Video gamers once again find themselves struggling for survival against tormented and deadly animatronics in Scott Cawthon’s fifth installment of his horror series, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” (FNaF).
I have been playing all genre of video games for the past 8 years and I have not been so invested and exhilarated by a horror game since Resident Evil 4.
Ever since FNaF first came out, i have played and beaten every single game in the series. I have also read the novel and have avidly followed related media to the game, including youtube channel Game Theory’s videos regarding the story behind FNaF.
The first game of FNaF’s was released August 2014 as a simple horror game. The premise of the game was simple, and the programming was rather unimpressive.
To sum it up quickly, the player plays as a night security guard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria and is trained through messages left over the phone by a previous guard. The player must prevent each different animatronic from entering their location, else they will be killed.
One main complaint gamers had of the first four games was that the gameplay was similar in each game. While the backstory was developed and in-depth, each game consisted of the player defending themselves in one single location with no means of offense.
Granted, each game had different elements that made that game unique, but the core gameplay was still the same. The player would either have to prevent the animatronic(s) from entering their location or hide when the animatronics inevitably did. Then, Scott published “Sister Location.”
Scott has come a long way in his game design with Sister Location, offering more than just cheap jump scares and ambient horror. He has managed to blend terrifying environments, dynamic gameplay and a compelling horror story together in one game, whilst avoiding the consistently similar gameplay that was present in his first four games.
Each night of “Sister Location” has the player accomplishing something different, be it checking on the animatronics and shocking them if they are not in their proper place, or removing the power supply from an animatronic after blindly avoiding another one in a pitch black room.
Each animatronic is a threat in a completely different manner that keeps the player on their toes as they have to learn and adapt to not fail the night. As they listen to the automated voice suspiciously guiding them through the night, the player is constantly haunted by the awkward chilling environment they find themselves in. Voice lines greet the player during the loading screen of each night that, if the player knows the novel’s lore, are intensely concerning for what might happen during the game. Even if the player has not read the novel (which I recommend they do), the delivery of the voice lines are still creepy.
Ultimately, Scott has outdone himself with “Sister Location.” The classic jump scares are still present in the game, but are not cheapened due to the many unique ways you can run into each jumpscare. The story of the game is immensely imbedded with the lore of the “FNaF.”
It is very obvious that Scott had listened to his fan base, working with what the fans like and improving on what they complained about. I look forward to discovering all the secrets Scott has packed into “Sister Location”, especially how much the game does relate to the book and whatever happens during the secret True Ending.
Tim Smith can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org