I still remember the last time when I played the little nightmares by Tarsier Studios. And believe me, when I heard that little nightmares II was on its way at anytime in 2020, I was pleasantly surprised. Really it is one of the most anticipated games of 2020. I wondered how could I never expect it. Probably because of the reason that the studios confirmed it later that they would be releasing a sequel to first game.
So, before we venture further into this wonderful game and how it manages to capture our interest, I got to ask one thing. What exactly makes a horror game, horror?
Zombies? Night creatures out to get you? Perhaps an infected alien ship that is going to make your character traverse through the living hell…
When was the last time you checked a horror game to see if it had monsters or not? Do monsters make a game horror?
What makes a horror game fun?
My money is on the vulnerability. The aspect of being alone, trapped in someplace where your cries will never be heard. And what a way to be vulnerable than being a little kid who is escaping the evil clutches of evil monsters?
The aspect of vulnerability is what makes a game truly horror. To feel the fear…that anytime anything can happen, and you have to survive the monsters hidden in that dark. This is what sends shivers down your spine. A great example of such a game is little nightmares. I am so glad that 2020 will be the year in which little nightmares II will be released. When? That is not confirmed. All we know from the Tarsier Studios is that 2020 is the year in which it is coming. No date has been given.
To make things unbearably exciting, the studios have also released some of the information about the game. That is what I will share too.
A Bit about the First Game
First lets talk about the first game. The entire gameplay is an art. If you have seen Tim Burton’s movies, you will find a familiarity with the theme that has been used. And if you haven’t seen his movies, I would suggest dropping everything and seeing them first. You are missing an entire new world which you don’t want to miss. It gives that gothic creepy vibe. Not all of his movies are horror, but that gothic feel is present in all of them. Now imagine when gothic meets with horror.
For a person who enjoys horror games, Little Nightmares is a must. It makes you feel the experience of a little girl named Six who survives by relying on her wits to solve puzzles and hide from the monsters roaming around. The place where she is apparently trapped is a vessel named Maw. The residents who live there are the ones you would want to encounter. Personally, that dreadful long armed janitor gave me creeps…a lot of creeps to be honest. His long creepy arms couldn’t get out of my head for at least a week. Then there were those blood sucking leeches that felt like they could suck your blood any moment. Combine that with murderous twin chefs and well…you got the perfect horror game.
One of the best things about the game is how the designers communicated with us. I mean seriously!
How Little Nightmares tells story
In the entire game, you don’t get any dialogues that tell the story. You are in fact shown whatever the hell is going on on that vessel. You come across different environments in which you have to react, solve a puzzle or avoid getting caught by bloodthirsty figures. And the visual descriptions show you what is happening. It is a great way to tell the story and as a storywriter, I must say I was deeply impressed by this all.
I must compliment the developers for creating a character whose face you never see but you quickly grow emotional attachment to. You are literally controlling her every movement as she has to escape the clutches of the horrible and twisted residents of Maw. You never see the face of this little girl in yellow raincoat. Her escape becomes your escape and her struggles soon become your struggles.
Really as you play the game forward, you start getting the story better and better. I must admit that I wasn’t as much satisfied with the ending as I should have been. It was good really…but it left room for so many questions awaiting to be answered! I was personally glad that Six, the little girl in yellow raincoat had gotten out of that dangerous vessel. After defeating the Lady, she reached to an island. However, it is later revealed that it wasn’t the island but the upper deck of Maw.
Some speculated that she herself has become a little nightmare. Running for your life, being forced to resort to violence and somehow, absorbing the powers of an evil entity might do that to you. A hell lot of questions were in my mind when I beat up that game. I even speculated that it was completed. For me, it was a sad thing to think that the nightmares my main character Six had spent her time escaping had gotten inside her, turning her into one. A sad ending really!
Little Nightmares II – What to expect?
Really, now the little nightmares II has become one of the most anticipated games ever since Tarsier Studios made that announcement, confirming the game’s development. That was when I had multiple plots in mind. Perhaps the little girl Six we followed in our previous game becomes one of the villains. Or perhaps she is guiding someone else to come find her. Did the nightmares ended up taking her again? Or did she become one? So many freaking questions!
Little nightmares II will be bringing a new protagonist. He will be a boy named Mono who will later team up with Six. That was when I realized and thanked the heavens that our sweet Six wouldn’t be turning into one of the nightmares. There would be new nightmares added, new twisted freaks introduced that will chase after you.
