Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 – PC
Just as the nightmares were starting to go away…
Developer: Scott Cawthon
Publisher: Scott Cawthon
Release Date: November 10, 2014
Genre: Point-and-Click, Horror, Strategy, Indie
Nerd Rating: 9 out of 10
Ever since its release in August, Five Nights at Freddy’s has attracted a slew of die-hard fans, so when the trailer for the second installment was released, people went over the freaking moon. And I would be lying if I said I didn’t piss my pants with excitement, too. At first the developer, Scott Cawthon, said it would be released sometime in 2015. Then he told us it would be released on Christmas. Then he sneakily released it at midnight of November 10 and took us all by surprise. The first game shattered my innocence but made me fall in love with it at the same time. That being said, not only was I excited for the sequel, I was also very skeptical. It didn’t seem like there was enough time between the two games to fully flesh-out the story behind the haunted animatronics (there are some disturbing theories out there). When the demo was released, a few Youtube videos came out, and I noticed that the new Bonnie the Bunny character had the exact same path from backstage, to the party room, to the other party room, to the air vent, and into your office. This exact path would happen on every first night, for every different Youtuber that played it. I shook my head and said to myself, “this isn’t going to work, the A.I. of the animatronics is too repetitive, there’s going to be nothing new brought to the table.”
Yep, the game is amazing. It’s stressful, irritating, horrifying, fantastic, and fun. The demo version I saw didn’t do justice for what this series of
games truly is: one of the most ground-breaking horror games of all time. Five Night’s at Freddy’s 2 is evil in such a satisfying way.
Once again, you take on the role of a security guard, watching Freddy Fazbear’s pizza from 12am to 6am, making sure to check the cameras and your blind spots. And that’s about the only thing that has stayed the same since the first game. Everything else is twisted. First of all, THERE ARE NO FREAKING DOORS. You are completely vulnerable, and your only line of defense is a flashlight and a Freddy Fazbear head. But you have to be fast, because one defense that works on an animatronic may not work on another. In addition, you must periodically wind up a music box using a remote mechanism in the prize room, to keep a creepy marionette from waking up and attacking you. It may not sound like a whole lot of responsibility, but as the nights go on, it gets much more difficult. You can’t miss a single step or you will suffer a horrible fate at the hands, er, paws of one the characters. If you waste even a split second before putting on the Freddy Fazbear head, you will die. No mercy, you’re just dead.
And if that sounds like a lot for just four animatronics, well, you should probably that there’s actually 11. 11 animatronics. 11 animatonics that will murder the shit out of you and will resort to crawling through the air ducts just to do it. There are the original four from the first game: Bonnie, Chica, Freddy, and Foxy (even the notorious Golden Freddy hallucination makes it to animatronic status for the sequel). And some newcomers: Toy Bonnie, Toy Chica, Toy Freddy, The Mangle, the Marionette and Balloon Boy.
Balloon Boy is a straight-up asshole who disables your flashlight, which makes you vulnerable to Foxy. When this little shit shows up, you can kiss yourself goodbye.
So the gameplay is even more dynamic now, you must still check the cameras and conserve as much power as you can, but with the added music box, the flashlight, and the Freddy Fazbear head, it just makes it easier to slip up and make a fatal mistake. It’s best to maintain a routine of checking the air ducts, the front hallway, winding the music box, then throwing the Freddy mask on. And it all needs to be done quickly in order to be effective. However, there are several helpful audio cues to help you prepare and succeed.
My only real problem with the gameplay is the stubborn flashlight. The new office has buttons over the air ducts to turn on the light. The only time you ever use the flashlight is to check dark rooms on your camera, or light up the hallway directly in front of you. There are several occasions where I will try and flash the front hall, but the flashlight will only light up a corner of the room. Even if I have the camera pointed in front me, it still wants to light up the side of the screen. It takes a few tries to get it to shine in the right direction.
What I really admire about this game is how creative in its simplicity it is. Like the first game, it doesn’t take much to deliver. However, I still find that the original game still better at delivering scares than its sequel. Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 is still an outstanding game, but after the first couple of nights, it becomes less of a horror game, and more of a action or strategy game. The first game left little scraps of its back story around the pizzeria for the player to find and piece together. Most of the fear comes from yourself and what your mind perceives. The posters will change into some creepy imagery, the atmosphere is surreal, and the whole game feels like a nightmare. The second game is also very scary, but it doesn’t quite hit the bar that its predecessor did. The story of the animatronics and what you are supposed to fear is practically spelled out for you like a children’s book.
To its credit, there are some disturbing moments in this second installment that do lead to great storytelling. For example, the eerie arcade games that you play in between nights.
These perturbing mini-games gave me chills. I didn’t really know what I was looking at, though I figured they were trying to explain the birth of these animatronic nightmares. But these dream-like arcade games were what ended up getting to me. Okay, well I’ll admit that this scared me:
So I’ve come to this conclusion: Five Nights at Freddy’s is intended to be a nightmare, a hellish vision with some of the scariest images out there. Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 is also Hell, but it seems to serve more as an explanation, but more realistic. There’s no switching posters or hallucinations, it’s gritty and real. But different people have different ideas about what they find scary, and what they don’t. For me, the nightmare feel of the first game is what makes me heart beat accelerate.
Oh yeah, I should probably mention my little side project here:
Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 is an awesome sequel, especially in the short amount of time it was released. This whole series is worth your time, and it comes with some of the most creative imagery and storytelling that I’ve seen in years.
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