Review: Emily Wants To Play Too.
Shawn himself, over at Skhapps, the developer of Emily Wants To Play and the sequel, Emily Wants To Play Too, was nice enough to send me a review copy for the sequel. This is a creepy one, so prepare to get spooked a LOT. Let's go!
Platform: standard Xbox One.
First of all, this isn't a direct sequel to the first game as in playing as the same character. This time, you play as a different character. In the sequel, everything has pretty much gone up a notch: there's even more characters, the difficulty has increased, the graphics/visuals are even more gorgeous, the playable area is a lot bigger, and the game is better optimized. The game starts with you, the main character, arriving at his apartment after partying, while being very tired. Your task, obviously, is to find your bed and go to sleep. Later on, the protagonist is waking up from a good night's sleep and your first task is to turn the alarm clock off, since according to the protagonist AND me, it's a very annoying alarm clock. Also, the main menu is actually a room now, that you freely can walk around in, and you're able to interact with things. You also seem to actually be a modeled asset now (the protagonist can be seen, and he's in a full 3D form). When it comes to the three new characters, they are: Weasl (green/white tall doll), Greta (short brown/black little doll, also very scary) & Maxwell Steeles (tall white doll wearing black clothes, looks to be a tuxedo-like set). Now, when you've turned the alarm clock off, the game officially starts, pretty much.
The first area is the protagonist's house/apartment, and there's all sorts of creepy things happening there. Did you forget to turn the music box off in the bathroom? Prepare for a surprise. Did you accidentally turn the power switch off? It was nice knowing you! The first area is a bit tricky: you'll have to find your car keys, take a shower, do the dishes and later on fiddle with the clocks, in order to go to work and essentially, I know this sounds insanely weird and stupid but: let Emily in. Yeah. It turned out, though, that the first part is actually just a nightmare, and his apartment isn't really plagued by dolls after all. This time, the protagonist is a sandwich deliverer, of some sort. I've actually found some references to YouTubers, too, which is really cool (like finding PewDiePie's book, for example).
There's been a step-up in terms of how the game runs and looks. Visually/graphics-wise, it looks stunningly good. I'm pretty sure it runs in a native resolution of 1080p and at a framerate of 60fps (could be 30fps, too, but it feels like 60fps). I remember the first game having a slight issue with its framerate, which isn't really as existant anymore.
Now, I don't recall you being able to pick objects up in the first game (other than drawings and such), but maybe that's just me. You're able to pick cups and other things up now. There's an incredible amount of detail when it comes to objects. The audio design is also very good, and seems to be improved on as well. Sure, running around in your apartment will be pretty annoying since the excessive amount of objects on the floor will be making a LOT of noise, but the audio is still great. The protagonist actually has a shadow now, which is great but it's a very weird shadow. It's like it's not even a shadow, it's more like a completely black version of the protagonist, disguised as a shadow, since it nearly looks 3D sometimes. It's really weird but I guess it's a development trick used by Shawn (smart!). So graphics and performance-wise, it holds up very well.
You probably remember that you played as a pizza delivery guy in the first game and that the dolls locked him inside the house, forcing him to survive until 6 AM. Well, in the sequel, things are different. The game is set in a big warehouse-like place, with different sections each requiring a specific keycard that you have to find in the earlier section, while trying to evade and survive the dolls attacks. As I wrote earlier, there's new dolls: Weasl, Greta and Maxwell Steeles, each with their own traits and ways of overcoming them.
Weasl: Weasl is a music box toy/doll that, according to the game, killed a kid way back, leaving the parents with no trace of what happened. If you hear his music box, you'll quickly have to find it and turn it off in order to evade him killing you. Greta: Greta is a doll that got burnt inside a house that got burnt down with, once again, a kid (a little girl). She has no eyes, therefore forcing her to rely on her ears. So, in order to evade her if you see her, you'll have to be very quiet, as in not closing any doors, or running at all. Maxwell Steeles: Maxwell is a mannequin suit/doll that was used by a robber that got shot and killed by police officers during a robbery. He used to dress up in the suit and wait inside a mall until it closed, to be able to rob the mall's stores. Maxwell is never shown when lights are on, he only appears when the power turns off completely. In order to evade him, you'll quickly have to find the circuit box and turn the power on again. In case he finds you, you'll have to outrun him, while using your flashlight to slow him down, since he's very fast. In the sequel, you're not only playing in a small house, you're playing in a big warehouse-like place, trying to evade both the new dolls AND the older dolls. Each new doll has its own place, where you'll have to meet them and overcome them. If you thought the first game was hard, you're in for a scary ride. Also, in case you find the jumpscare bit of the game annoying or too scary, you can turn them off.
All in all
Emily Wants To Play Too is a great sequel to the first game that is totally worth the $8. I enjoyed every bit of the game and even though it was really scary sometimes, I was able to go through it. The sequel improves on every aspect that the first game had, and proves that the cheap jumpscare trend can actually be pretty scary, too. Emily Wants To Play Too is insanely scary yet brilliant all the way through its end.
My score: 4.5 out of 5.
+ Good level design
+ Insanely scary
+ Gorgeous graphics/audio design
+ Improved upon in every way
+ Performs really well
+ Pretty good story
+ Awesome and easily unlocked achievements
+ Cool YouTuber references
- A bit too short
- Can be a bit repetitive due to the jumpscares
Reviewed by Jesper Ingemansson (Fuzion).