Have you played Little Nightmares 2 already? The second part of Tarsier Studios' flagship IP has been available for a few days now, and we think it's the perfect time to talk about its wonderful storytelling. Are you brave enough to visit a school full of bullies and a monstrous teacher, a gruesome hospital, and several other nightmarish places to confront everyone's worst horrors? We dare you!
Little Nightmares, Oversized Nightmares
In the Little Nightmares games, everything is gigantic. The monsters, the doors, the furniture... everything is enormous as if everything is seen through the eyes of a little child. This is important because it helps reinforce a strange feeling of anguish and fear; being small and alone, you're an easy target.
Strangely enough, Little Nightmares is a game featuring silent characters and no dialogue or notes to help you understand what's happening and why. However, it's known for its masterful storytelling and all these hints that are hidden in plain sight. Maybe not at first, but it all makes sense at some point—in a weird way, but it does.
While we could consider Little Nightmares a horror saga, you are never too scared to continue pushing forward. After all, it's just a platforming game, right? That being said, it's hard not to fall in love with the eerie ambiance, the decaying buildings, and this sensation of not really knowing what's happening around you until the shocking end. But why is that?
I Have No Dialogue and I Must Scream
What we like the most about this second game is that it confirms Little Nightmares as one of the best horror sagas in terms of lore and character development. Although they never talk and barely babble, Mono and Six are perfect characters for a game like this. We have a brand new main character who joins forces with the protagonist girl of the first title. Sadly, we only control Mono, but Six's IA is good enough to make her feel alive—and helpful—at all times.
Since they can't talk, they are quite expressive... which is weird to say about two kids who always hide their faces. Mono and Six's reactions and interactions are perfect to convey the sentiment of 2 lost kids in a world that was created from everyone's worst nightmares. The game mechanics and puzzles might be simple, but every room we visit has a story to tell.
Who are these immense monster-like people who chase us? Why are they there? And most importantly, who are we and why do we do what we do? Well, not all questions have an answer, but after finishing Little Nightmares 2, we can guarantee you that paying attention to all the details really pays off, even more so if you like crafting theories.
Little Nightmares 2 is all about the 'show, never tell' formula. Of course, some stages look too similar to each other given they are a part of the same building—to be fair, most rooms in a school or hospital look almost the same as the rest anyways—but still, there are dozens of small details waiting to be discovered. There are a lot of reasons why you could miss them, though, and we know it's not that simple to stop and stare when a porcelain head bully or a living mannequin are chasing you—the very same reason why you probably missed some collectible hats—but hey, you can always go for a second playthrough. And as annoying as it is to die and repeat the same section over and over again, remember you have infinite lives!
Platforming Can Be Scary, and And Not Because of the Heights...
We already mentioned Little Nightmares 2 is an easy game. All puzzles are simple, all enemies are easy to kill/avoid, and checkpoints are too close to each other, so we can agree that it's not a punishing game. It encourages exploration, but, at the same time, the gameplay is fairly linear, so you always kinda know what to do and where to go.
You can jump, climb, push, pull, and carry objects, and that's more than enough. Bosses are not impossible, but they can be tricky enough, and since you have no powerful weapons and hiding is your best bet, you're always afraid of some unexpected reactions. In fact, several jumpscares and cheap traps are waiting for you, but they're too clever to be annoying, so you're probably more inclined to smile and tip your imaginary hat at them than to rage quit.
Again, Little Nightmares 2 is a simple platforming game, but it looks dark and spooky, and it's great at what it does. Once you finish the game or beat a boss, it's unavoidable to get the 'oh, it was easier than it looks' feeling, but nothing can take away the thrill of the moment. In our opinion, that's because Little Nightmares 2, as well as the first Little Nightmares game (including the DLCs) knows how to use all elements of psychological horror storytelling: complex characters, a gloomy atmosphere, grotesque foes, tons of symbolism, and of course, fun to explore stages full of surprises.
Little Nightmares was good, but Little Nightmares 2 is better... plus it changes everything you knew about Six and The Maw. We tried not to spoil the more shocking plot-twists in this article, but believe us when we say it will force you to revisit the first game and visit all possible forums and YouTube videos in search of intricate theories and answers to all the questions this game raises.
Little Nightmares 2 is already available on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. And if you're still not sure about it, you can try the demo for free!