Five Nights at Freddy’s seemingly came out of nowhere, taking the psychological horror genre by storm. With many teasers released on Cawthons website, the second one has finally been released. As if we haven’t been emotionally wrecked by the ‘scariest indie game so far’, there are more features in this prequel that make your life just that bit harder.
Both games have been created in the Clickteam Fusion engine, which makes it stand out graphically. Clickteam Fusion is a 2D game creator, in which many puzzle type games and phone apps have been created. Considering the characters all look 3D but are in fact a 2D image just shows that Cawthon knows exactly how to get his hands around this engine.
Despite it being made in this way, the graphics and art-style are incredibly smooth and clear. To have characters jumping down a corridor at you and just attacking generally just makes the production even more impressive, and that’s just the game itself. We haven’t even got onto the gameplay yet!
The game starts off with a cut scene that shows you inside the head of one of the animatronics, we have every right to assume its Freddy at this point. You look left and right at both old Bonny and Chica, who are staring back at you. It’s as creepy as it sounds don’t you worry. After that the screen goes blank, and you’re back in the office ready to be a security guard… and defend yourself from psychotic robots.
The layout of the game is a lot bigger than its predecessor. There are many more party rooms, the stage where the new animatronics perform, there’s Kid Cove; a place for the toddlers to build their own friend , prize corner, and the spare parts room which is where the old animatronics reside…
In all of these rooms you have a camera and a torch. You shine the torch to see the animatronics who will be hiding in the shadows most of the time. You have to flick between these cameras to see how close they are in comparison to the office. The sheer amount of cameras is overloading, as there are more to check than the previous game. There are more blind spots too. The vents to your left and right have lights on them because the animatronics more often than not will crawl through there. There’s also a fairly large corridor ahead of you that is pitch black and has no cameras in. You have to shine your torch down there to see if there are any animatronics that may decide to run at you.
There’s the additional terror of no doors. No doors to protect you. None. So you need to find other means of protection. Of course the phone guy, voiced by the creator Scott Cawthon, tells you everything you need to know about defending yourself from them. And how do you do that? You put on a Freddy Fazbear head so that they think you’re one of them. How sweet. You also flash your torch at them, as if they are a small vulnerable animal that is scared by flashing lights. We all know this isn’t the case but it seems to hold them off for long enough. They aren’t the safety of a door but they’ll do.
You thought fighting off four or five animatronics was difficult right? And that was with doors. Well try fighting off eleven all at once. In the latest instalment there are six new characters: the toy versions of the originals, ‘mangle’, BB (or balloon boy) and the Marionette. The reason they come into your office is because in the day time they are surrounded by people, so are attracted to them. At night you are the only person left, so they want to play with you. There’s also mention of a criminal database, where the animatronics protect the children from criminals. There’s many theories surrounding this and why they come and attack you, but that’s for another time. Needless to say, these new characters are just as terrifying as the old ones, and they all try to kill you… again.
The ‘toy animatronics’ are basically kid friendly versions of the originals. They have a very cartoon like art style to them and have also become a lot more feminine. All the animatronics have been given this new lease of life, and look so much more professionally made than the other ones. When I say the characters have been feminised, Bonnie, who we assumed was a male, has been given lashings of eye shadow and mascara. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just that in the teaser we were given, everyone assumed that he was a she. Chica is fairly sexualised in this new one, as far as an animatronic chicken can be sexualised anyway, wearing hot-pants and a crop top/bib thing.
I guess this is what the fan base asked for with it’s very, VERY strange fan fictions and art based on the game, but we won’t go into that just now. Freddy looks as menacing as ever, despite the reboot, but the cartoon art style does make him look a bit like a balloon. You kind of just want to go over there and pop him to get him out of the corridor. As far as I know, the new animatronics do barely anything on night four, but up to night 3 they’re fairly active.