One of the most amazing aspects of the original game was that it didn’t involve any combat. You would have to rely on stealth, puzzle solving skills as well as your wits to proceed. That is kind of an art in my opinion. To make a game tell such an immersive story without combat is wonderful. But to spice things up, the developers are adding combat system which might be an addition from the previous series. The combat was quite light as shown in trailer so hopefully, the actual aspect of the first game would either be preserved or enhanced. New puzzles…new twisted creeps to avoid and so much more! Who is excited? I sure am!
New Characters in the sequel
One of the new characters that I ended up developing so ideas about was a sadistic teacher. There are so many ideas that can emerge from this character. What would be her story? What would she be doing? No idea and that is exactly what maintains the aspect of mystery and creepiness. She was seen holding a class, slapping that ruler on her hand, her wicked smile hiding a bestial need she has to fulfill.
One of the other aspects of little nightmares II was that it would be set in the world outside the Maw, the vessel of first game. Perhaps the guests onboard would be properly introduced or at least the background of the characters will be explained more deeply.
Another amazing aspect of the little nightmares II was that it would be based on the horrors lying outside the world. We would now come to know more about this twisted and warped world which Maw was the part of in first game. So, you can expect more creative environments that don’t revolve around the decks of the ships. Although they were very dark and every next level I got to, I feared someone after me. The environments of the sequel will be focused on outside world. I read about the level based on a creepy forest with another chasing character. There is also going to be a creepy cabin inhabited by a bloodthirsty hunter. You get the point…
One of the biggest mysteries of all time that keep me scratching my head are the retro-style TVs. It is quite clear that they are hypnotic, controlling the residents. So, the question is…are the residents in complete control of their actions? Or are they controlled by a darker force that rules over them by the TVs that connect to the signal towers? Does this mean that the nightmares we had been escaping from in previous game were victims too? Kind of makes you wonder about the real evil there. Furthermore, are kids impervious to this mind control? To my horror, I saw some of the kids rallying up against the two heroes, Six and Mono. If the hypnotic control is ever present, how did the two heroes manage to get out of it?
So many speculations! Seeing that the world is getting more immersive in the little nightmare series, it will soon be explored further in Little Nightmares II.
Results of an Interview from Lead Producer and Senior Narrative Designer
What better way to speculate than to ask information from the authorities who designed the game?
In the blog written by the reporter Emma Kent, she explains that there is a lot the sequel is bringing to the table. Things such as a new character (the boy named Mono), the new locations, some form of combat as well as two-character gameplay. The reporter had the chance to interview the lead producer as well as the senior narrative designer. Like all the producers, they were reluctant to give out full information. The info that they provided seems to spice things up a bit more. Quite a way to make us fans more hyped!
The time period of the little nightmares II is of course after the first one. That was all the report Emma got from the producer. Of course why would anyone want to give the spoiler.
In the end of the first game, Six ended up gaining the Lady’s powers. The status of her powers is unknown since that sort of information reeks of spoilers and we know how much the producers hate those. The producer didn’t tell about her powers. On to the next questions then?
The producer further told that the signal tower was the core to everything they had been doing. It was the core of the story. He also told about locations like the school that obviously is not your ordinary school. It has a sadistic teacher after all. Then he further discussed about how non-Disney like the forest was. The hunter living there would not be your friend at all. Furthermore, the televisions would play a vital role and apparently, some sort of gameplay would be associated with them.
One of the interesting things the producer talked about and I am personally interested in is the claustrophobic environment. One of the key features of first series was claustrophobia that was introduced. How will it be introduced in the second game? Because the locations involve outside the ship’s confined spaces such as a forest or even a school.
Regarding gameplay, the developers are sticking to the active personality of Six. Of course, in first you only had to worry about yourself. Now, you have a companion. Furthermore, you can interact with environment and actually use some items. This changes the gameplay.
Furthermore, the motivation was to show the greed and corruption as well as the lack of aim. This is what inspired the producer to instill within this game. One more thing…Mono is a shy boy!
My Silly Theory
If speculations had to be made, something does happen after Six escapes the Maw. Something like a rebellion happens when Six manages to get out. She meets Mono and both do adventures together, breaking the mind control TVs. They are sent to school to meet that teacher. I guess that the forest part will be linked with destroying the TVs to stop the control of signal tower.
Well that is all from my side. Hopefully, the game will come soon and well will finally get our clear answers!