LifeisXbox’s Hello Neighbor 2 review | I fondly remember tuning into the weekly Game Theory episode on December 4th 2016 where Matpat welcomes us Ned Flanders style. He immediately dives into the latest theory they have cooking over at theorist HQ about this popular up-and-coming indie game called Hello Neighbor. It’s a game where you sneak into your neighbour’s whacky house to uncover the secret he hides in his basement. Eager to try for myself I acquired the game and dug in for an afternoon of fun in what was alpha 2 at the time. I didn’t get very far, as the puzzles were quite convoluted and frustrating to figure out at the time, so I left it and didn’t come back. And then time passed. Hello Neighbor came out with middling review scores at best. One of the things that didn’t make it into the final release was the neighbour learning from your break-in attempts. You can already guess my surprise when I learned then that Hello Neighbor 2 was initially marketed with: “the Neighbor is controlled by an AI that learns from the players! As time passes, his behaviour will change and surprise you” which changed to “controlled by advanced AI’s!” With that information in mind, let’s take a look at what Eerie Guest and Tiny made of Hello Neighbor 2.
ℹ️ Reviewed on PC | Review code provided by PR/publisher, this review is the personal opinion of the writer.
What we Liked!
- Graphics | Visually Hello Neighbor 2 is a joy to look at. Its colourful cartoony art style paints a vibrant and happy Ravens brook before you start to consider what goes on there. The lighting has also improved over the original Hello Neighbor, bouncing off surfaces depending on the material, making darkened rooms feel adequately gloomy and improving the atmosphere in other subtle ways. I also had some good chuckles at how all the words had all their letters jumbled up. Like turning a “stop” sign into “pots” or “bakery” into “cabery”.
- Locations and puzzles | The immediate difference with its predecessor is that in Hello Neighbor 2 you’re exploring not just one, but several houses around the neighbourhood. And while the one big whacky house sure was impressive to look at, I vastly prefer these easier to navigate; more contained locations and puzzles. While most of them are pretty straightforward, you will need to look carefully for some clues or items as they can get pretty out of the box.
- Audio | Hello Neighbor 2 enjoys a small repertoire of soundtracks that are quite pleasant right until they suddenly become quite ominous. It’s a sudden transition that subtly turns the mundane on its head as you’re investigating the kidnapping via equally legal means. The ambient sounds also stand out. Like how your footsteps impact more on a hard floor than on the many carpets for example. Sadly I feel like the sounds made by your many neighbors are a bit lacking. Each has only a handful of grunts which get stale quite quickly. Add onto that the poor directional and not really muffled sound of when they’re in another room and you’ve got a lot of room for improvement.
What we Disliked
- Advanced AI | The first and foremost issue I’ve got with Hello Neighbor 2 is with their so-called advanced AI. I seem to recall the neighbor learning from break-in attempts in the first game, patching up repeat weaknesses in his house’s security as you go about your attempts. Even worse than this no longer being the case, is that they seem to have given each a set of predetermined paths to walk dependent on how far you’ve progressed with the puzzles. This would be bad enough if it just functioned as it should but you can consistently break what little AI is present into repeating the same action or just standing still in one out-of-the-way spot in the house. As soon as you manage that, and don’t walk into their direct line of sight, you have nothing to fear and can solve the puzzles at your leisure.
- Length and Pricing | The second of the glaring issues Hello Neighbor 2 has is how long it’ll keep you busy. If you take your time to look around a bit, each house will see you in and out in under an hour. This in and of itself isn’t hugely detrimental if a tad insulting when you consider the steep 33.99€ price tag for the normal edition. Splurge for the Deluxe and you get two extra day-one DLC levels that might as well have been in the main game as optional levels and a useless gadget drone. Mind you, if you don’t get these DLC with the deluxe edition, they’ll set you back another 35.47€.
How long to beat the story | 5 hours
How long to get all achievements | 5 hours
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Hey there. Thomas is the name, Sci-fi, action and (J)RPG’s are the game. I strongly prefer co-op over PVP games. Whenever possible, you may find me run wild at a convention in western Europe. Certified anime enjoyer.