Before, Five Nights At Freddy’s was pretty damn scary. Granted, I had my first experience with FNAF when I was a kid, but I had my first experience with Hostel when I was a kid too and it still stands. Jumping addiction aside, the early Five Nights at Freddy games also hold up, but horror seems to be lacking in the latest edition, Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach. The only scary thing in the game these days is the political views of creator Scott Cawthon. Zing! Who said TheGamer couldn’t satire, eh?
There have been some changes for the security breach. On the one hand, it allows you to move around freely and is located in a shopping center rather than the classic pizzeria. It also consists of a single night instead of the usual five. I’m all for games to take risks with their direction, but these three elements reduce the fear in Five Nights At Freddy’s – or should I say One Night At A Place That Is Even Freddy’s. FNAF at its best leaves you feeling claustrophobic, like you’re trapped in a room on the Capitol as armed assailants threaten to destroy America’s democracy. Zing again! Two in a row! Seriously, Cawthon is just terrible.
Free roaming makes it seem like you’ve missed the mark on “all games should be open world,” but also actively takes away one of the game’s strongest elements. The fact that it’s not in Freddy’s also looks bad – a mall can work for horror, with many horror movies using the mall as their playground, and Netflix’s century-old trilogy Fear Street is never scarier than when it was in it. food court, but combined with the new free roaming, it just doesn’t look like Freddy’s. Going from five nights to one night doesn’t help, as it spreads the tension rather than making everything shorter and more immediate, but that’s probably the smallest factor here.
In fact, while these are all the changes the game makes, none of them are the biggest issue with Five Nights At Freddy’s. It’s a miracle the series has released as many games as it did without modifying them in a similar way, indeed. The problem is the same as with all of the horror franchises at the end – Five Nights At Freddy’s has no idea what it wants to be. It would be hard enough without the series becoming a meme, but with that to keep in mind as well, Five Nights At Freddy’s is stuck.
He could continue to pursue the more difficult horror elements of his early days, but it’s hard to keep that cool when the series is already a little ironic and campy. Either lose that fun and dive into more extreme horror, as the once deliciously outdated American horror story did with the darker scenes of Cult, Red Tide, and Death Valley, you repeat yourself over and over again as FNAF was already done, or you’re trying to lean into the most popular and dumb stuff and become a Resident Evil-style parody of yourself. Security Breach is the Resident Evil from Five Nights At Freddy’s.
Although the creatures remain monstrous and ghoulish animatronics, they contain more than a little fur these days. Previously, jump alerts were cleverly timed and forceful enough to trigger an alert, although it could get a bit expensive. Now they just feel silly. Part of the problem is that the first game was new, and this one must be different from something that’s already out there, while my own experience with horror games might lead to a lukewarm reaction this time around as well, but if you change this number of things about your game and the main takeaway is you’ve made one of your monsters sexy, that’s probably a problem for you.
Five Nights At Freddy’s isn’t sure what it is anymore, and in some ways it’s sad that a series launched with such energy seems doomed to run out of steam. But also Scott Cawthon sucks.
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