5 Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location
There have been opinions printed on this web site earlier than in regards to the high quality of 5 Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF), and I’d wish to take a while to say that I cordially disagree. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that they’re the perfect horror video games ever made, however I would definitely name them high quality indie video games and a very good collection basically. Developer Scott Cawthorn tried to develop quite a lot of video games earlier than the FNAF collection, essentially the most infamous being the unsettling Chipper and Sons Co. This recreation was panned by a number of on-line critics for having eerily robotic trying characters that freaked individuals out, and the sport was subsequently taken off of Steam Greenlight. Somewhat than quitting video games growth, nonetheless, Cawthorn used this concept to create what has arguably develop into one of the crucial well-known recreation collection within the business. I’m personally very keen on FNAF, so I used to be fast to select up Sister Location as quickly because it was obtainable. I wasn’t upset.
Sister Location takes place in an underground testing facility for animatronics, that are rented out for personal capabilities, casting the participant as a (type of) anonymous technician. I say you’re type of anonymous as a result of the AI that speaks to you all through your play time “corrects” the title you try to sort into the buggy keypad at the start with “Eggs Benedict.” Sister Location might be essentially the most narrative-heavy entry in the principle FNAF collection, with way more NPC dialogue than it’s predecessors. To speak about specifics past the above could be spoiling a hell of rather a lot, however I really feel like Sister Location will present a number of solutions (and a number of new questions on the similar time) for veteran gamers.
The overarching story of FNAF is steeped in intrigue and thriller, with plot particulars and data being hidden everywhere in every recreation. Somewhat than blow its narrative load multi functional go, every recreation within the collection provides to a breadcrumb path in regards to the overarching story that connects all of them. The very fact it is available in drips and drabs is, truthfully, not a difficulty for me both, give that this is among the few recreation collection’ that has a official declare to following an “episodic launch” schedule. On the similar time, every recreation is comparatively well-contained concerning their instant occasions and story. Your enjoyment of all of this relies solely on how a lot time you’re keen to sink whereas delving into the rabbit gap that’s FNAF’s lore, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve executed this rather a lot. Theories abound in on-line communities, complete video collection’ have been devoted to determining what all of it means, and each new recreation fleshes out the general story just a bit bit extra.
I imply, have you ever seen the FNAF subreddit? These guys are delightfully insane.
Sister Location’s design has taken fairly the departure from what the collection is often recognized for, in that you simply’re not mounted to only one spot or space, however find yourself shifting between a number of rooms. It additionally doesn’t have gamers performing the identical job each single night time with steadily rising issue; you’re given totally different duties to carry out every night time. With the exclusion of a few nights, a lot of Sister Location can also be “on rails,” with the participant being guided alongside somewhat than being left to determine issues out on their very own. On this manner, it’s much less of a point-and-click survival horror than the earlier entries had been, and extra of a narrative pushed collection of mini-game challenges. The “puzzle” isn’t within the mechanics, it’s within the info being fed to you.
That’s to not say that the sport isn’t nonetheless creepy, fairly the opposite in actual fact. Admittedly, I’m a sucker for bounce scares, they usually work on me as a rule, however I undoubtedly really feel like Sister Location has picked up its recreation concerning the atmospheric setup. Making something scary is all about creating the suitable tone and environment, which I believe is completed with unnerving aplomb. The most important criticism that the FNAF collection has traditionally obtained is that bounce scares are simply thrown at individuals, they usually lose their impact pretty shortly. Personally, when the bounce scares contain terrifying, animatronic Chuck-E-Cheese rejects that screech and grin whereas they homicide you, I disagree. That stated, I felt like they appeared far much less typically in Sister Location, and to a lot larger impact when contemplating their context.
The context being one thing like “ohGodohGodohGodohGodohGod–“
As talked about earlier, a number of Sister Location is performed on rails, more-so than the earlier video games, and feels rather more narrative pushed than the remainder of the collection. As an alternative of figuring out tips on how to deal with the rising issue of the identical form of exercise because the week wears on, there’s surprisingly little precise gameplay. You’re explicitly advised what to do by NPC dialogue a number of the time, and it typically boils all the way down to “press this button and benefit from the ensuing animations you may barely work together with.” This isn’t essentially a foul factor as a result of, regardless of the very simplified gameplay, you’re nonetheless doing one thing totally different on each night time of the sport. Nonetheless, this lack of concerned gameplay in comparison with earlier video games may be off-putting to some gamers.
This lack of interactive gameplay for essentially the most half really makes the elements the place you’re given correct participant company (or what FNAF considers participant company to be, a minimum of) appear harder. You’re not all the time advised what to do, and a few sections simply go away you to your individual gadgets to determine issues out. These might be irritating at occasions as a result of they’re not precisely intuitive; Evening four, for example, can go straight to hell for a way exhausting it’s – and that’s after it was patched to make it simpler. Even with this in thoughts, the change continues to be a refreshing one for the collection, displaying that Cawthorn is a minimum of placing within the effort to evolve the collection as a substitute of constructing the identical factor time and again.
And there’s even a stunning quantity of humor in nearly every little thing you do.
One other level of rivalry in regards to the FNAF collection is its look, with the atmosphere and fashions being sometimes described as a bit lacklustre, haphazard, or overdone. Truthfully, I believe this sort of pondering does a disservice to the collection, and glosses over what I see as being an intriguing world, nicely crafted (nearly) solely via 80’s type American pizzerias. Whereas each recreation has a selected look that may be simply recognized, the general aesthetic type is constant all through the collection. The Animatronic enemies are legitimately horrifying in look, even earlier than their faces open up in fragments to disclose the mess of wires and nightmares beneath. The environments might look like generic creepypasta fare, however they typically play a significant function in conveying the lore of the collection via minor, or simply ignored particulars. Sister Location isn’t any totally different on this respect, and there’s a lot to maintain a watch out for.
Likewise, the sound work is great and does rather a lot to supply narrative info (albeit not directly). Warped and distorted noises echo all through the empty halls, crawling proper up your backbone, and the music, what little there’s to be heard, is suitably disturbing in its presentation. The tortured, robotic screeching that performs everytime you’re caught nonetheless freaks me out (although, once more, I’m an enormous girly man). The creeping, clanking noises of animatronic actions, and their eerie “voices,” add considerably to the environment. Whereas the FNAF video games have had voice work in them earlier than, often through some form of cellphone message left for you, Sister Location is the primary recreation that’s had NPC dialogue all through. The voice appearing is totally on-point, with every character being distinct and nicely carried out. Somewhat than detracting from the lonely feeling of dread and isolation that the collection is thought for, it does rather a lot to make you’re feeling as if you’re always beneath menace.
Pictured: Pure concern.
I perceive that FNAF isn’t everybody’s cup of tea; as a horror recreation it doesn’t fairly attain that degree of scariness that some need, and as a recreation, basically, it’s removed from standard. It was fairly novel when the collection first appeared, however the hype started to slowly die off a bit of by the point the third title hit the Steam retailer. That being stated, it’s not a foul collection – I personally discover it to be one thing of a nicely executed, drawn out creepypasta story in movement, and I take pleasure in that immensely. For those who’re nonetheless a fan of FNAF, Sister Location does rather a lot to progress the narrative and alter up the too-familiar design. For those who’re not a fan however need to strive the sport, I can truthfully say that you simply’ll take pleasure in this whenever you get to it. Six months from now. After you’ve obsessively performed the remainder of the collection and emerged from the depths of a number of wikis, crazed and stuffed with theories.