I’ve personally been an almost-exclusively PC gamer throughout my life, mostly because I never had enough money to buy a second platform. Plus I prefer the moddability, customizeability, and non-gaming functionality that comes with the territory. But recently I’ve spent several days watching my boyfriend play FNaF Security Breach on his PS4. And I can’t even complain because the game is a real treat on the eyes. (Caveat: I’ve only played the first FNaF, back when it just came out. So this review will be ignoring lore entirely.)
Since I don’t know how to do anything on a PS4, all screenshots will be coming from this dude’s Let’s Play. I really appreciated how he played and talked like a normal person without screaming and hamming for the camera. If you aren’t a fan of playing scary/stealth games, this is still a great title to experience from the passenger seat.
FNaF Security Breach is the most ambitious title in the FNaF series. Gone are the days of layering animated sprites in Clickteam Fusion to cheat a 3D perspective. This new game is a massive, fully-rendered world with a variety of enemies, weapons, and puzzles. The player controls a kid named Gregory who got locked in the Fazbear Pizzaplex overnight, and must survive until 6am. For a series first, Freddy himself is friendly and will help you survive against his animatronic bretheren. As previously mentioned, artstyle and visuals are far-and-away the game’s biggest achievement. The Pizzaplex is massive and filled with exotic and unique attractions. The characters are lovingly rendered and well-animated. In every way, the devs played to the advantages of their franchise.
The broadened scope also allowed them to tackle higher-concept storylines and gameplay. Everything’s voice-acted, and Gregory’s journey will take him through every nook and cranny the map has to offer. Freddy himself adds a unique dimension to the gameplay by allowing you to climb inside him like a mecha. I also liked how the game had several branching-off points, letting you choose which animatronic (and weapon) you wanted to focus on. This adds a lot of replayability for fans who want to see everything there is to offer.
However, I confess my biggest complaint with the game is how those storyline paths are massively imbalanced. As the game is now, it is frankly a huge liability to not choose the Faz Camera track. Players who work for a Fazzer Blaster will find themselves regretting their choice by the end of the game because it skips the entire Monty Golf area. Several important things happen in there, and now you’re gonna have to do them during the post-game. And the post-game doesn’t let you save, making it a huge pain for players who took that route. Not to mention you obtain the Monty Claws in there, which let you break locks and access a ton of side areas. Any player would be insane to want to save all that exploration for the post-game, where a single death resets all your progress.
On that matter, why doesn’t the post-game let you save? Gregory only has a single hitpoint, and there are a lot of things trying to kill him. I assume it was to artifically-lengthen the playtime, but it’s frankly not fair considering how easily you can die. Reactivating the save terminals during the post-game would be the single biggest change they could make to improve the experience.
One of the most interesting characters in the game is Vanny, a demonic rabbit stalking you throughout the facility. She’s faster than the animatronics, and seems to know more than anyone else about what’s going on. As the most enigmatic figure in the Pizzaplex, I really wanted to learn more about her deal. But she only appears, like, twice throughout the entire game. I really feel like they under-used her as either a character or a villianous obstacle.
One complaint I’ve seen a lot of players levy against Security Breach is that it’s stealth is pretty broken. The game’s not particularly challenging, so the devs tried to increase the difficulty with a quintillion security bots. I can easily agree there are far too many, and they probably should walk designated routes instead of trawling randomly. My boyfriend had tons of trouble stealthing the game playing it properly. But as a seasoned Payday veteran, I could spot a “speed stealth” game when I saw one, and I kept encouraging him to try playing that way. I’m glad the Let’s Player above agrees with me, because you can see he has relatively little trouble sprinting cautiously everywhere. For better or for worse, I simply think the game encourages a different playstyle to the one most players expect.
Another thing the game succeeds at is mixing up the gameplay whenever it can. Mini-games, arcade machines, and bonus puzzles litter the maps, and each animatronic has a unique boss fight. There are always new things to find, and the incredible art design gives every section its own identity. Most of the flaws in this game are things you notice after the fact (or glitches). If you just play to the end credits and enjoy your single playthrough, I’m confident you’ll feel you got your money’s worth.
As it is now, Security Breach is a mixed bag with some impressive pros and a few very annoying cons. It’s also very buggy, but the devs have been doing a good job releasing patches to fix whatever they can. And if they ever abandon support, the community will likely pick up the slack. This is one of those games just begging for a fanpatch that makes it more playable. When that happens, it’ll be a really solid title that leaves a lasting impression on the player. Even as it is now, it’s quite memorable and even wandering the Pizzaplex is a treat. Considering what their older titles looked like, the devs should be pretty proud of the massive steps forward they took in this newest title of the FNaF series.