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Hello Neighbor 2 Review

Hello Neighbor 2 Review

Eerie Guest Studios released Hello Neighbor 2 on the 6th of December 2022, the entry is a direct sequel to the events of Hello Neighbor. Though, unlike the first game where you played as the child Nicky Roth, players will take on the role of Quentin, a self-styled journalist who suspects Theodore Peterson (the villain of the series) to be behind the child kidnappings that have occurred in the small town of Raven Brooks. The sequel allows us to see just what has happened over time to the town; most of it is shuttered and Mr. Peterson's house looks like a ruin at this point.

Like in the original, players will need to solve puzzles to progress. Though, it will not always be Mr. Peterson standing in your way; police and store owners certainly don’t want you snooping around where you shouldn't be either. The first area Quentin must investigate is Mr. Peterson's old house. Presently there is a police officer poking around, your goal is to get into the basement to look for evidence. Unfortunately, the basement is protected by four separate padlocks. Naturally, you will need to find all four keys. To do this you will need tools that you will uncover along the way — a crowbar and scissors to name a few. You are also going to need to really pay close attention to your surroundings as clues are hidden all over the place. Sometimes I would smack my head in frustration, as I had walked by something in plain sight that had held me up for 15 minutes — curse that drawing on the fridge!

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Let's take this time to talk about the so-called horror in the Hello Neighbor franchise. While some websites list the game as part of the horror genre, Steam lists it as an action-adventure and puzzle game. This is, I believe, more accurate. The game is not scary, at least not for an adult. Perhaps a younger child would find the concept of needing to run and hide from Mr. Peterson or the baker to be scary. I found it annoying. Don’t get me wrong, I would not remove the mechanic. I understand it is necessary to slow players down. But sometimes after being thrown out of a building for the tenth time I would need to take a deep breath. Each building Quentin tries to complete puzzles in always has one really tough-to-find puzzle piece, this makes constantly running around, rather than searching feel disruptive. It doesn’t help that the puzzles are Resident Evil-like in their design. I suppose you could argue that the stranger sequences of the game are when the more horror-like elements come into play (no spoilers), but again they were not really anything more than alarming at best.

However, maybe I am coming at this from the wrong direction, the graphics (made in Unreal Engine 4) are colourful and cartoon-like, in fact they are downright great to look at, and clearly designed to appeal to a wide demographic. It is likely that the horror element is toned down so as to allow younger players to be comfortable as well. In all fairness, I have most likely desensitised myself by playing Dead Space and Alien: Isolation.

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Speaking of Alien: Isolation, whose Alien monster had an impressive level of intelligence, Hello Neighbor 2 claims its AI is self-learning and guided by a “neural net”. I can’t say I saw anything like this during my time playing the game. There have been numerous reports of AI bugs for Hello Neighbor 2 by the online community. I was fortunate that those were patched out by the time I started my review. For example, this meant the cop at the beginning of the game did not get stuck between doors and give me full rein of the house. But I certainly did not witness the AI acting with intelligence beyond what I would have expected from an experience typical of the genre, nor did I see any evidence of it learning my movements. Perhaps after more patches Hello Neighbor 2’s AI will begin to show signs of this hefty claim.

I do believe the sequel to be an improvement over the first game, which suffered from extremely negative reviews upon its full release. Eerie Guest Studios (formerly Dynamic Pixels) has been working hard to quickly patch Hello Neighbor 2 since it came out. We always hope for the best when it comes to indie companies and their games, as such I am not willing to write Hello Neighbor 2 off as the same failure as its predecessor just yet. Hello Neighbor 2 is available on PlayStation 4 and 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

7.50/10 7½

Hello Neighbor 2 (Reviewed on Windows)

This game is good, with a few negatives.

Hello Neighbor 2 is an improvement over the earlier game but still has a few issues to work out. That being said I did find it to be an enjoyable and challenging experience.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
Jase Taylor

Jase Taylor

Staff Writer

Explaining things thoroughly and also too much

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