With Little Nightmares, the Swedish developer Tarsier Studios managed an interesting and entertaining horror adventure in 2017, which focused on the young girl Six and her escape from the claustrophobic throat, a floating underwater fortress, and from her many frightening monsters. The debut was able to convince with a dense atmosphere and a lot of creativity in terms of the design of the game world and characters, but suffered from often too monotonous stealth inserts and a wobbly and inaccurate control (read our test on Little Nightmares here). Even the slightly too uninspired levels let Little Nightmares fall behind the obvious role models Inside and Limbo from Playdead in terms of quality.
Shortly before the release of the second part in February, we had the chance to take a last, intensive look at the work and learn some interesting details about the development and game world from the team. We were allowed to play the first two chapters "Wilderness" and "School". What our impressions are and how much potential there is in the scary trip, you can find out in this preview.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/960x/2016/08/Little-Nightmares-Screenshot-2-pc-games.jpg" alt = "Imprisoned & amp; limited? In the debut from 2017, we are in the role of Six for the entire season in the so-called throat. This time, in the long-awaited sequel, it's finally out! "/>
Source: Bandai Namco
In the first part, the team focused on a gruesome escape story that gave the players a constant feeling of helplessness through tight spaces and restricted environments. In the second part, on the other hand, Tarsier Studios takes us to more varied areas outside the throat and thus transforms the eerie game world into a significantly larger and more ambitious nightmare. Instead of telling the story of the sequel from the point of view of the already established heroine Six, this time we slip into the role of the still unknown boy Mono. What Mono is all about and what personality is hidden behind the mask that the mysterious protagonist always wears, remains a well-kept secret, at least at the beginning of the adventure. According to the developers, Mono's career and character should develop gradually over the course of the plot, similar to what was the case with Six in the debut.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/430x/2020/08/Wild_01_3840X2160-pc-games.png" alt = "Together through hell: The already established heroine Six is back, but this time there is a new main character with the mysterious Mono. What about the boy who always hides behind a mask ?! "/>
Source: Bandai Namco
One of the most important changes is that this time around, we're not completely on our own. Six is still an important key figure in the plot and our faithful companion. Anyone who hopes for an exciting co-op adventure (our special on the best co-op games) will be disappointed: Little Nightmares 2 (buy now € 26.99 ) is a pure single-player experience, but offers a meaningful and exciting expansion through the A.I.-partner, which makes the spooky excursion pleasantly different from the first. An equally gratifying progress is the already mentioned game world, which feels a lot more atmospheric and exciting.
Finally out of the throat
Right at the beginning of the adventure, in the first chapter wilderness, Tarsier Studios kidnaps us into a beautifully designed forest, which, despite great lighting effects and an almost fairytale-like design, does not lack the desired horror. On the one hand, this is due to the many deadly traps that are hidden in the leaves, and on the other, to the terrifying and murderous hunter. This first antagonist, armed with a rusty shotgun and a lantern, is after us and collects new and rare trophies for the groaning walls of his wooden hut – a small boy with a bag on his head would fit in perfectly, wouldn't he?
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/960x/2020/08/Wild_10_3840X2160-pc-games.png" alt = "Up to the last cartridge: The creepy hunter is the first primary antagonist in Little Nightmares 2. Can Mono and Six escape his deadly precision and insatiable thirst for murder? "/>
Source: Bandai Namco
In the course of the chapter, Mono succeeds in freeing the traumatized Six from a cellar and together they escape the fatal precision of the hunter. We like that Little Nightmares 2 also takes time for quiet moments despite the strong focus on horror and action. At the end of the first chapter, our two protagonists find themselves on a raft, for example, while we are offered an impressive panorama of the bizarre game world. As a result, the action inserts not only have a stronger impact, these moments also give the adventure more dynamism and give us important time to breathe deeply.
In the second chapter "School" Mono and Six end up in a – surprise after a short and unspectacular run through a city! – large and spooky school. While the first level worked comparatively discreetly in the area of horror, the second section contains a multitude of moments of shock and creative design ideas that create a scary, beautiful atmosphere. Our sympathetic duo is not alone! In addition to countless aggressive porcelain children who make the hallways unsafe, there is also the second primary villain in the schoolhouse: the diabolical teacher.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/960x/2021/01/School_05_3840X2160-pc-games.png" alt = "Everything in view:& nbsp; In all honesty, the scary teacher gave us a lot. No matter where Mono and Six are hiding, the monstrous lady is always present thanks to her stretchy neck. "/>
Source: Bandai Namco Entertainment
She not only has an extremely strict behavior, but also an extremely flexible neck, which enables her to keep an eye on even the safest corners of the school building and to tyrannize us. But horror isn't just followed by horror at school either. Obviously, it was important to Tarsier Studios to paint the many monsters and stories that hide in the game world with a wider range of emotions. Anyone who closely observes the teacher's actions will recognize a sad fate: Behind the demonic behavior and the job as an education officer, a failed dream and a deep and meaningful love for music are hidden. Almost cute … Almost.
Like the first part, Little Nightmares 2 presents itself completely free of dialogues, but still does not suffer from too little background information about the characters and environments. In almost every room there are exciting details that skilfully arouse the desire for discovery and the urge for more background. What about the many monsters? Even the behavior of the rather irrelevant characters like the porcelain children reveals a lot about the past and present of the world and its inhabitants. Tarsier Studios does a good job of bringing the game world of Little Nightmares to life, condensing the atmosphere and enhancing the flow of the game through varied areas and tasks.
