So far the DLC’s for Little Nightmares have been a mixed bag. The Depths maintained the games creepy atmosphere but failed to deliver on the lore front. Meanwhile, The Hideaway did the opposite, sacrificing tension for a lore dump. Thankfully, with the final chapter, The Residence, they seem to have discovered a happy medium.
We rejoin the Runaway Kid as he faces the most formidable foe in the Maw, the Lady. Much like the Hideaway, this is an enemy you will already be familiar with. However, the Lady is a far more interesting character that’s shrouded in mystery. So facing her again is exciting rather than disappointing. We learn more about her powers and crucially for fans a little more about who she is.
Before this lore update though you’ll make your way through a number of puzzles. Unlike the rest of Little Nightmares, the majority of The Residence takes place predominately in one area, a library. The bulk of your time will be spent gathering 3 statues to unlock a door that will hopefully lead to freedom.
This means running about in that area completing the various puzzles on offer to claim the statues. My complaints with the puzzles in Little Nightmares remain the same, they’re never particularly satisfying to complete and in places, they are incredibly mundane. One is essentially cleaning up books while another is simply matching up pictures. Thankfully, they’re never particularly difficult and won’t stump you so long that it severely delays you from seeing the interesting parts.
One of these moments is the flashlight being useful for the first time in its existence. Not only is the area dark enough in places that it’s helpful for being able to see where you’re heading but there are also shadowy enemies donning similar masks to the Lady that can be killed by light.
That’s right, you’ll be attacked by little hordes of these things and you’ll have to focus your light on them until they disintegrate like the Kid is a young Alan Wake. Having some semblance of combat in Little Nightmares may be unwanted by a number of people but for me it made me value the flashlight in a way that I never have before.
I found myself swinging the torch around erratically at shadows that looked suspiciously like enemies knowing that its beam was all that protected me. Of course, sometimes they were just shadows but that made these moments even tenser as I began to question my own judgement.
The latter sections of the DLC, from the point those shadowy fiends turn up, are excellent. After escaping them you’ll finally face the Lady, a tense cat and mouse section where you’ll never feel truly safe. This section transitions into an ending for the Runaway Kid that’s masterfully executed if a little unsurprising.
It’s a fantastic way to close out the story of Little Nightmares, a game that never inspired me with its gameplay but created such a fantastic narrative and atmosphere that I’d still recommend it anyway.