I can’t say that I was looking forward to the release of Little Nightmares II. It was not because the first game was bad, but because I wouldn’t say I liked the anxiety and chilling experience that the game provided. Regardless, here I am playing through the demo of Little Nightmares II, which is providing an all too familiar feeling.
The demo of Little Nightmares II covers the basics of movement and evading enemies. I’ve never been inside a game world where every part of me wants to escape from it. The environment’s atmosphere is dark and dreary, with set pieces that have come straight out of a nightmare. I have the urge to continue if only to see Mono fulfill his goal of breaking Six out of captivity and running as far away as possible.
Even when danger isn’t lurking around, I couldn’t help but keep my finger off the run button. The small size of Mono compared to the world causes him to stumble and approach objects differently. The weight of a hand ax can be felt as he drags it across the floor. Similarly, navigating environments takes extra effort, which is where Six comes in to lend a hand.
The light puzzles have you using objects to progress, but nothing stood out as difficult. I’m curious to see how the late-game puzzles incorporate the terrifying enemies that this world is home to. The finale has you running from a gun-wielding man with a sack over his hand, and I was terrified. The contrast in the protagonists’ size and the world around them play a huge role in this fear, as the game likes to use familiar objects that must be navigated from an obscure perspective.
There’s a cinematic layer of brilliance in the design of Little Nightmares II. It felt as if I was watching a movie the entire time I was playing. Further, it has this appeal as if it’s a 2D game, but you’re fully able to run around the environments. I thought the tutorial does a wonderful job teaching you how to navigate the world and the steps you have to take to survive it.
Little Nightmares II left my heart pounding throughout this entire 30-minute demo, and by the end, I felt myself take a deep breath. However, I’m aware that there is more to this adventure, which doesn’t excite me too much. Even with this sense of dread looming over me, I’m eager to see how this duo makes it through this nightmare together.
Little Nightmares II is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC-via Steam on February 11.
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