The Five Nights at Freddy's series hasn't had the best track record here at Techraptor. We've criticized the series' reliance on jumpscares and lack of reason to check the camera in the past, and I'm happy to report that for the most part, Five Nights at Freddy's 3 has fixed these problems. However, with these new fixes comes a slew of other problems, leading to what is basically an entirely different experience.
The most glaring difference between Five Nights at Freddy's 3 and the other games is the number of animatronics. Instead of the previous game's lofty eleven robotic terrors, Five Nights at Freddy's 3 only features one, the deadly Springtrap. Springtrap will gradually move to your location through either the vents or on the ground, and your only way to fight back is to either close the vents or play an audio recording to attract him to another room.
While Springtrap is the only animatronic, some of the old fan favorites such as Foxy, the Puppet, and Freddy himself return as phantoms. The phantom versions of these old favorites will appear on your camera feed and jumpscare you, taking one of your systems offline. Ventilation being offline allows Springtrap to slink into your room while you have your eye on him, audio being offline will make it impossible to lure Springtrap away, and video being offline will make Springtrap's movements a mystery.
Once a system is offline, you'll be forced to manually reboot it, basically making you a sitting duck. Because of this, moments where all your systems are offline and you have to suffer through an agonizingly slow full system reboot are some of the scariest moments of Five Nights at Freddy's 3, especially when you can see Springtrap waiting outside your office window, ready to pounce at any moment.
The greatest change in Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is the fear factor, which has gone way up since the last game. The jumpscares may be less horrifying, but the atmosphere is much more tense. Each camera is covered in static, making it particularly hard to point out Springtrap is certain areas. Moments where you're frantically flipping through the camera system to spot Springtrap are easily the highlights of the game, especially when you stumble across a phantom in your search for the illusive animatronic.
Also adding to the fear factor is how the office is handled. You now need to swivel around the office to access the cameras on one side and the systems on the other, with a window in between the two. Behind losing sight of Springtrap, the scariest moment is easily seeing Phantom Freddy slowly walking across the window to your door, ready to pounce with one of Five Nights at Freddy's 3's most terrifying jumpscares.
Unlike the other games in the series, Five Nights at Freddy's 3 features multiple endings depending on if you complete the simplistic minigames found in the multiple nights or not. The directions to access the minigames are hidden behind obtuse hints in between nights, and figuring them all out to get the better ending just isn't worth it, especially when the good ending is nothing but a different screen.
The sound design is around the same quality as usual, with a few dips every now and then. The infamous laughs and cries of Balloon Boy return for your audio system, and Scott Cawthon voices Phone Guy once more. However, the jumpscare screams are considerably less terrifying than before, and Scott does his best to voice a hip teenager leaving messages alongside Phone Guy, but it just falls flat on its face.
Overall, I can say that Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is a much more well rounded package than the first two games. However, the game still has issues. It took me way too long to figure out just how to properly work the audio system, and the game's much easier and shorter than the other two. However, if you're interested in the game's lore, interesting take on point and click gameplay, or just scary games in general, Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is worth a look.
Disclosure: This game was purchased by the reviewer and reviewed on the PC platform