Game Reviews

Five Nights at Freddy's 2

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Five Nights at Freddy's 2

"Review Five Nights at Freddy's," they said. "It'll be fun," they said.

Two months later, my therapist insists we're making progress. I no longer stand by light switches, for example, flicking them on and off in time to my hyperventilating chest.

I can eat pizza without turning the dough soggy with my tears, and my inexplicable habit of answering the phone with a scream of "WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?!" has been suppressed.

"That's great news," said the Pocket Gamer editors when I told them I felt strong enough to write reviews again. "Good to have you back. Well, for your next trick, would you like to take a look at Five Nights at Freddy's 2?"

No, no, no, no, NO!

If the first instalment of Scot Cawthon's horror strategy fright-fest broke you, no amount of gaffer tape or super glue will fix the damage inflicted by its successor.

Freddy Fazbear's has had a grand reopening. Among the changes are around 11 newer, smarter robot cast members, more rooms to keep a twitching eye on, and the removal of those nice thick steel doors you could hide behind.

In other words, Five Nights at Freddy's 2 is new, improved, and deadlier than ever.

The gameplay is the same survival horror test of managing very limited resources while trying to keep yourself safe, but the variables have been tweaked.

Now the only dwindling resource you need to worry about is your torch. Since it's one of the few ways to defend yourself against these creatures (the light messes with their sensors) you can expect many fling-your-phone-across-the-room moments as the beam flickers out and you find yourself eyeball to eyeball with a mechanical monster.

Your only other defence is a creature mask that should - theoretically - disguise you as a member of the cast and trick the other robots into accepting your presence. Trouble is, there's no guarantee that this disguise will work in every case, and you can't check the CCTV if you have it on.

At this point you might feel you've formulated a reasonably successful strategy without even playing the game: simply hide in the corner with the mask on.

No. There's a music box in one of the rooms, and if you don't remove your mask to keep the mechanism wound a monster kills you horribly.

Story time

Besides serving up big steaming bowls of frights, Five Night's at Freddy's 2 provides some answers. We won't spoil it, but it turns out that the original game was really more of a prequel, set in 1987.

As the week progresses you can go all Sherlock on Freddy Fazbear's. Every phone call, newspaper clipping, and poster contains clues as to why this nightmare is happening. There are even short, creepy cutscenes and mini-games that will be sure to send the online Freddy fan forums into a chattering frenzy.

The only fly in the ointment - actually, more of Boeing 747 - is the fact that it's barely been two months since the first game came out. While Five Nights at Freddy's 2 is undeniably well-made, we're still reeling from the first. And therein lies the problem.

Despite some great new features and a whole lot more story, the sequel would pack a far greater punch if we'd forgotten some of the tricks from the first. As it is, the seven nights you fight through (yes, the game's title is slightly misleading) feel a bit too familiar.

Five Nights at Freddy's 2 is a great game, and exactly what you want in a sequel. But if you've just played the original I recommend you give it a few months before diving in again.

Five Nights at Freddy's 2

With seven nights of terror instead of five, Five Nights at Freddy's 2 ramps up the tension. Let's just hope we have a longer holiday period before the next shift