When Little Nightmares II made its eerie debut in 2021, it drew acclaim for its spine-chilling ambiance and ingenious puzzles. Fast forward two and a half years since the last core installment, and the devoted fanbase of this critically acclaimed series has a new reason to rejoice. Bandai Namco, the herald behind this franchise, has tantalizingly unveiled that the revered developer, Supermassive Games, of Until Dawn fame, is diligently crafting a fresh addition to the Little Nightmares universe. And behold, we’ve been granted our initial glimpse into the enigmatic world of Little Nightmares III.
Little Nightmares III unfurls the saga of Low and Alone, a pair of children ensnared within The Spiral, a nightmarish labyrinth of grotesque realms. Together, they must forge an alliance to break free from a lurking malevolence lurking in the shadows. This harrowing journey can still be undertaken solo with one character being CPU-controlled, or you can opt for the spine-tingling experience of online co-op play with a friend.
The gripping gameplay demo escorts us into the desolation of the Necropolis, a barren desert biome where visibility is a precious commodity. Producer Coralie Feniello paints a grim picture of it as “a city of eternal energy and certain death.” Here, a haunting absence of music underscores the overwhelming sense of despair and lifelessness. As Low and Hope ascend a towering structure, they penetrate what seems to be an eerie tomb-like structure. Each character wields a unique weapon; Alone, a wrench, and Low, a bow. These tools prove pivotal in unlocking distinct pathways within this chilling labyrinth.
Given the emphasis on cooperative play, Low and Alone must synergize their efforts to unravel intricate puzzles. In a striking example, Alone manipulates a mechanism to extend a bridge while Low races across it, deftly using his bow to stabilize it. Communication is facilitated through calls and gestures, rendering voice chat redundant in this cooperative odyssey.
Continuing their ascent, they encounter a crow clutching a vital key. Swiftly, Low employs his bow to dislodge the key from the crow’s beak, allowing them to progress deeper into the Necropolis. As they press forward, an ominous revelation unfolds – a colossal hand stretches across one of the rooms. Initially mistaken for a lifeless statue, it springs to life, unveiling its connection to a gargantuan monstrosity christened “Monster Baby,” one of the unsettling Residents of Little Nightmares III. The duo narrowly evades the clutches of Monster Baby, aware that his gaze is as petrifying as stone.
Skipping ahead, the demo transports us into the dimly lit catacombs of the Necropolis. Monster Baby’s destructive rampage persists, smashing through walls with brute force. Amid puzzles involving gigantic scarabs and trudging through waist-deep sand, Low and Alone emerge once more into the cityscape. They continue their nerve-wracking game of cat and mouse with Monster Baby, but as the demo culminates, it appears their luck may have run dry, as the colossal hand closes in just before the gameplay concludes.
In addition to this chilling preview, we’ve also been enlightened about “The Sounds of Nightmares,” a riveting six-part podcast series unraveling the intricate lore of the Little Nightmares universe, with the first two episodes set to send shivers down listeners’ spines soon. Brace yourselves, for Little Nightmares III is slated to haunt PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC screens in 2024.