Little Nightmares was something of a surprise hit. The creepy setting and unusual visuals evoked a sensation that resonated with a number of gamers. Naturally, given the setting and desire to diversify any lineup, Little Nightmare II builds on the concept by adding another character Mono, to go along with Six, the main character from the original adventure, as they go through the frightening dreamscape. Armed with little more than their wits, is this game an endearing adventure or a horrifying series of events? Here’s our Little Nightmares II review.
There isn’t much of a story in Little Nightmares II. Players are told shown this awful place, complete with dead bodies, towering monsters, and a general sense of dread, forcing players to pick up most of the pieces. This extends all the way through to the end where some depressing potential realities are suggested.
As a narrative device, it honestly makes the adventure more intriguing. It’s like there is a story or idea of what is going on, it just isn’t clear how it all actually went down. Maybe another adventurer killed this person, perhaps this guy was actually haunted by these kids in the past, perhaps the place is simply a hellish landscape or just a weird dream someone keeps reliving. Whatever the case might be, you need to finish the adventure to see what horrors actually await.
Since Little Nightmares II is a puzzle-platformer, it’s an extremely scripted game in an oddly obtuse way. It doesn’t hold your hand, something that will appeal to a lot of players, at the cost of certain mechanics not being initially obvious. However, since it’s a puzzle game, nothing is overly complicated and it often feels rather scripted.
I know on my initial run there were a lot of situations where I might notice something, like a stick poking out of the ground and then walk into a bear trap and die. Then, like 20 seconds later, I use the stick to set off the traps and get out. Most of the puzzles are pretty straightforward like that. The pieces are all arranged in a way that makes sense to anyone vaguely paying attention, it’s just realizing whether or not the said piece is important. There were times I’d find a shoe I couldn’t find a use for or something that was there just to make the world seem more dynamic than it was. But, this also means if you get stuck it’s super easy to replicate hiding from a powerful enemy or getting that piece you need to get whatever resource you want.
Going back to the story, where Little Nightmares II stands out the most is the setting. Be it the forest or a body hanging in the attic, there is a lot of fascinating visuals that stand out. This is a world that uses surreal colors to create a landscape that begs to be explored. Often times the biggest motivation to find something wasn’t desire to progress, as much as the need to see how this all comes together. The only downside is that they function more as set pieces. But, still, it makes for a more interesting adventure than just wondering from a mysterious place to a mysterious place.
Little Nightmares II Review – Verdict
Unfortunately, there really isn’t a whole lot to say about Little Nightmares II. You get a general sense of how the story is progressing through events and the world is interesting, even if contrast hides a lot of details, making it a series of rather basic puzzles and stealth sections to the end. Given neither are overly engaging, it can be a little underwhelming, but it also fits the concept. You’re not some otherworldly creature moving giant rocks to get into an impossible place, you’re likely some kid trying not to die to a bear trap or captured. As a result, fans of the original will likely love it, whereas newcomers or those looking for a harder experience will likely be underwhelmed.
[Review Verdict: Little Nightmares II was reviewed on PlayStation 5 and a copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes.]