Hello Neighbour 2 Preview

If the original Hello Neighbour taught me anything it’s that as much as I don’t want to admit it, I like to at least have a little hand holding throughout my games. I don’t want to be guided on rails, I don’t want to things to be predictable and easy, but I at least want some sort of idea about what it is I should be doing. Hello Neighbour ripped all of that away when it threw players into the thick of it with its arrival on Xbox One back in 2017, and with Hello Neighbour 2 due out later this year, I jumped into the preview to see if we should be expecting more of the same in regards to guesswork and a lack of known direction – turns out, this adventure will be just as unforgiving too, with an A.I even more tuned in to your every move

Hello Neighbour 2 begins with players being thrust into a tutorial stage set within an abandoned barn. This teaches all the game basics such as movement, controls, and so on. Once you’ve worked through this it’s on into the town and you – a journalist, must uncover the truth of just what it is that’s happening before you.

Now whilst much of the previous entry was restricted to one main house, this time around players are encouraged to explore more openly with multiple houses and buildings to enter and rummage through. Annoyingly there are some sensitive barriers in place that look to stop you from going out of bounds, namely in the form of an annoying bird that would appear and cause you harm if you go too far from the boundaries of what you are supposed to be exploring, but there is more than enough to look around at this stage to keep things interesting.

That said, you’ll need to do plenty of thinking outside the box once more with Hello Neighbour 2 if you are hoping to progress at any reasonable rate as once more. You’ll have no clear indication of how to move forward and each tiny step of progress is usually met with more barriers and obstacles to overcome. The only way to figure it out is usually to try, try and try again so you’ll need plenty of resilience if you’re hoping to see just what the neighbour is up too.

The one early irritation however with Hello Neighbour 2 is the fact that even the tiniest of mistakes can be enough to have you sent back to the starting area, sometimes with little knowledge of what it was that you did wrong exactly which can be somewhat frustrating.

As briefly explored in the previous outing, Hello Neighbour 2 is once more looking to utilise A.I behaviours to judge your gameplay patterns, and it’s fair to say that even at this early stage it does so much better than its predecessor. It only took one or two attempts of me trying something to then be entirely blocked thanks to a rampaging enemy looking for me in that exact location and that was early on so to think this is something that we’ll be facing for an entire game is quite the daunting prospect.  

One new feature that looks to excite is the status effects, with your neighbour able to be affected by dirt, water or temperature effects, which they will then look to overcome by doing certain actions. Not only is this a time to change things up a little and try a new approach but it also brings an entirely new gameplay element to look forward to for those that like to experiment before taking a shot at an obvious route. Visually things look improved upon too. With some fantastic attention to detail within its cartoony appearance as well as some comical inclusions such as a padlock on a car door which serves as humour service if nothing else. Hello Neighbour 2 may still be several months away yet but if what we currently have to experience is anything to go by, then this could well be the game we all hoped the original was, and one that is capable of a good jump or two along the way also.

Overall if things progress at the current rate and we see a few more new features added and maybe a little less limitation on boundaries then this could yet be one of the surprise hits of the year. So keep an eye out for December 6th 2022 when we finally get to see just how much our neighbourhood enemy has evolved.

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This game was previewed on Xbox. All of the opinions and insights here are subject to that version. Game provided by the publisher.
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After many years of dabbling and failing in Dark Souls and many other equally brutal gaming adventures, I can now be found in a state of relaxation, merely hunting for a little extra gamerscore or frightening myself with the latest Resident Evil - Sometimes I write about it too!

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