Despite negative critical reception from the original Hello Neighbor, the title has a thriving community and developer tinyBuild is doubling down on their community support, by implementing how they play into Hello Neighbor 2 through its AI. With a new system called the “AI-Neural Network,” NPCs will learn the patterns of all players by collecting data, requiring you to be more varied with your choices.
Along with the AI being smarter, it also makes NPCs more adaptable with being able to analyze what is the best course of action depending on the situation they’re in. This can include buzzsawing their way through a metal gate you trapped them on the other side of or using a cooler as a makeshift wheel after you remove a tire from their car. These types of decisions, while may not be always effective, impressed me to see the level of creativity that has been applied.One major way to take advantage of being on enemy turf is by inflicting temporary status effects, which is a new feature for Hello Neighbor 2. Depending on whether your pursuer is dirty, wet, or cold, their status effect will disrupt their routine until they resolve it. For example, they might take a shower or warm up near a heater. Not only will this give you an open window of time, but causing these statuses may cause them to unintentionally give you access to key items that you can use to progress through a house.
While I wasn’t able to play Hello Neighbor 2 myself just yet, and it currently being in the early Alpha stage, it could evolve over time. That said, tinyBuild seems to be aware of the necessary quality of life improvements that were missing from its first game, and they’re saying all the right things so far in an effort to make Hello Neighbor 2 even creepier and more fun than before.
Cameron Hawkins is a contributor to IGN and has made frequent appearances on Podcast Unlocked. Talk Kingdom Hearts with him on Twitter at @camfinalmix.