Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach
I Can't Keep Track Of All These Games...
The last time I really followed Scott Cawthon's Five Nights at Freddy's dynasty was early on with the first three titles. The franchise is what I always considered to be successful through its community. Recently, games like Among Us and Fall Guys had fell under the same category as content creators propelled a game's popularity to the stars above. Due to the success of the first three games, an entire franchise was born. Toys, spin-offs, cartoons, anything that could boost the terror bear's popularity was made possible. In 2021, the ninth game in the series, FNAF: Security Breach, was released.
Following the recent footsteps of Road Redemption, FNAF: Security Breach recently had a physical release despite being a digital exclusive mere months ago. As more games take this approach, I find myself in support of "digital games to physical releases." Physical-only and digital-only games both have their pros and cons involving preservation. A physical release ensures that even if something were to happen to a digital storefront, players can ensure they "own" their copy. Conversely, physical-only games run the risk of exuberantly raised prices due to their exclusivity. Keeping both options open means more players can enjoy their products. Is Security Breach worth the effort to own a physical copy?
Survive The Night, Again
Five Nights at Freddy's plots never made any sense to me. In the original titles, a security guard willingly goes to work at a deathtrap every night for a week. For less than minimum wage at that. And eventually gets fired. While I'm not sure what took place between the original and Security Breach, the concept remains largely unchanged. A young kid named Gregory is seen scurrying after hours where he befriends Freddy Fazbear himself. This literation of Freddy is much nicer to the protagonist, being a reputable ally to the child.
Gregory wishes to leave the Pizzaplex with the help of Freddy but barely misses the closing time at midnight. Now stuck in an indoor fun center with animatronics and guards wanting to catch him, Gregory must survive until the magic hour of 6 AM. The key differences this time around is that Gregory has the entire fun center to explore, revealing secrets and key items to help him last the night. Time is static, only increasing when the story demands rather than over time. Lastly, there is only one night in Security Breach as opposed to an entire week.
Security Breach's First-Person Perspective Is Pretty Neat
While the story, for many reasons, fails to win me over (Seriously kid, let the security guard do her job and help) the main gameplay is surprisingly decent. The bar is sunken into the Earth as Five Nights At Freddy's isn't known for its riveting gameplay. Still, I'd take a first-person stealth action game over a first-person button clicking simulator. Gregory can walk, run, sprint, jump, and hide. The latter is useful when it comes to avoiding capture by the animatronics that hunts Gregory.
The first one that Gregory comes across is Chica, who has her own personality like most of the animatronics. Her gimmick is that she eats garbage, occasionally breaking her route to dig in. This makes her easy to avoid detection and she's easy to pinpoint due to her chattiness. Gregory can hide in various obstacles when in pursuit, yet he runs the risk of giving his location. Another enemy that can give away his location is the security robots. While getting captured by them doesn't warrant a "Game Over," a similar jump scare sequence is played. This immediately alerts Chica to Gregory's last known location, which got me a few times.
The "Scare" Factor Is Missing From Security Breach
Perhaps what Five Nights At Freddy's is best known for are its infamous jump scares. Without them, I don't feel as if the game would have been as popular as it is the main ingredient for many content creators' reactions. In Security Breach, while there are still jump scares, they are noticeably dialed back. One theory is that since you're constantly moving to avoid getting caught, you always know when danger is approaching. Getting caught and seeing the iconic jump scare is just confirmation that you screwed up.
Still, the first time it happens such as with the security guard increases the tension. There are many hazards to avoid and almost no one you can trust. Saving your game also reflects on this as upwards of an hour's worth of progress can be lost if you're captured. Save points are few and far in-between and earning the privilege is a process. It can take up to 10 seconds to save a game, which if you're being hunted, can mean the difference between life and death.
Let Vanessa Do Her Job, She's Already Underpaid.
Overall, there are many things I appreciate about Security Breach attempting to be different from its older games' shadows. While it succeeds in some aspects, it's questionable in other ways. Aside from running away from your pursuers and solving puzzles, there's not much else aside from controlling Freddy at times. Coincidentally enough, I've had similar musings when looking at In Nightmares for the first time earlier. Maybe defenseless stealth games involving children might not be it for me, but of the two I enjoyed FNAF: Security Breach a bit more.
Five Nights At Freddy's Security Breach is available on PS4, PS5, and PC.