Warning: Major Spoilers Ahead
Security Breach, the base game, was and still is one of the most hated games in the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. Being the first game made without the original creator, people weren’t expecting a perfect game, but Steel Wool Studios took an ambitious approach without the necessary experience, and it didn’t please the fanbase. Being the first open-world Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) game, the studio ran into many issues in terms of bugs, which is to be expected due to the new game style. What wasn’t expected, however, was the lack of effort put into the pathway of the animatronics and the messed up story of the game. After the disaster that was the base game, the RUIN DLC trailer was released and everyone had extremely high expectations because the DLC was dark and scary, unlike its counterpart, and the new mechanics intrigued all gamers. RUIN has been out for quite some time now, but did it actually live up to the expectations of fans after the release of the trailers?
What RUIN did well:
A main issue with Security Breach was its bright neon lights, comforting animatronics, and lack of scares. The DLC fixes this by having ruined animatronics and a dark atmosphere, whilst also implementing a new character called The Entity, or M.X.E.S. (a blue technological bunny), who makes it so that when you are in the AR world you never feel safe. This is because you are always waiting for a sound cue to alert you of his presence. This provided tension to the game which is one thing that Security Breach lacked greatly. Another issue with Security Breach was the easy escape plans it provided. Glamrock Freddy was there to help you throughout most of the game, so if you found yourself in a sticky situation you could simply click a button, and he would come to your rescue. This greatly diminished the horror aspect of the game because there was no need to sneak around. Personally, I would find myself sprinting through most of the animatronics because I knew that they either had no way of catching me or I could just call Freddy and be safe. RUIN does not have this Freddy feature. You are on your own throughout the entire game with nothing but an AR mask (which looks like a bunny mask from a hand-made stitched costume) which protects you from the Endo skeletons but nothing else. RUIN did quite a good job at increasing the scares, however, they definitely could have done much more. It was improved, however, I still wouldn’t put the game into the horror game category.
If you play RUIN or watch someone play it on Youtube, you will notice that the graphics are absolutely beautiful. The visuals are the aspect that most improved from the base game. Another complaint in Security Breach was how the RTX setting did absolutely nothing to improve the game and how the game looked like it was a shaded 3D model, which it was, but it's not supposed to look like one. An RTX setting is supposed to add ray-tracing to the game and improve graphics to an almost real-looking state, but the only way to get it to work was using an external RTX setting which made the game look fantastic. The RUIN DLC didn’t even need an RTX setting. Although many sections of the game looked like a 3D model, the fact that everything was darker seemed to draw less attention to that fact. There were also many breathtaking moments in the game such as when the character finds herself trapped with the AR mask on. Even just by putting on the AR mask, the environment became fascinating to look at with all its colours and details. It's difficult not to put the mask on and spend some time taking a look around.
What went wrong with RUIN:
In complete honesty, RUIN had lots more problems than fixes. Yes, SteelWool Studios eliminated some Security Breach issues, but they did that by simply removing what was causing complaints, and it ended up ruining the horror factor (again). As mentioned before, Security Breach received many complaints for having simple and predictable animatronic movement. In RUIN, they solved this by simply not having the animatronics go after you. That’s right. The game was extremely easy, and you’re only ever under threat a total of about four times. Once by each animatronic. Freddy has a small chase scene followed by a moment where you have to dodge him (super easy to do so), Roxanne has a moment where you have to lure her away with audios (you don’t even have to run into her. You just lure her to the door, and she disappears until you get to the next terminal), chica has an extremely easy moment where you have to avoid her, and finally Monty. Monty doesn’t have an actual moment though because same thing as Roxy, you lure him to the back and he disappears. The biggest threat in this game is M.X.E.S., but he is only a threat until you realise he can’t actually kill you. At the beginning of the game I spent lots of time being extremely careful, every time I heard the sound cue, I would take off the mask. This continues until one section in the game where the mask gets stuck on your face, making the entity appear and chase you. I felt like the game was over for me, so I decided to sacrifice myself to the bunny and try again. That was when I realised that he doesn’t jumpscare you if you touch him. All he does is cover your screen in static and call Chica to kill you. The only thing is that if you stay close to him for too long, he will jumpscare you, but it takes a long time. All of this means that RUIN doesn’t have any real threat. The scariest threat in the base game was Moon, but in his section in RUIN, moon doesn’t even move. He stays upstairs, and you have to turn on the generators. You’re only running from M.X.E.S., who isn’t any real threat.
The gameplay itself is also a huge issue. The base game was a huge fetch mission, always having to go find something and bring it somewhere else. RUIN is no better, maybe even worse. You spend the entire game following wires to deactivate random objects that are apparently powering security. The game is about 4-5 hours long, and spending that entire time following wires is extremely boring. At least in Security Breach it varied. You would have mini-games such as Monty Golf and FazerBlast, or when we had to build the upgrades into Freddy. The most interesting thing that happens is a maze above the old Monty Golf which isn’t even fun. It’s rather boring and confusing, it's also the sole reason why I refuse replay the game and find secrets. As someone who 100% completed Security Breach with all achievements, including the ones that less than 1% of players have been able to get. In RUIN, I don’t even have any motivation to do so because you don’t receive any achievements, and the game is so repetitive that I do not wish to play again.
Did RUIN save the reputation of Security Breach?:
The simple answer would be no. In my personal opinion, Security Breach alone is so much better than RUIN. Although it has many problems, it is much more playable, enjoyable, and you are able to replay it without getting bored. RUIN was extremely simple and although the ending with the mimic was interesting and added to the story, everyone suspected it from the trailer, making the ending not at all surprising. If you are not a fan of horror, but want to try out a FNAF game, play Security Breach. The bugs have been fixed, and the graphics are good enough for you to enjoy the game. The only thing that could really disappoint players was how the greatest horror franchise of all time produced a game that shouldn’t even be in the horror category. Even after fully completing Security Breach, I would do it again one day if I suddenly felt like it. RUIN, on the other hand, I would not.
“Returning to the Daycare Centre - Five Nights at Freddy’s: Security Breach Guide - IGN.” IGN, 26 July 2023, www.ign.com/wikis/five-nights-at-freddys-security-breach/Returning_to_the_Daycare_Centre. Accessed 25 Sept. 2023.
NJ T. “Glitchtrap Emerges from the AR World! | FNAF Security Breach RUIN.” YouTube, YouTube Video, 26 July 2023, www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcRv8oBms5o. Accessed 25 Sept. 2023.