Hello Neighbor is a game that leans toward unreasonable puzzle-solving to uncover the secrets of your awkwardly behaving neighbor. The first game’s ending leaves more questions than answers; enter Hello Neighbor 2. Hello Neighbor 2 aims to expand on the mechanics introduced in the first game, now with a larger world to explore and a few enemies added to keep the playing experience fresh. Let’s take a quick preview of the Hello Neighbor 2 plus a few more information such as its release date and how to play the game as early as now!
Quick Plot Summary
You assume the control of Quentin, a journalist for Raven Brooks Banner who seeks to discover the secrets of Mr. Peterson. Quentin has always been suspicious, or what kids call these days “sus,” to the people of Raven Brooks. You explore the town in hopes of finding out the secrets of every townspeople; however, you are more interested in the missing people’s case. Three kids, Nicky Roth, Aaron Peterson, and Mya Peterson, are all missing, and Quentin highly believes that Theodore Peterson (AKA The Neighbor) is involved in all of these cases.
The gameplay revolves around stealth while solving intricate and sometimes illogical puzzles. Hello Neighbor 2 kept the same mechanics from the first game, such as prying wooden boards with a crowbar, albeit with a few differences this time.
Before we get into the game’s nuances, let’s first talk about its stealth mechanics. The stealth mechanics come from crouching, hiding inside a closet, under the table, setting off things that will trigger the AI’s attention which allows you to sneak past them, etc. As a player, you have to get through certain areas by solving puzzles without getting caught. This aspect of the first game is only available on one big house with one enemy, however, this sequel applies that to a whole town split among different areas such as houses, museums, stores, etc.
To accompany a stealth game is tinybuild’s self-learning AI. This generates more aggressive routes and patterns the more times the community plays the game. Essentially, it’s a community-driven AI that will surely keep you on your toes while playing the game. Sometimes, the usual hiding spots that you use will not be safe anymore once they learn to check them regularly. There are times wherein they cut you off the usual path that you take to avoid them.
Lastly, the game’s world is much more expansive, and the developers did a great job of implementing multiple enemies this time compared to the first game. There are numerous houses to explore, which house different enemies, each with its unique behavior. This aspect is truly a step above the previous game, in which you can only explore the maze-like apartment of Mr. Peterson.
Visuals and Presentation
There are obvious graphical improvements such as better lighting, shadows, and even texture upgrades from the first game. The UI seems to be much cleaner as well, with a briefcase-like inventory menu which is a lot better in my opinion. As you progress through the game, you fill up a board that shows you all of the clues you found in each house so that you don’t have to go back to each of the houses to try and get the clues again. In my case, the board is bugged and doesn’t show anything.
Lastly, there seems to be a day and night cycle which is not present in the original game. Through the day and night cycle, the enemies are supposed to have different behaviors depending on the time of day. However, this doesn’t seem to be fully implemented as of yet.
What Is The Hype All About?
The hype primarily revolves around self-learning AI which poses a significant challenge for players as time passes by. According to Hello Neighbor 2’s Steam page description, “As time passes, his behavior will change. Can you outsmart the Neighbor and find out what he’s hiding?” This challenge makes players even more excited, and the fact that it’s a self-learning AI makes it even better. Players can find thrilling ways to outsmart the AI until the AI generates a pattern to block the solution, which keeps the cycle going.
Here’s a video from the developers showing how their self-learning AI generates patterns to improve their response to each player’s action.
Hello Neighbor 2: Is The Game Good At This Stage Of Development?
I’ll be frank and straightforward but I did have a bit of fun with the game even though there are still lots of bugs with Beta 0.0. What mainly drives me to play this game is the curiosity I have about the game’s lore and story. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a game that you can keep on playing for hours on end as of its current state.
The biggest drawback that keeps me from playing the game, even more, is that the AI is pretty much broken at this state. You can easily outrun them, outsmart enemies, and sometimes, they just refuse to work at all. Take this example in my case, once you get to the museum, there is a ladder upstairs that you can just conveniently hop on and Mr. Peterson will just “lose sight” of you even though you’re out in the open. We are hoping that the AI bugs and problems get fixed as soon as possible since they take the fun out of the game.
Lastly, there’s this crow-like figure that apparently grabs and throws you out when you stray off of the path that you’re supposed to take. Which again is not a great implementation of bounds and limits for explorable areas. It’s tedious that you have to watch a cutscene of the crow-like figure grabbing you and throwing you out. The game didn’t even properly present what’s the mechanic behind that, and how to avoid the crow. Spoilers: You can jump and glitch your way past the crow to explore “restricted” areas.
We understand that the game is still in beta, so we are still hoping that all of these issues get resolved once the main game is out. In the typical Hello Neighbor style, the final release is much different from the beta releases.
Hello Neighbor 2: Release Date
You can already play the game through its beta releases once you “pre-purchase” the game’s Deluxe Edition through Steam or even the Xbox application on PC. Hello Neighbor 2 will be fully released on all major platforms on December 6th, 2022. Like the first game, tinybuild will seemingly release the game in segmented parts until the release date, so expect more content to play as we get closer to December 6th.
Here are the inclusions of the Deluxe Edition:
- Hello Neighbor 2 Base Game
- Exclusive Access to the Beta Experience (which you can play right now)
- Deluxe Edition Content with three day-one DLCs: Late Fees, Back to School, and Hello-Copter
- 5-day Early Access (You’ll be able to access the full version of the game by December 1st)
Hello Neighbor 2 is slowly inching its way towards its full release, and we can’t wait for further improvements in the game, as this sequel seems to be a more promising experience than the first one.
Did you enjoy this article? If so, then check out other excellent articles!