Geek Preview: Little Nightmares II (Hospital Stage)

It wasn’t all too long ago that we were given the chance to try our hands at a short gameplay demo for Tarsier Studios’ upcoming game Little Nightmares II, the highly anticipated sequel to their hit horror puzzle platformer game Little Nightmares

In Little Nightmares II, we play as little Mono, a young boy trapped in a world that feels all too big for him. Much like its predecessor, Little Nightmares II is a horror puzzle platformer that’s low on the jumpscares but heavy in tension and just an ever-pervasive sense of dread. 

The latest gameplay demo we got to try places Mono and Six is a run down hospital filled with mannequins, be it as bodies hanging from the ceiling or as amputated limbs stuffed into boxes and left on shelves, forgotten till now. As you’d expect from a horror game, the creepy plastic limbs around you aren’t the only inhabitants of the hospital as you will be quickly greeted by a disembodied hand that loves nothing more than to leech onto Mono’s face, killing him. As you’ll quickly come to notice, in the Hospital, a large number of the puzzles in the game involve players trying to outrun whatever is chasing them. 

This is unlike the previous map in the forest with the Hunter that also involves elements of hiding and sneaking around. 

Aside from the disembodied hands, another enemy players will encounter in the game are mannequins that can only move whenever the lights are out. With the mannequins, your torchlight is your best friend. The key to getting past the mannequins is to shine your torchlight on them and keep it trained on them as you walk away, only when you feel like you have a fairly safe distance between the both of you, do you start running for your life. It can be tricky and we admittedly failed more than a few times, but that only makes the sense of satisfaction we get from finally completing the puzzles all the better. Fans of Doctor Who will definitely get strong weeping angel vibes from the mannequins.

As mentioned in our first gameplay preview of Little Nightmares II, the only real gripe we have with the Hospital is how inconsistent the check-pointing is. Failing certain puzzles will have us getting sent a lot further back than we initially thought, thanks to the game’s auto-save function. Mono’s ability to run the Z-axis in-game can also be a cause for frustration at times as you can find yourself caught on a part of the map whilst trying to run away from a creepy crawling mannequin, resulting in you having to try all over again. Not something one wants to experience especially when you’re close to completing the particular puzzle. 

Fans of Six might be a little disappointed in the lack of appearance by our little Raincoat-wearing sidekick, with Six only around to help boost Mono up to places in various parts of the map. However, near the end of the demo, we are introduced to the monstrous entity that resides in the basement of the Hospital. Six might play more of an active role in that half of the game. Though that remains to be seen. 

As always, Tarsier Studios has knocked it out of the park with how creepily atmospheric the game is. There is a lingering sense of dread and malaise that follows Mono wherever he goes, be it through the dark mannequin-filled corridors or when traversing through an abandoned workshop all by himself, it is really only helped a little when he has Six around for company. The amazing sound design for the game also helps to add to the creep factor, with the disembodied hands emitting disconcerting clicking noises as it scuttles across the floor to leech onto Mono’s face. 

Despite the small issues we have pointed out, the game still remains an incredibly well-designed and well-produced game. Having tried both the demos for the game, we can’t wait to experience Little Nightmares II in full once it releases on the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch on 10 February 2021, and on the Xbox One and PC on 11 February 2021.