One of the most prominent horror series in gaming is now available in VR.
After nearly five years of sequels, spin-offs, and endless waves of merchandise, Five Nights At Freddy’s has officially made its way to VR with Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted. Available now on major PC VR headsets via SteamVR and Oculus, Steel Wool Studios VR adaptation of Scottgames’ infamous point-and-click horror series takes players back to the decrepit halls of Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza for another round of haunted animatronic babysitting.
Reimagined from the ground up for VR, Help Wanted includes a variety of game modes to choose from; the primary of which will have you playing through the events of the original four games in a classic ‘survive-the-night’ experience. While the gameplay is essentially the same to its PC counterpart, the immersion offered by VR technology takes the rudimentary experience to a new level of horrific. Just like the 2014 original, you’ll spend a majority of your time monitoring a series of security cameras in order to keep track of the horrifying animatronic characters lurking throughout the halls of the pizzeria.
If they venture to close to your security booth, you can shut the doors located on both sides of the office, preventing them from ingesting you in the most violent manner possible. There are also a pair of flickering lights above each entrance, allowing you to keep a look-out through the window. Of course, each of these security features—when used—will drain the limited amount of power available to you each night; run out of juice before morning and you’re in for one of the most unsettling jump scares of your life.
Then there’s Vent Repair, a new mode that tasks you with solving a series of gear and level-based puzzles from inside a cramped elevator shaft. Naturally, even this narrow corridor isn’t safe from the plush claws of Freddy Fazbear or Spring Bonny. Demonic animatronics can appear from three different directions while you work, forcing you to keep a vigilant eye as you hurry to complete a variety of challenges. Of course, if solving puzzles in a pitch black elevator shaft isn’t scary enough for you, there’s always the Dark Rooms mode. Armed with only a flashlight, Dark Rooms tasks you with keeping track of animatronic monsters within a pitch black room using only subtle audio cues. Once you pinpoint the general direction from which a sound is coming, shine your flashlight to stop the creatures in their tracks.
In a way, Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted feels like the ultimate remaster. All the paranoid, camera-watching gameplay you know and love from the original feels like it was meant for VR. While the standard PC release had you pointing-and-clicking your way through various camera feeds, Help Wanted has you physically pushing buttons, manually throwing levers, and nervously turning your head as you keep an eye out for any mechanical enemies.
Combining the hide-and-seek gameplay of FNAF with the immersive possibilities offered by VR technology, Help Wanted is the franchise at its absolute scariest. Throughout my time monitoring security feeds, I was genuinely terrified of turning my head away from the screen in fear of what nightmare-ish character may be breathing over my shoulder; even when none of the characters are visible on-screen, you can still feel the looming presence of the Fazbear family hiding in the darkness.
Over the course of your terrifying journies, you’ll come across hidden tokens which can be redeemed for various toys at the prize counter; a simple addition, but one that helps better sell the vibe of a haunted Chuck E. Cheeze and offers a welcomed breather in between stressful rounds of security.
Overall, Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted is an excellent example of how VR technology can further enhance existing properties. Much like SUPERHOT, Five Nights At Freddy’s feels like it was just waiting for an immersive release. All of the game’s elements—from its interactivity to the jump scares—are significantly more impactful in VR, offering players what is arguably the scariest immersive experiences available at the moment. If you’re a die-hard fan of the franchise, or just enjoy stressing yourself out for fun, this is a must-buy.
Five Nights at Freddy’s VR: Help Wanted is available now on PSVR, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift & Rift S for $29.99. Steel Woold Games has also confirmed they are hard at work on an official release for the Oculus Quest, although no timeline has been provided.
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