Developer: Scott Cawthorn
Platform: Windows, Android, iOS
The follow up to the widely successful Five Nights at Freddy’s, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 (FNAF2) continues right where we left off!
… Well, not quite.
I always try my best to not spoil anything story-related in these reviews, however for the purposes of this FNAF2 review I feel like I have no other choice. Feel free to skip to the next section if you don’t want the story spoiled!
FNAF2 is a prequel to the first Five Nights game, and just like the first it is set in a branch of the Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza chain of restaurants. Players take upon the role of Jeremy Fitzgerald, a new security guard hired to watch over the restaurant at night, ensuring nothing goes wrong after-hours.
Just like FNAF, Five Nights 2 features a variety of animatronic characters who come alive at night and, unfortunately, want to kill whoever they see.
Just like the previous game, FNAF2 is another point and click survival horror games chock-full of tense moments and jump scares. FNAF2 brings some change to the formula that was set up in the first game, however it retains the three key aspects from FNAF. These being that the nights still run from 12am until 6am, there are several animatronics trying to get into the office and kill you and you still have access to the stores CCTV system to monitor the locations of the animatronics.
The main difference that is immediately apparent is that the office has no doors! Instead, the player is equipped with a Freddy Fazbear head that they can equip. When equipped, this head fools the animatronics into thinking that you are one of them – as such they will stop attacking you. However, if an animatronic were to enter the office, you are given no more than a split second to equip the head otherwise it is game over!
This Freddy head doesn’t fool all of the animatronics, however. This is where some of the more annoying aspects of FNAF2 come into play, or rather, annoying characters. The two most notable “new” animatronics are Balloon Boy, or BB, and The Puppet and the really can be annoying.
BB is more of a nuisance than anything else and if played correctly you can avoid having any issues with this character. He’ll move from his starting location to the vent just to the left of the office, and if left unchecked – or if you fail to put the Freddy head on – he’ll set up shop in your office and start laughing. That’s it; all BB does is laugh at you. He doesn’t attack you directly, but his laughing essentially signals game over as moments later Foxy will jump into the office and kill you, and there is nothing you can do to stop it.
The Puppet is by far the most annoying aspect of FNAF2 in my opinion. The Puppet will never walk around the restaurant; he will either be in his starting location or in the office, in which case he will have already killed you. You see, The Puppet is drawn to sound and in order to keep him away there is a music box located in the “prize corner” of the restaurant that can be remotely wound, and must always be wound. If it “runs out” then he will begin searching for the closest source of sound, which happens to be you in the office.
This doesn’t sound so bad if you haven’t played FNAF2, but if you have then you will know just how annoying this mechanic can be. The music box winds down extremely fast, couple that with having to check the monitors, equip a Freddy head and essentially play dead and more and suddenly it becomes a real pain. Annoying micromanagement it may be, however it really adds to the challenge of an already challenging game. So I can’t be too mad at Scott for adding something like this. Thankfully, he removed the feature for the following game, but I’ll get to that when my FNAF3 feature is released.
You are also equipped with a flashlight, albeit it one with extremely limited power, which you can flash into the hallway outside the office to check the locations of any nearby animatronics. Other than these few things, everything in FNAF2 is ultimately the same as it was in the previous game.
Graphically, FNAF2 is exactly the same as its predecessor. It’s a bit more colourful, as the game is set in a different location prior to the business being low-budget and run down, though there really isn’t much more I can elaborate on here.
Animation is pretty much non-existent still, other than the jump scares; though that’s not a bad thing. If anything, because there is no animation, it really adds to the unpredictable nature of the game thus making it scarier than it otherwise would be.
Overall, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2 is a solid follow up to the original and Scott Cawthorn continues to show his mastery of the genre. I would probably recommend the first FNAF over this game though, if only to avoid the annoyance of The Puppet.