Now that’s a lot of jump scares.
Five Nights at Freddy’s: Help Wanted VR is now available on Quest headsets, bringing with it all the nerve-wracking animatronic horror made famous by the ridiculously popular survival horror game.
Released back in 2019 on PC VR headsets, this terrifying VR rendition mixes up the original Five Nights at Freddy’s formula with a variety of heart-pounding mini-games designed specifically for the VR format.
For the classic FNAF experience, players can take the night shift at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizzeria and monitor the cameras throughout a series of popular scenes from Five Nights at Freddy’s, Five Nights at Freddy’s 2, Five Nights at Freddy’s 3, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4, and Five Nights at Freddy’s: Sister Location, each of which redesigned from the ground up for VR.
While the 2014 original will forever remain a PC classic, Five Nights at Freddy’s point-and-click gameplay translates perfectly to the VR format, allowing players to man the security booth and fiddle with knobs, buttons, and discarded trash with their own two hands. Of course it goes without saying the immersive capabilities of VR offer a far more realistic experience, making the games many jump scares even more terrifying.
In addition to the classic FNAF experience, players can scream their way through a variety of different game modes, each more ruthless than the next. “Parts and Service” has you playing the role of an overnight mechanic tasked with repairing a series of broken animatronics. Following the instructions of a surprisingly update narrator, players must carefully remove and repair broken parts piece by piece.
Remove the wrong part, push the wrong button, or manhandle the machinery and risk ending your life at the hands of a colorful mechanical beast. It’s an excellent change of pace from the standard security guard gameplay, offering an experience similar to that of the board game Operation, only 130% more unsettling.
Then there’s ‘Vent Repair.’ This game mode has you slipping into the air vents for some claustrophobic puzzle-solving. Surrounded in all directions by pitch black shafts hiding all types of unimaginable horrors, players must keep their head on a swivel as they solve a series of increasing complex puzzles in an effort to repair the pizzerias fault air ducts.
Unfortunately, the only way to keep evil animatronics at bay is to make direct eye contact, forcing you to keep a look out while simultaneously interacting with various switches and controls. This ended up being my favorite game mode of the bunch, perhaps due to its similarities to my favorite sci-fi film, Aliens. Hearing the pitter-patter of metal feet grow louder as a horrifying animatronic rabbit makes its way out of the shadows is an experience I’ll never forget. No matter how much I try…
Moving one we have “Dark Rooms.” Composed of several different mini games, this segment involves players using a flashlight or strobe light to illuminate a pitch black room. In Plushtrap and Nightmare BB, for example, you have just 90 seconds to get the horrifying Plushtrap and Nightmare BB animatronics to stop on an ‘X’ marked on the floor by using your flashlight to freeze them in place. This involves listening carefully for footsteps and actually allowing these blood-thirsty creatures to grow closer to your position. Other mini games in this segment, such as Plushbaby, task you with keeping enemies at bay. It’s sort of like a game of stoplight, only with far deadlier consequences.
And finally there’s “Night Terrors,” a bone-chilling segment in which players are trapped in a dark room packed to the brim with animatronics and must survive until 6am armed only with a flashlight. You know, just your average childhood nightmare brought to life.
For those Oculus Quest players looking for a AAA horror experience, Five Night’s at Freddy’s: Help Wanted is a must-buy. Luckily the game will support cross-buy upon release, meaning those who’ve already purchased a copy on Oculus Rift will have a Quest version waiting for them in their libraries.
Everything from the 2019 PC VR release makes a return, minus the annoying cable blocking your way as you frantically scan every dark corner for a hidden monstrosity. The visuals have taken a noticeable hit compared to the PC VR release, which is to be expected. Thanks to some smart lighting decisions, however, the team managed to retain an impressive amount of environmental detail, adding further to the insane creepiness of the haunted pizzeria.
Tons of content, impressive visuals, and genuinely terrifying jump scares make this standalone VR port a must-play for Oculus Quest players.
Image Credit: Steel Wool Studios