The original Hello Neighbor took the gaming world by storm when it launched back in 2017. It was a unique take on the stealth genre; one which was arguably more accessible than most. So it’s no surprise that a sequel is on the way. However, the fact that Hello Neighbor 2 has taken so long to come to market is somewhat of a quandry.
The truth is of course that developer Dynamic Pixels haven’t been waiting around. The Hello Neighbor series has seen all manner of spin-offs over the last five years. It could be just easy to reference them as Hello Neighbor Turbo, Hello Neighbor Multiplayer, Hello Neighbor Mobile and so on, as it would be their officially given names. And so now we finally come to that long awaited ‘2’. And we do so with the hope that there’s still enough juice in the formula to make it worth getting reinvested all over again.
The preview build begins by dumping you through the roof of a barn. You’re not sure why you’re there, or what you’re supposed to be doing. With a little exploration you soon find you’ve fallen into a trap. Jump over a fence, collect a key, exit through a door, crawl under a barrier: all of these things come naturally within minutes. Very soon, you’ve elegantly been taught the basic commands without any need for text-based tutorials.
Hello Neighbor 2 continues in this fashion. It’s not a game about hand-holding. It’s about discovery. Playing as an investigative reporter it’s your job to uncover the truth about local children having gone missing. As you explore the small areas containing set clues, you’re kept on track by a strange bird creature who will bring instant death for those who deviate too far. However, death doesn’t come with any real penalties, and as such shouldn’t deter you from exploring further.
In each of the buildings on the small street you’ll have to avoid being caught by the locals. You have three children to locate, and the first of which is quite obvious. However, getting to the spot is not. A policeman wanders through the room you need to access, and so figuring out how to distract him long enough for you to gain access is key.
And this is largely how the game plays out. You’re given a cryptic clue as to where to go next, must investigate the local area and laydown a plan for getting past the obstacles. As you continue to push forward into new areas you’ll gain access to new items, that will in turn allow you to go deeper. Hello Neighbor 2 gives you a playground, and expects you to explore it.
The preview build of Hello Neighbor 2 was an intriguing glimpse of what is still to come. It’s a welcoming stealth adventure that pulls you in without any obvious signposting. If the full game can continue in this fashion, hopes are high that it’ll live up to the expectation of the very demanding fanbase. For now, it’s only a short while until you get to find out for yourselves!