Column: Freddy, you’re supposed to be scary…


Photo credit: Paulina DePaulo

A picture of Security Breach’s Steam listing that I took only ten days after the game’s initial release. After sending the picture to my friends in brief hesitation, I started to play the new survival horror game for the first time. Image credits to Paulina DePaulo.

By Paulina DePaulo, Columnist

When you think of “Five Nights at Freddy’s,” a few things probably come to mind. Maybe it’s the eerie security guard setting, the terrifying face of Chica’s classic jump-scare or the mountains of lore that exist behind the popular franchise. Whatever you’ve pictured about this game in the past, I guarantee “Security Breach” completely flips that idea on its head. 

Dec. 16 marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of “Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach,” which was released nearly three years after the previous Five Nights at Freddy’s game — the longest gap between games the franchise has ever had. And, well, it makes sense why they took so long.

Every other FNAF game maintains the same classic structure: the player remains in one spot and strategically uses a select few controls to survive the night without being found by killer animatronics. As a horror franchise, the goal is to scare the player as much as possible after sparse sound effects and lack of background noise build the suspense. 

“Security Breach,” however, looks very, very different. For the first time in the series, we’re introduced to an open-world environment in a completely new setting. Instead of a tiny room the player is confined to, you’re suddenly dropped into Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex, a building reminiscent of Dave & Buster’s. The aesthetic is neon and retro, utilizing visual and musical elements never before seen in games of this genre. And, instead of one clear task to focus on, you’re forced to piece together the clues around you to figure out which direction to head in.   

Another major difference is within the story itself. Freddy Fazbear has been known to be the face of Five Nights at Freddy’s (he is, in fact, the titular character), and in every other game, he’s your leading enemy. However, the first thing you see when you start “Security Breach” is Freddy in front of you, dressed head-to-toe in his “glam-rock” look. Instead of chasing you, he becomes your friend, allowing you to control his animatronic frame in order to escape being hunted by other animatronics.

Admittedly, these factors do lessen the suspense of the classic games that made them so popular. As someone who has stayed far away from horror as a whole, the original games seemed impossible for me to approach, as opposed to the tamer environment of “Security Breach.” Even though I still haven’t gathered the courage to finish the game after being jump-scared one too many times by the animatronic Roxy Wolf, I had no trouble getting through the early stages. 

I see this change of pace for the franchise as a way to gather a new audience, and it worked wonders. Whether you loved or hated it, the game’s impact was astronomical, eliciting everything from wild fan theories to popular TikTok memes. It takes the world of Freddy Fazbear in a new and exciting direction, and it’s just the beginning of this wonderful era.

Now that I mention it, maybe I should try my luck with Roxy again…