Video games in the horror genre usually rely on jump scares to frighten players into sleepless nights. However, for newly announced Hello Neighbor, the terror will come from the fact that the game's AI is capable of learning to fight back against the player.
The premise of the game, being developed by Dynamic Pixels and to be published by tinyBuild, is simple. The player, who is moving to a new house, meets a normal-looking neighbor. However, the player finds out that the neighbor has his basement door nailed up. What could be behind that door?
The objective of the game is to sneak into the neighbor's house and get into his basement to find out what he is hiding without being caught. Stealth is certainly not a new element in video games, but the game provides a new meaning to suspense with the AI that powers the mysterious neighbor.
According to the game's official page, the neighbor is capable of gathering all the information regarding the movements, actions and decisions of the player. The AI then analyzes the data to come up with ways to counter what the player does, including traps and tactics. The more that gamers play, the more experienced the AI becomes in dealing with them.
When the neighbor catches players, they will respawn in their house with their progress saved, but with all the objects in their inventory removed. There are no checkpoints, but players can pause their games through a save and quit option.
The game also has a Steam listing that further describes what players can expect from the neighbor's AI. For example, if a player keeps climbing through the neighbor's backyard windows, a bear trap will be placed there. If a player enjoys sneaking through the front door, the neighbor will install cameras. If a player keeps running through the same route to escape, the neighbor will pass through a shortcut to catch the player.
A gameplay video that has been released for Hello Neighbor reveals the action that players can look forward to in the game. The video shows how a player was able to distract the neighbor to sneak in through the front door, and then pick up items while avoiding being seen by the neighbor once he gets back in the house. The suspense builds up as the player tries to keep hidden while avoiding obstacles and blocked passages, but the neighbor is eventually able to catch the player before he is able to enter the basement.
The game, exclusively for the PC, is slated for release in the summer of 2017. Players who have had their interest piqued with the title can sign up to test the alpha version of Hello Neighbor through this link.