Do you remember the review I made about the first Dungeon Nightmares, a year ago now (and that I should rework 😅)? If you've been following the site since its creation, probably, since this is the very first video game review I've written, and there's not been a lot since; otherwise, I invite you to go read it quickly (it is very short) to know a little better what it is.
Dungeon Nightmares II - The Memory, which I had mentioned at the time, is the sequel of this game, released in 2015, a year after the first opus. And of course, the principle is the same: for seven nights, you will be locked in a dungeon from which you will need to escape as soon as possible. With some changes, however ...
In this one, you will be woken up every night by an alarm clock in a hotel room. The scene will evolve each time, as you progress through the story. You are on the third floor, and all doors are locked; your only way out is an elevator sinking into the depths. During the first nights, your goal will be to explore the dungeons to find room keys, which will allow you to explore the hotel a little more between each level. Of course, you will soon realize that this hotel is full of horrors and seems to be at the heart of a dark story... So you have to explore its depths and floors to find the secrets it houses and restore... your memory.
As far as the basic mechanics of the game are concerned, they differ little from those of its predecessor: a dungeon, a map (which in contrast, here, reveals as you progress, and not from the beginning), candles, monsters chasing you... The lighter, however, is a new addition, and it's useful against some enemies.
It is when we look more closely at the contents of the levels that we notice many changes: to begin with, Mary, the "mummy", is no longer the only real threat, on the contrary! In this second episode, everything, literally, wants to harm you. We can notice the appearance of new traps fortunately static and thus easy to avoid (giant circular saws, picks, pools of blood, propellers, bottomless pit...), but also other less predictable that you will most of the time be obliged to cross (guillotines, swinging blades, fire...).
But let's now talk about enemies. In addition to Mary, who is in this episode the second biggest threat wandering in the dungeons (and no longer the first...), skeletons and the ghost girl, many characters have come to swell the ranks of "monsters". From much more powerful skeletons to the invisible and deadly boy Asmodeus (does it sound demoniacal enough?), passing by Behemoth and fire babies (yes, yes, that's a lot of strange things, isn't it?), you will have a lot of trouble... Such a surprising list of characters could almost seem comical, said like that... but believe me, it's not.
Another mechanic of the game, which already existed in the first but which has been reworked, is about hallucinations. While the ones of Dungeon Nightmares could sometimes scare, they remained basically quite basic and predictable, since the player was warned of their arrival by a black screen. Here, they are not: they will appear suddenly and without the slightest warning, and, of course, they are much, much more disturbing. Those of the first nights remain quite quiet, and should moreover be described as subliminal images, with brief appearances of one of the monsters. In the middle and end of the game, however, you will be entitled to whole scenes; I personally had the one of a girl indulging in what seemed to be a ritual, but also the one of a giant face from which a train was coming... What makes them disturbing is that when they appear, one is totally unable to give them an explanation (basically, one says, "WTF ??") ... but in fact, there is one, that I will try to explain ... another time 😉.
Finally, the last of the most important mechanics to me is the permadeath. The principle is the same as in the first game: if you die, you have to restart everything from the beginning. I mean, not exactly: this second episode offers a small variation, since after a death, you will find yourself in a small room with two doors in front of you. One of them will allow you to resume at the beginning of the night, the other will end your game. Of course, there is no way to differentiate them, so you have one chance out of two... Where I find this mechanic interesting (although annoying when it turns against you, it must be admitted), it is because it plays for a lot in the feeling of fear which overwhelms you when you are in the dungeons, because, believe me, you do not want to see all your efforts and your previous fears reduced till nothing. Truly not.
Now, let's talk about the (very) creepy aspect of the game. As much to warn you automatically, the developer is not joking and warns you when launching the game that it "contains flashing images, loud noises and scenes that some players may find disturbing". And this is the case: just playing a few nights (and until the end if you have the courage) and watching let's plays is enough to realize that the developer did not skimp on the jumpscares (which remain very intelligently placed, there is no question) and different visions of horror. The first game is completely nice compared to it, and you clearly must not play it if you're sensitive, and it's not a joke. During my games, I was constantly afraid that something would jump on me, and arriving at night 6 facing the horrible atmosphere of the latter made me feel really uncomfortable: indeed, in the last two nights, the walls of the dungeons are organic, arms and heads are coming out from those (yes, it is filthy), and we can hear distant screams.
The game actually won't give you the slightest respite; unlike a scripted game like Outlast or Resident Evil (which are already well known to be scary but did not impact me as much as this one), the jumpscares are not scripted (with one or two exceptions) and are thus unpredictable and can cumulate without any problem!
Finally, let's move quickly (I promise) to my personal opinion: well, despite the significant difficulty of the game and its "amount of fear", Dungeon Nightmares II is a game that I appreciated a lot and whose hidden story interests me hugely (it is indeed a rather secret scenario and probably free interpretation to a certain extent, just as the Five Nights at Freddy's saga). This is why I would like to write a chronic to try to analyze the story in detail, even if it remains to be confirmed. I recommend this second episode to those that horror games impact little, and also advise it to all others, warning them all the same that the idea is not necessarily good if they are rather sensitive! And if you have the courage to play until the end, you will see for yourself that the relief generated by the "Ending" screen is second to none!...
Now, all I have to do is to wait impatiently for the next game by K Monkey, the "spiritual successor of Dungeon Nightmares", Ergastulum, whose release is scheduled for 2020...
Note : some pictures are screenshots that I made myself, and some others come from other sources; in that case, you can know that source by hovering your cursor on these pictures. You can find the different pages here :
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