Designer – Scott Cawthon
Rating – N/A
Following the overwhelming success of the first Five Nights at Freddy’s game, a sequel was quickly announced and quickly released on both PC and mobile devices in late 2014. Compared to the first game, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 came under closer scrutiny with critics citing its increased difficulty as downsides, whilst at the same time praising Scott Cawthon’s ability to keep his franchise fresh. Personally, I’ve always found that developers have had a hard time following a survival horror game with a sequel since most often than not, they simply portray more of what players expect after having played the first game; games like Dead Space spring to mind. However, Cawthon has been able to do this better than many other developers, and the second game is arguably the one with the most variety.
Graphics – 8/10
Making a return to the series is the overwhelmingly dark atmosphere of the first game, and the exploitation of what many kids back in the heyday of the animatronic restaurant would have feared the most; the eerie look of the animatronics themselves. It’s always pandered to my own personal fears to a certain extent, since though being from England, and never having a Chuck-E-Cheese to go to, I did use to go to Camelot frequently, which did have a dragon animatronic that was quite scary to look at. In a way, it’s even scarier than the first game, since it introduces the player to even more animatronic characters than before. In addition to Freddy, Bonnie, Chica, Foxy, and Golden Freddy, here is also The Puppet, Balloon Boy, Mangle, and Shadow Freddy among others.
Gameplay – 7/10
The gameplay is more or less identical to that of the first game, but with a few new features and challenges. Instead of having doors to open and shut, the player is instead given a flashlight to check beyond the door in front of them, and a Freddy Fazbear head in order to fool the animatronics into thinking that he/she is one of them as they pass by. Other features new to the series are the air vents to be checked and maintained as well as the music box used to keep The Puppet at bay and to distract the other animatronics. In these ways, it could also be considered much more intense than the last game, since there is much more to keep track of, and much more to have to worry about throughout the course of the five nights and beyond.
Controls – 10/10
As a simple point-and-click game, it poses absolutely no problems on a PC in terms of its control scheme. Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 would fair just as well on a mobile device such as a phone or tablet. But I think it would suffer from issues if ported to a console since it’s another one of these games not tailored for play with a conventional controller. I believe there has been talking of the Five Nights at Freddy’s games possibly being ported to PlayStation 4, but I fail to understand how it would work at this point.
Lifespan – 4/10
The biggest problem I encountered with Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 is that much like its predecessor, it lasts an extraordinarily short amount of time. It lasts fractionally longer than the first game, with the introduction of the various 8-bit mini-games that are played in between nights involving the dark history behind the restaurant, and the various demented animatronics that roam it.
Storyline – 10/10
Taking place sometime before the events of the first game, the player is put in the shoes of night security guard Jeremy Fitzgerald, who must survive five nights at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza; a Chuck-E-Cheese-style restaurant infested with possessed and murderous animatronics. The game takes place in the year 1987, surrounding an infamous event alluded to in the first game known as the Bite of ’87. What made these game’s plots so intricate and magnificent was the challenge in trying to piece together exactly what has happened behind the scenes, since the story actually runs deeper than players may first imagine at first glance.
Originality – 7/10
The original game was in idea unlike anything ever seen in video games before. But whilst the second game for the most perpetuates the same core idea, it’s all kept relatively fresh in this installment with the introduction of the many new features and mechanics behind it. The idea would further be developed upon and changed with the advent of both the third and fourth games, but arguably, the second installment was where the best of what Scott Cawthon had to offer players.
Overall, though I haven’t been a fan of the survival horror genre over the years, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 provided me with an experience I never expected to have so much variety; especially after the first. Normally, I make the assumption that future installments of survival horror games simply offer more of the same, and do very little to scare me. Not this time.