Hello Neighbor comes a-knocking in this intense trailer

Hello Neighbor

I consider myself lucky to have the normal, not-terrifying sort of neighbours. I’ve never had to entertain thoughts of what that almost-but-not-quite screaming noise was at night, or wonder what they needed an industrial pressure-washer for. And I’m sure the local rumors are exaggerated. They have to be, right?

Fortunately for me, then, that I can vicariously enjoy those unsettling thoughts through videogames. Upcoming stealth-horror game Hello Neighbor is ready for one more round in the limelight thanks to a spooky new trailer after the jump, and a few announcements from creators Dynamic Pixels.

Hello Neighbor is Alien: Isolation meets Tom Waits’ What’s He Building In There? Adam told you about it before. All the footage in the trailer above is captured from the Release Candidate version of the game, say Publisher tinyBuild, so it’s getting close to completion. The final version now has a release date too – December 8th, with only tweaks, tuning and QA work needed before a final push to launch.

I was not expecting some of the stuff shown in the trailer, although I must admit I’ve not been keeping up with beta updates. Your nemesis – the gadgeteering Neighbor – has always seemed mechanically inclined in his solutions to problems, but the degree to which his house grows over the course of the game – rollercoaster tracks and all – is a bit much.

Plus, the whole animated mannequin-thing. Would probably be a lot less scary if you put a nice cozy sweater on it.

It’s impressive how much tension they’ve wrung out of the game, given its bloodless, brightly coloured aesthetic. Proof that you don’t need hockey-masks and chainsaws to be menacing. The Neighbor and his AI are still the stars of the show, with him deploying traps and security systems to cover gaps you’ve discovered on previous attempts to explore his house and discover the secrets within.

Hello Neighbor is set for release on December 8th. You can preorder via Steam or Humble for £23/$30 to get beta access immediately, though I’m holding off until launch. Scares are only at their best the first time round, after all.

5 Comments

  1. UncleLou says:

    The alpha/demo or whatever it exactly was is one of the scariest games I’ve ever played. A bit too difficult maybe and quite limited, but I guess at least the latter will have changed.

    Great to see developers doing interesting things with AI, what with Echo and this.

  2. poliovaccine says:

    I really dig this one – I always like games of “horror hide and seek” I call em, like Alien Isolation or Outlast or SOMA (even if that last one was more story than hide and seek), and then also, entirely aside from that, I dig the whole “Pixar-but-a-little-more-warped” kind of aesthetic they’re going for (and nailing). I was following it through several alpha iterations, so I’ve already had a chance to be surprised at the absurd additions to the house, but I think I’ll be fine with it so long as it actually starts the way it was in the first alphas, and only grows choo-choo tracks and topheavy meta-attics later in the game. If it just starts out all zany I’ll still dig the game overall, but it’ll feel like a missed opportunity, where seeing new additions could be a dripfed treat throughout, like discovering new enemy types in a Silent Hill game or something, or finding shortcuts in Dark Souls.

    It can definitely be a bit too dick-hard sometimes – at least in the earlier alphas I remember most, which I assume has been fixed, because every alpha was a noticeable jump forward in overall polish (with one weird exception where everything seemed to go backwards for an update – performance dragged all of a sudden, and animations/controls seemed strangely janky where they hadn’t before – alpha 3 or 4 maybe?). But when it works it really works, like it’s the molar-grinding, sphincter-clenching tension of Alien:Isolation at its best, but with that disarming art style – the damnable neighbor is godless quick and there’s just enough magical realism in the environment to make it feel consistently unpredictable (not to mention the shifty AI – hey btw, was it a coincidence that Alien: Isolation abbreviates to AI?). Ultimately, though, the noticeable changes and reworkings from one alpha to the next made me decide to quit peeking til final release (well, it was those changes combined w the fact that the unoptimized neighbor’s house became more of a framerate-killer with every new addition and the game was getting unplayable… how does one even get a permit to add a roller coaster anyway?)

    Really cool game though, a pure stealth game with potential for mass appeal, I hardly thought it could be done!

    Btw, the Tom Waits reference is pretty dead on, haha. I had a friend/roomie back in college who made a fun video to that track, if I can find it I’ll post it here.

  3. something says:

    More anti moustache propaganda.

  4. dethtoll says:

    It’s already on my wishlist, but linking to Tom Waits just seals the deal.

Comment on this story

XHTML: Allowed code: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>