Now I know what you’re thinking. ‘Where is my favourite fox from pirate bay?’ Foxy is indeed my favourite animatronic and this will continue through the new game (You should have seen the look of delight on my face when I saw him coming down the corridor; I guess I have a thing for underdogs). ‘Mangle’ is essentially toy Foxy. She, yes she, lives in Kid Cove and sits there making a static like noise. The story behind the Marionette is that she used to play with the toddlers in Kid Cove, but they would eventually end up being torn apart by them. She cost too much to be put back together each time so they made her into a sort of ‘build your own’ game where the kids will take her apart and put her back together. Did I mention that she walks on the roof yet? Mangle crawls towards you on the roof.
I personally love this concept, because it’s making you look in places you wouldn’t expect the animatronics to be. Who would expect Mangle to be crawling on the roof? I know I didn’t. It was the static noise that gave away that she was in the room. It’s also adding a whole new theory to ‘the bite of 87’ story. Was it Mangle? Was it old Foxy? We don’t know. My love for Mangle carries on because she is one of the only rebooted animatronics that does something on night four, other than BB and the Marionette. The idea that she climbs on the roof is so new and versatile, that no one was expecting it.
Although the rebooted animatronics are fairly dormant, BB, the Marionette and Mangle are always active as well as the old ones. BB works the same as any of the other animatronics, you put on the Freddy Fazbear head to get rid of him etc. But when he gets into the office, he doesn’t kill you. He just stands there, staring into your soul and giggling at the fact he has turned off the electricity in your room and basically caused your death. This new dynamic is the equivalent of the electricity turning off in the previous game. You can’t turn on any of the lights, including the torch and the cameras are turned off too. The problem with BB is that he talks to you. This means there is a warning for when he is in the vents but having a small child’s voice echo down some vents is fairly disconcerting. The Marionette is an additional new dynamic. To keep it at bay, you have to play a music box.
The Marionette is a jack in the box style character, so you have to stop him from jumping out and killing you. The idea behind this is that it makes sure you keep looking at the camera, rather than just focusing all of the attention on your office. Winding it up also gives your enemies time to sneak into your office and give you a good ol’ jump scare when you come out of your monitor. The story behind both of these characters is fairly unknown right now. It’s been suggested that the Marionette was the cause of the bite of ’87, or is a hallucination. Nothing has been confirmed yet though. The Marionette is featured in some mini games that pop up. There are several mini games that happen as a result of you dying. One is the Marionette preventing children from crying… or dying but we’ll keep the idea friendly for now, one is the Marionette giving people presents and another is Freddy chasing the Marionette. The graphics for these mini-games are reminiscent of old arcade games. They could reveal the story behind the Marionette if completed properly. So far the idea of these games are unknown also.
I’d like to also mention the improvement of the noises that you hear in the game. In the first game there wasn’t much noise, except for the table fan, the closing of doors, the movement of Chica in the kitchen, the piercing scream before you’re brutally murdered… In this game you get so much more! And with more sound comes more tension. To start off with, the animatronics make more noise when they move around. So you know when they’re in a vent or when they’ve left the room etc. They still scream at you as an attack, but the new animatronics talk to you. They seemingly say hello to you in a child’s voice. Furthermore there’s an eerie noise that plays when you have an enemy in a vent or in the corridor ahead of you. Yeah it’s more of a warning than the previous game but it’s also scary as anything. There’s nothing more fear inducing than knowing that there’s something sinister right in front of you, but your torch jamming up so that you’re unable to see it. The new sounds in the game are great sources of tension and fear, and are brilliant additions to the game.
Overall, the FNAF 2 has been as big a hit as the original; you could even say it’s much bigger. Since it became number one on Steam greenlight, the anticipation has not died down. Now it’s here and it’s brilliant. It’s unknown how Cawthon was able to pull off his fantastically idea a second time, but he has. By adding so many new features, he has kept the players on their toes throughout the whole build up to the game and its release, both through teasers and in game mechanics. There’s not a moment of peace in that game, which keeps the game flowing perfectly and the tension never ends. I can safely say that the “Five Nights at Freddy’s” games are in my top ten, and will keep a place in my heart for a very long time. I can’t wait to see what Scott Cawthon comes up with next, but to top this game will be difficult.