With October being the month of spooks and frights, it’s around this time that the horror game releases increase. Scott Cawthon, developer and publisher of the Five Nights at Freddy’s (FNAF) franchise, also decided to release the next FNAF game in the series on October 7th. “Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location” is the fifth installment of the series and has gotten both mixed reviews by both fans and critics alike.
The plot of this game doesn’t take place in the familiar Fazbear Pizza restaurant chain in the previous installments, but instead resides in a sister company called Circus Baby’s Pizza World. The player plays as Mike, a new employee to the Circus Baby Rental and Entertainment department. While the five days (Monday through Friday) takes place in a different building, the same scheme of the series remains of evil animatronics that want to kill the player.
While the plot doesn’t really have much going for it, the production shows compared to the past games. Examples of this better productivity are shown the “cut scenes” and extra care in background design and characters which the other games in the franchise lacked. Some elements of humor are also added such as light hearted elevator music playing while inside the demented building.
The atmosphere of the game is decent with a lot of dark rooms that the player has to go through and check. Atmosphere is something the game franchise has done well with keeping, with run down pizzerias and now an electrical building.
There are a lot of issues with this game that cause it to be a little frustrating when playing. Two major problems are the lack of a pause button and an options button. Without these two common game mechanics, players can’t pause the game for life’s interruptions, and they can’t mess with the size of the video or the volume of sound. Another issue that many players have found is the mixed difficulty in nights. In past FNAF games, the difficulty increased with every night; however, in “Sister Location” the difficulty seems all over the place. Night four especially has been seen as the hardest night in the game being rated as almost impossible to beat. There is one issue that rises above all the others in the game, and that is the lack of terror and scariness.
This issue shows more in “Sister Location” than any other installment, with evil animatronics that are only slightly creepy compared to past designs. The only kind of scare these games give are jump scares, types of thrills that make the viewer react with an abrupt change in the image. While this works a couple of times, the jump scares get old and soon the player won’t even be jumping when the animatronics kill them.
“Sister Location” brings a lot of new and improved mechanics from the past games, but under all the polish and shine, it is the same as all the other FNAF games. Fans of the previous games and online “Let’s Players” (YouTuber’s who play video games) give these games more credit than they deserve; it’s sad that they are undermining better horror franchises. Maybe one day the games will not rely so much on small scares, but will improve in the horror aspects. As for now, this game is nothing but a disappointment. This game gets a rating of 2.5/5.