Begun in 2014, Five Nights at Freddy’s is a prolific horror game series with eight main games already released in seven years which has made a name for itself thanks to videos from famous YouTubers which have given good exposure to the saga. At the beginning, the first game had us in the role of a guardian who must watch over animatronics that look like anthropomorphic animals for five nights, hence the title. But if, you know, the animatronics, these robotic creatures that we control remotely which are mainly used in the cinema as in Jurassic Park for example. Well, there is no question of peaceful dinosaurs, these species of robots move by themselves at nightfall and obviously seek to kill you, we remain in a horror game.
To defend yourself, you must constantly watch, watch surveillance cameras and close doors to prevent them from reaching you, as long as you have enough electricity. But seven years after the release of the first game, Security Breach brings a little new to the formula since it is this time a real survival-horror in which you have to explore a complex while avoiding getting caught by these evil animatronics. But with this new formula, does Security Breach succeed in being a good survival-horror beyond simply deepening the universe of Five Nights at Freddy’s?
Five Nights at Freddy’s Security Breach takes place within Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex, a huge complex dedicated to a group of animatronic glamrock. Among the members of the group, we find Roxie the wolf on the keytar, Chica the hen and Monty the alligator on the guitar and especially Freddy the bear, the singer. But while they play their usual show, a bug puts Freddy out of service which forces the organizers to abruptly interrupt the concert to do maintenance on the robots. In this context, the player plays a young boy named Gregory who finds himself stranded within the complex and then takes refuge in Freddy’s lodge. While the Night Watchman and the other corrupt animatronics for some unknown reason actively seek him out, only Freddy still appears to be himself and will help the boy out as quickly as possible. But at night, strange things happen in Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex and Gregory will discover many secrets he would never have imagined.
On the gameplay side, Security Breach uses very classic Survival-Horror codes. The whole game takes place in first person view, and you explore the complex for badges and passes that allow access to new areas in order to find an exit. By the structure of the game, Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex takes the form of a hub that you can explore freely, provided you have the right permissions. On my way, we regularly cross paths with animatronics who start chasing you as soon as they see you and of course, if they catch you, it’s game over. And since your character has an endurance gauge that prevents him from constantly running, you often have to escape your pursuers.
To achieve this, the game offers many options such as hiding in elements of the scenery as in Outlast, distracting the animatronics using elements of the scenery or even use the surveillance cameras thanks to Gregory’s watch. But that’s not all, because if Freddy is with you, you can hide in his chest to become invisible to those looking for you. Well in reality, Freddy is only very rarely by your side and discharges himself far too quickly to become really useful during the adventure. But, the animatronics aren’t the only ones moving around the complex at night, because in addition to the night watchman Vanessa, there are also maintenance robots that can reveal your location.
And this is where one of the first problems with the game emerges: quickly, we realize that being spotted by one of these robots automatically causes one of the animatronics to appear a few meters further behind your back, a bit like in Cyberpunk 2077 for example. Unfortunately, that really breaks the immersion once you understand how the system works. The terrifying side of the game also loses efficiency because of certain passages that we have to start over several times either because of a lack of explanations or because of bugs. We think in particular of the fact that animatronics are sometimes able to cross walls to catch you which quickly becomes frustrating during tense passages. This is especially the case when we see the death animation several times in a row where the animatronics are yelling at us. Results, the horrific aspect disappears as we start over which is not the objective of the title which is already not particularly scary compared to Amnesia for example.
These few worries are a real shame because the game offers from time to time original sequences that break the routine of the formula. We think for example of the laser game, the phase in a playground, the exploration of maintenance services or even sequences that refer to the first titles of the saga. Despite everything, the exploration is sometimes made difficult because of a clear lack of indications and the absence of the names of the places on the map. Thus, by the sum of all these little accumulated problems, the experience is at times particularly laborious.
Visually, it must be recognized that Freddy Fazbear’s Mega Pizzaplex gives off a certain aura by fully playing the card of neo-retro aesthetics very 80’s and the face of the animatronics that can be found throughout the building. The complex has a really coherent structure with its different attractions spread over different floors such as Monty Golf, Roxy Raceway or Bonnie Bowl. But where the shoe pinches, it is especially at the level of the technique. If the environments are doing rather well with in particular rather successful reflection effects, the framerate is often jerky and experiences drops, especially during certain very specific sequences.
Unfortunately, this observation applies even on PS5 in performance mode while the visual mode regularly struggles to display 30 FPS. Generally, the technique suffers from finesse, especially on the camera screens that we can see on Gregory’s watch which have really very low image resolution. Finally, we also note a lack of overall finish of the game between subtitles that don’t always appear, texts that overlap and even mini-games that don’t launch. Clearly, because of these little details, it sometimes feels like you’re dealing with a game that’s still in Early Access.
As for the scenario, we must recognize that most of the time we are content to simply go from one point to another of the complex to collect cards and progress. If from time to time we discover a little more what is really going on in the building, we quickly get into a routine. Nevertheless, fans of the franchise will be delighted to learn more about the universe of Five Night at Freddy’s, in particular thanks to all the objects that it is possible to collect along the way. The title also includes several endings which offer a certain replayability for the most relentless, especially since the life of the title is in the average of the games of the genre, between 6 and 10 hours.
Security Breach is therefore not a game that revolutionizes the survival horror genre. Very classic in its form and without great originality, it is intended above all for fans of the series who wish to learn more and more about the universe of Five Nights at Freddy’s. Finally, especially to the more courageous given the bugs and frustrating passages that regularly break the feeling of immersion and fear that the game is supposed to make us feel. But thanks to a few sequences that stand out from the crowd with interesting ideas and a nice complex to go through, there is nonetheless a little horrific adventure of ten hours that can please fans of survival-horror in need. of titles.