledges. Though I only wish Tarsier Studios gave Six a bit more involvement in the plot aside from being the clichéd target of capture, who’s being rescued for most of the game.
When players aren’t running or hiding for their lives, they’re fighting for it with the newly added ability to pick up weapons and fight back at the monstrosities hunting you. The one’s close to your size, that is. However, the problem with this is that in order to bash something in with your trusty hammer or monkey wrench, you’ll have to time your attacks very carefully or risk an immediate game over as these items are quite heavy for little Mono. And since these timings can be incredibly random and iffy, you’re left with closing your eyes and praying your attacks hit.
On the technical side, Little Nightmares II plays really well but still has a few minor hiccups. For example, its 2.5D camera perspective can be both a blessing and a curse. This perspective allows us to see our environments in all their glory and even allows for slight camera movements to peek through walls and edges. Yet, its curse comes in the form of awkward platforming sections that’ll force you to bump into many objects and door frames, especially during intense chasing sequences. Not to mention the frustrating flashlight level as Mono encounters the Heliophobic sentient mannequins in the Hospital, some of who didn’t get the memo and still gobble you up when pointed at. Graphically, Little Nightmares II’s visuals are incredibly detailed and crisp more so than its predecessor. The graphics let you gawk at the horrors that surround you in full detail, which I appreciated.
All in all, I enjoyed my time with the game almost more than I did with the first. The sequel really makes you think about this strange world where everyone’s a monster except these kids who’ve been stripped of their innocent due to their unjust and cruel fate. I also can’t help but think of what other characters other than Mono and Six may be out there fighting their own battles, so I really hope we get to see more of this hauntingly beautiful world Tarsier Studios has brought to life. So if you’re a fan of the first game or even have a mild interest in the series, I can’t recommend both games enough.