Screwed in the right places
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/960x/2021/01/School_01_3840X2160-pc-games.png" alt = "Mono strikes back! & Nbsp;It is finally possible to defend yourself against the many dangers and monsters! The newly introduced combat system is minimalistic, but enhances the gaming experience a lot. "/>
Source: Bandai Namco Entertainment
Another important plus point are the useful innovations in the area of gameplay. Six is always by our side and, with her additional physical strength, helps to move objects and solve puzzles that are designed for two people. But that's not all! A shallow combat system also finds its way into Little Nightmares 2. From now on it is possible to free yourself from helplessness in given moments and defend yourself against the many dangers and opponents with objects lying around. The punch and the rest of the animations are presented nicely and comprehensibly and create a satisfying feel. Mono and Six are prisoners of a universe that is not adapted to their height. So it is often a strenuous and arduous endeavor to interact with weapons or tools, and you can see this in their movements.
As with the great role models Inside and Limbo, a large part of the gaming experience is minimalist from a gameplay point of view, the focus is clearly on the intense atmosphere. Nevertheless, you will fail frequently, because some moments only allow a short reaction time: whoever sleeps, dies. Of course, this has a certain taste for trial and error, but it hardly bothered us when we played it. We felt more anger with the puzzles, because there we would have liked more variety and creativity. Hardly any puzzle took longer than a few seconds. The only task that took us beyond the blink of an eye was a chess puzzle that we had to solve. But even there, the answer was clear very quickly.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/430x/2020/08/Little-Nightmares-2-buffed.jpg" alt = "Four helping hands: Little Nightmares 2 is a pure single-player adventure, but with the second protagonist Six there are many exciting gameplay possibilities. "/>
Source: Tarsier Studios
We find it particularly annoying that the solution was more or less right next to the problem. If it is so easy to find a solution before the actual puzzle, then that is simply a mistake in the level design. Incorporating various aids into the game is completely okay and usually even desired. But if they have the potential to spoil the fun of the game, then it turns sour. But this fact is not a point of criticism that completely pulls the game qualitatively into the abyss. Despite the somewhat too simple puzzles in our game demo, we can positively emphasize that a clear learning curve can be recognized and the demand increases. So we have hope for more complex sections as the game progresses.
Finally, about the control: Whether on the PC via keyboard or with the controller, control can be mono smoothly and during our entire play session there were no problems with awkward or imprecise actions. From a technical point of view, we don't see any reason to worry, Little Nightmares 2 presented itself in good condition and free of teething problems and bugs. It remains to be seen whether this will also be the case for the release. So far we were only allowed to play the PC version.
<img src = "https://www.pcgames.de/screenshots/960x/2020/08/Wild_03_3840X2160-pc-games.png" alt = "A scary sight: Little Nightmares 2 clearly lives from the dense atmosphere, the pretty style and the many details that are hidden in the game world. Background information about the characters and environments can be found in almost every corner – great! "/>
Source: Bandai Namco
Tarsier Studios obviously took the criticism of Little Nightmares to heart, because what we got to play from the new horror adventure so far, convinces with a lot of creativity in terms of monster and world design, clever innovations in the area of gameplay and an intense atmosphere. The first chapter was already able to convince us in August at our first opportunity to play, the second goes a step further in terms of quality! We are curious to see how Mono and Six's journey will continue and whether the charming duo will manage to finally escape the hellish gullet and its surroundings. At the moment there is a clear recommendation to keep an eye on the grotesque, scary trip.
Little Nightmares 2 will be released on February 11, 2021 for PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch. It is not known at the moment whether there will be a next-gen version.
All readers receive daily news, articles, guides, videos and podcasts about their favorite games free of charge. So far we have financed this site through advertising and kept it as free of clickbaits or paid items as possible, but since COVID-19 this has become increasingly difficult. Many companies are cutting or cutting their advertising budgets for 2020. Budgets that we unfortunately have to rely on if we want to continue to offer PC games free of charge as usual in the future.
For this reason we turn to you now. You can support us as a PC Games supporter so that we can continue to offer our content in the usual form for free, without introducing a paywall or publishing clickbait news like "And you won't believe what happened next …" . Every contribution, large or small, is valuable.
Little Nightmares 2 has everything it takes to be a hit!
Whether it's the grotesque monsters, the varied and beautifully designed areas or the cute protagonist duo, Little Nightmares 2 could easily cast its spell on me. That's exactly what I expect from a sequel: progress in every area! The boys and girls from Tarsier Studios have taken the criticisms of the predecessor to heart and invested a lot of work and passion to achieve a new level of quality with Little Nightmares 2. In our test you can of course find out whether the other chapters can convince me as well. For my part, I can hardly wait to free Momo and Six from the hellish area around the Maw.
Also popular with PC games readers PcPS4XBO
Little Nightmares in the test: Childhood fears to replay – retest of the switch version
The Medium: 14 minutes of gameplay for the horror title
The Medium: Next-gen horror in preview
Silent Hill: Inventor Keiichiro Toyama is working on a new horror game
Inside in the test: Disturbing masterpiece by the limbo makers – now with switch rating
Mono strikes back! It is finally possible to defend yourself against the many dangers and monsters! The newly introduced combat system is minimalistic, but enhances the gaming experience a lot. (Source: Bandai Namco Entertainment)
(*) We have marked affiliate links with an asterisk. We receive a small commission for a purchase via our link and can thus partially finance the free website with this income. There are no costs for the user.