The sequel (?) Of Bandai Namco’s acclaimed terror can even traumatize!
Horror games live in a constant reinvention of the formula since independent games and more and more authors have earned their place in the market. From that space came Little Nightmares, by Tarsier Studios, with an almost Burtonesque aesthetic, bringing a bizarre adventure to a world of gruesome dolls.
Now a new chapter in this story has arrived to try and consolidate Little Nightmares into a spooky saga. But is the new game just a jumpscare or a brand you will never forget?
Very scared, I tested Little Nightmares II to tell you and I say already: I will hardly forget Mono’s journey in this world full of childhood nightmares.
If you want to see how the game works, I played Little Nightmares II on one of the Legion Channel’s lives on Twitch. VOD is now available and you can watch it all by clicking here. Enjoy the trip and subscribe to the channel!
What is Little Nightmares II?
Little Nightmares II is the new game in the saga created by Tarsier Studios, distributed by Bandai Namco. The game was released on February 11, 2020 for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Series X and S, Nintendo Switch and PC and adds to the story of Little Nightmares (2017) and Very Little Nightmares (2019).
Without revealing if this is a sequel, a prelude, or if it happens at the same time as any of the previous games, Little Nightmares II follows the journey of Mono – the masked protagonist – and a little girl with no name for a city devastated by nightmares. The game is horror and suspense, with side scrolling and platform gameplay.
What do we think of Little Nightmares II?
It’s hard to find today a horror game good enough to make you fear continuing the journey or replaying. Usually there’s an increase in in-game action or more human and friendly characters seem to lighten the bar and give you a shot of adrenaline to move on. Little Nightmares II, however, is so amazing in its suffocating horror build that it might take you longer than you think to complete.
The point is, LN2 has nailed him in a number of points which have exposed old fears within the player. Even though the game’s aesthetic looks like one of those dark animations we love so much, the atmosphere of Mono’s journey is much, much more bizarre than you might think. And not only: the game explores our most intimate, childish fears, which we forget even exist, but which come to the surface when we work on them.
The first two games in the Little Nightmares franchise are already on this path to scare our inner child. Yet it was in LN2 that Tarsier Studios found the right formula for this type of terror, conjuring up a dark forest, a scary school, a hideous hospital, an oversized city. You are virtually helpless as a Mono and no adult will come to help you. On the contrary: they are weird, they want to catch you, punish you, swallow you, study you.
While playing the game, the best comparison I could make was that this story sounded like one of Neil Gaiman’s childhood tales – including the quality of the narrative. Something near the ocean at the end of the road or Coraline, maybe. Now, after reflection, Little Nightmares II also reminds me of the great Unfortunate Series saga, a little more grotesque and violent. It’s a plot of not just the horrors covered in the game, but how we see the world as a child and how scary everything looks.
And the game loses nothing in its gameplay. It features bizarre scenarios that are extremely detailed and fun to explore, challenging puzzles, and an unbroken sense of weakness even when Mono manages to grab something to defend himself. While the trauma-filled narrative may give you a bit of perspective to play it again, Little Nightmares II is fun enough to convince you to move on.
It’s worth saying that he drinks a lot of the source from the previous two games, mostly DLC from the early Little Nightmares – intentionally, by the way. While the original game deals with Six’s hunger, his escape, and the mystery of the lady who controls Bocarra, the “Secrets of the Maw” DLC has very similar mechanics to the second game, using a flashlight to light up darker places and face enemies, in addition to finding “shadow children” and other details that refer to the new title.
Like Mono, in addition to walking, running, jumping, and crouching, his primary attribute is pushing or grabbing things, as well as puzzles involving static electricity and television. It may not seem like much, but part of the “grace” of Little Nightmares is feeling helpless in this nefarious world and the second game reinforces that feeling. The only question to note and improve is the response of the characters interacting with each other and with the storyline.
After a while, you count on a little girl’s help to navigate your way and unravel the puzzles, but the interaction between the two isn’t always perfect. Sometimes Mono takes too long to crouch down or grab and push objects, and even when you can attack, some of your moves seem like they don’t hit anything. Considering all of these things are essential for survival and gameplay, this is a really troublesome issue.
However, that doesn’t detract from the greatness of Little Nightmares II as a whole. It’s one of those games that makes you shiver with fear, rethink some internal things, and want even more for the narrative, atmospheric, and artistic quality. The game ends and you want the next one, create theories and immerse yourself even more in this universe than during the game itself.
What is the Legion score for Little Nightmares?
Have I ever thought about stopping the game for some inconvenience? Yes, was that bad? Definitely not. This is the intent of terror, after all: to play with your head and test your limits. And Little Nightmares II does it in a beautiful way, while also giving you an intriguing story, an eerily beautiful world, and a week of nightmares with horrific teachers and doctors.
Thus, Little Nightmares II takes 4.5 stars from the Legion. This is a game you must try your luck at, horror fan or not, because I guarantee it… will keep you addicted to TV.
Have you played Little Nightmares II? Do not forget to comment!
Now check out our list of horror games: