Five Nights at Freddy's by Scott Cawthon,a popular franchise,first began back in 2014 with the release of its first game. Since then, the franchise has seen 12 releases prior to the first including extras such as FNAF World, Freddy in Space 2 and Security Breach: Fury’s Rage. Five Nights at Freddy’s has only continued to increase in popularity, but with such a large fanbase comes criticism and sometimes even hatred. The most recent one being the popular game by the name of Security Breach. The complaints ranged from a buggy release to claiming the game has ruined the horror theme of the franchise. With Security Breach being the first game to be rated “Family Friendly” and not being produced by the original creator, there was a lot of backlash regarding it. Especially from the fans that praised the franchise’s perfect, and original, horror style. Security Breach was deemed a failure and uncompleted by fans which led Steelwool Studios (the current game creators) to create a free DLC (extra downloadable content) to try to make up for the damage. It was soon to be known as RUIN which would later be announced to release in July. Before diving into how RUIN may be the redemption of Security Breach, it is important to look into what exactly made Security Breach “bad”.
The Problem with Security Breach:
Before the game was even released, there were already many uprising issues that caused the fans to immediately be wary of what the next game may be. This issue involved the release date. The game was originally set to be released early 2021, but that didn’t last long as the game was quickly postponed, only to be released December 16th of that year. To make matters worse, the game was almost unplayable once finally open to the public. There were several bugs that were game breaking and made it so that players were unable to continue. People also found several bugs that weren’t game breaking, but ruined the experience such as being able to use Freddy to get through locked doors, which caused players to skip large sections of the game. Of course, this pleased many speedrunners, however most of the gamers looking to enjoy the story were extremely upset. There were even billing issues that caused people to accidentally spend triple the amount that the game was supposed to be selling for. Steelwool Studios had no choice but to quickly come up with a patch (a specific type of update to fix bugs) to fix as much as they could. Several patches later, the game was still extremely broken, however bugs became more difficult to encounter and people had been able to finish the game and find several of its endings. Almost a year later, Security Breach was finally deemed bug free, but only after most players were already 100% done with the game.
The story itself was another major issue regarding the game. The trailers were completely different to what was actually released and the “boss” of the game was completely uncalled for and made very little sense. The trailers advertised Vanny, a woman in a creepy, home-made bunny suit with red eyes, as the main villain of the game. To many of the gamers’ disappointment, Vanny appears about 3 times on most endings and 5 if you take the path to her specific ending. Never does the player actually interact with Vanny, unless of course they get caught and jumpscared in her 3 very underwhelming “chase scenes" (it is possible to simply walk past her and she will never know). Since the FNAF franchise is also greatly popular due to its lore, there are many people who were belittled by the fact that Security Breach makes no sense when it comes to the lore and doesn’t answer any previous questions, but instead adds many more. An example of this is the tapes found where half are Vanessa talking to a therapist and the other half are an unknown individual talking to different therapists as well. These tapes lead to Matpat (“Game Theory” on Youtube - famous Five Nights at Freddy’s theorist) to lose his mind over who the mysterious individual is. Along with that, many of the questions brought up by the game are also contradicted, leaving very confusing storylines.
The third main problem with Security Breach is that on its Steam page, it calls itself a “Horror” and “Survival Horror” game. The game takes place in a mall with bright neon lights everywhere. Those bright and colourful lights prevent the game from being nearly as scary as it could be, creating a colourful and bright scenario, according to the antagonists (the animatronics).Even though they get dirty and destroyed throughout the game, they still lack the components of a good horror design. This was the most controversial part of the game since the franchise has a history of being some of the scariest horror games to exist today. Of course, Security Breach was their first open world game that left the office concept behind, so there would be some struggles. Especially after the retirement of Scott Cawthon, the owner of the franchise. Open world horror games are some of the most difficult games to design, especially when it comes to the AI behind the antagonists.
The final major problem with Security Breach, which also links to the lack of horror in the “horror game”, is the AI (or lack thereof) behind the antagonists. The animatronics (Freddy, Chica, Roxy and Monty) all walk in a set path repeatedly. How does this affect the horror aspect of the game? Well, the fact that they always walk in a set path tends to make the game extremely predictable, which goes on further to completely remove the stealth mechanic in the game. Security Breach is a game where there is a defined stealth mechanic coded into the game. This means that people expect to have to sneak around and stay out of sight a lot. This tends to not be the case. Many players find that the predictability (and lack of speed) of the robots makes it so that people tend to just sprint past and hope for the best. The map itself is poorly designed for sneaking around with lots of wide open spaces. The player is in fact better off just sprinting since sneaking and going slowly will immediately get them killed because of the wide open spaces. The game doesn’t have any real consequence to simply sprinting unlike many other survival horror games, so players choose that option. Other games such as Alien: Isolation, a popular horror game based on the Alien franchise severely punished the player for not sneaking around. They do this by making it so that if you are seen by the alien, you are immediately dead. Although this can be frustrating for some players, it makes the game absolutely terrifying since it has the player listening for any small sign of movement and also forces the player to sneak. This is the type of mechanic that people expected from Security Breach.
On its own, the game isn’t terrible. It’s honestly really enjoyable and it’s a light game for softer players to play. What makes this game considered “bad” is that it comes from the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise. A franchise where the games aren’t made for light players, and those types of players tend to fear them. This therefore created an expectation that was not met by the new release.The reputation of FNAF is what makes the game bad, not the game itself. So with the wreckage left behind by Security Breach, how could a free DLC save its reputation?
The RUIN DLC, announced May 30th2022 with a poster showing a little girl standing in front of a large broken down statue. We see a ruined Glamrock Chica and screens showing the protagonist from the main game. Immediately, this poster was praised for being dark, ominous and everything being in ruins; hence the name of the game. People were pleased to see that the atmosphere for the DLC would be dark and the horror aspect of the game would be completed as promised. This already solves one of the major issues seen in Security Breach. There was even a gameplay trailer for the DLC released one month ago which further shows how dark the game is. The animatronics look so much more menacing than they used to with their parts missing. The Pizzaplex (the mall in which the game is set) being abandoned and dark also adds so much to the horror aspect of the game.
Another issue supposedly fixed is the sneaking mechanic. In the gameplay trailer, it shows the protagonist crouching down and trying to get away from Glamrock Chica. Although this isn’t confirmation that we can’t still sprint past them, it looks promising. Especially with the return of old game mechanics such as the FNAF 3 audio lure mechanic that seems to be used for Roxanne Wolf, a blind animatronic after the first protagonist stole her eyes. The introduction of this new mechanic adds to the sneaking part of the game. Once again, this is not a confirmation that it will be good, however the presence of old ideas seem to show that we will have to be a lot more careful as gamers.
As mentioned before, a very disappointing part of Security Breach was when Vanny was advertised as the main antagonist in the trailers and we ended up barely seeing her along with Afton returning out of nowhere for the game’s “boss battle”. Oppositely, the trailer for RUIN shows a Vanny mask and a mysterious glitchy bunny which the game lore followers would not could involve Glitchtrap and consequently lead to the involvement of Vanny. Fans were thrilled to see that we were finally going to face off against Vanny and learn more about her and hopefully who the mysterious character from the tape was. Of course, it could be the same situation with Security Breach where they advertise Vanny and then don’t have her present with the game, however Steelwool Studios has been listening to the criticisms and it is safe to believe that they have learnt from what happened with the main game, meaning that players are confident that we will see much more of Vanny in the DLC.
When it comes to whether or not Security Breach will have a good storyline, no one can tell since very little of it is shown in the trailer. From what we know, however, it seems rather strange how Gregory (the protagonist from the main game and is the boy voice in the trailer) has been in the Pizzaplex for so many years, from still open to what looks to be abandoned for years, without dying. Some have speculated that he was used as bait to get the girl into the Pizzaplex and some are already waving a red flag saying that the story of the game will be just as confusing as Security Breach. No conclusions can be drawn from what little information we have now, but we don’t have to wait long before we find out.
The gameplay trailer for the RUIN DLC, released a month ago, stated at the end that the game is set to release in July. Many people are excited for the date since it is very close, however after what happened with Security Breach, there is no guarantee. People have stated several times that they would rather Steelwool Studios take their time and perfect the game, but others have been urging them to rush and get the game done quickly. As of writing this, it is two weeks away from the month of July. Obviously, the game doesn’t have a specific date and could very well release on the last day of the month. What is important to note is that there is no Steam page for the game, which is irregular as many games have a steam page months before release so that people can wishlist it. Without a page, it is concerning whether the game may be in the same situation as Security Breach and only end up releasing much later into the year.
To sum up, Security Breach has had many problems in regards to the type of game it was expected to and should have been. With the game creators listening to criticism and RUIN already looking like many pointers have been acknowledged, it is easy to believe that the DLC will be magnificent and may possibly repair the damage left by its main game. Although that is a far claim since barely any information is available, there is enough evidence to show that improvements have been made and that fans should expect RUIN to be horrifying, story-full and most importantly: contain Vanny.