Hello Neighbor 2 is a stealth horror game about digging up your creepy neighbor’s secrets. But there’s a twist: the Neighbor is controlled by an AI that learns from the players! As time passes, his behavior will change and surprise you! Can you outsmart the Neighbor and find out what he’s hiding?
Reviewed on: PC (5800X, 32GB RAM, Nvidia RTX 3070)
Also available for: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Developer: Eerie Guest Studios
Welcome to Raven Brooks, a quiet little town where everyone has a secret.
The beginning of the Hello Neighbor 2 beta starts with your character, a local journalist named Quentin, arriving in a new town as a journalist investigating murders and disappearances. We first see Quentin climbing an old barn, stumbling, falling through the roof, and landing on some hay precariously close to a pitchfork and a blackboard. This part of the game is a tutorial; the goals are written out on a blackboard near where you have fallen. The first step of this goal is to retrieve your camera, which is stuck hanging from a beam of wood where you fell from and take a picture of “the guest”, a strange bird beaked humanoid. Following the hints, you explore the barn, finding various clues and prompts. The prompts give you keyboard and mouse inputs for interacting with the world. Find a key to unlock a door, and then climb the ladder. You quickly retrieve your camera and take a picture of “The Guest”, who, after having its photo taken, bursts through the door, causing a bright light to startle Quentin, who awakes, realising he is behind the wheel of a news van and had fallen asleep at the wheel and the bright light is the headlamp of a passing car.
Hello Neighbor 2 is an interesting concept. Unfortunately, this beta does not demonstrate the game’s potential as well as the developers might have hoped. The beta is put forward as an investigation sim with learning AI but is closer to a point and click game in the way puzzles are set up, at least as far as this beta is concerned.
There are a couple of sections playable right now during the short beta. The first section is the tutorial to familiarise the player with the controls and concepts. The next part is the start of the game, aiming to get into the basement of a currently police occupied dwelling and ongoing investigation. The last is more about exploring the town, learning the townspeople’s habits, and solving a larger puzzle.
Hello Neighbor 2 has no dialogue and is meant to be contextual and discovery-based, the aim of the game is to solve puzzles, and those puzzles open up a final solution. The game doesn’t hold the player’s hand to find these solutions, instead leaving it up to the player to discover and solve the random assortment of puzzles. Having not played the first game in the series, I felt lost and overwhelmed rather fast, especially during the last part of the beta. The aim of the game is to discover more about the town and work within the sandbox to solve seemingly random puzzles and use those discoveries to progress the hidden and implied story. I had a hard time figuring most of these puzzles out, resorting to google and watching videos. I still had trouble linking the solutions and completing the game while also wondering how I would have discovered these solutions on my own.