Little Nightmares 2 Preview | ‘Overwhelming unnaturalness’

LITTLE NIGHTMARES 2 PREVIEW for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Nintendo Switch. Continuing the story of the original game, Little Nightmares 2 puts players in control of new protagonist Mono, as they team up with ex-protagonist Six to navigate the world outside of The Maw. Those that have played the final DLC of Little Nightmares will be wary of growing too attached to hero characters, especially in the presence of Six. This adds its own layer of tension, in addition to the obviously dangerous world.

A new monster approaches

Little Nightmares 2 Preview

In the preview build that I played, Mono and Six find themselves in a dark facility full of fake body parts. Almost immediately, the body parts become hostile, with bewitched hands chasing the player in spider-like fashion. When a weapon is available, Mono is able to beat and immobilize the hands, though not without difficulty. The ability to fight back is new to the sequel, though it’s rarely a valid tactic. It’s often best to run and hide than to stand and fight.

Later, the player comes across body parts assembled into human shapes, which come to life in dark environments. This forces Mono to use their flashlight to cause enemies to freeze in place. The difficulty increases when there are multiple enemies to track, as when Mono is freezing one of them, another is moving forward to attack. It took me a few tries to reliably point the flashlight in the desired direction, leading to some moments of frustration, but I eventually got the hang of it.

Hide-and-seek trial and error

Little Nightmares 2 Preview

Thankfully, the generous checkpoint system and load times — at least on a PC with a speedy SSD — quickly had me forgetting my frustrations as I tried again. Those that have played the original Little Nightmares, or Playdead’s Limbo and Inside, will be used to the trial and error nature of this genre. The game screws you over to teach you a lesson and you learn from that. Little Nightmares 2 is the same, with players very unlikely to perfect a level on the first try.

Though the game has co-op elements, with Six as the AI companion, the demo build only gave a taste of that. Six would give Mono a boost to get into areas or hold back enemies. Despite the ending of the first game, Six is very much “normal” here, so I’m eager to see how everything develops.

Hypnotizing immersion

Little Nightmares 2 Preview

Visually, Little Nightmares 2 looks great. The PC version has a number of options and easily ran at 4K 60 FPS Ultra settings using an RTX 2070. The depth of field is particularly effective, causing me to obsess over in-focus stationary objects that might suddenly move. Not knowing what is and isn’t an enemy until the last moment is terrifying!

The music is also fantastic, with an energy that creeps along before suddenly rising with the unexpected action. It really adds to the threatening feeling as you move from room to room, awaiting the inevitable evil to pounce from the shadows.

Hungry for more

Little Nightmares 2 Preview

The preview build of Little Nightmares 2 didn’t give much away in terms of story or a link to the original title, but it did show that gameplay has improved with new and interesting mechanics, as well as different enemies that challenge the player in unique ways. The true stars of Little Nightmares are the grotesque monsters, which unfortunately didn’t feature in this build until the very end. With that said, even without them, the overwhelming unnaturalness of Little Nightmares 2 is definitely there and I can’t wait to play more soon!

We played a preview build of Little Nightmares II on PC (Ryzen 7 3700X, 32 GB RAM, RTX 2070). The game is set to launch on February 11, 2021.