I’ve typed a heck of a lot of words about Five Nights at Freddy’s VR over the last few months, and to date, most of those words have been very positive. Unfortunately, today I have to put some words to page that veer just a wee bit in the other direction.
I think it was late December when FNAF VR’s expansion, The Curse of Dreadbear was released for Oculus. Right around Xmastime. For a Halloween-themed DLC pack. Maybe not the most timely of releases, but holding it back for another year to release around Halloween would have been silly. Might as well make those bucks. It’s not as if there’s a whole lot else to for people to buy in the Oculus store. (Zoom!)
But Dreadbear’s issues only begin with the late release. Having been totally obsessed with FNAF VR at the time, I was keeping a close eye on news of when that DLC would drop. Then it did, and the bad reviews piled up quickly. Well, maybe not bad reviews per se, but a lot of complaints in the reviews section about how buying and installing the DLC would wipe your save data. Having a completed save file, I opted to wait it out until there was a patch that would stop the save deletion.
January rolled around, and I checked in from time to time until finally I saw that comment I was looking for: Steel Wool Games had released a patch, and downloading Dreadbear would no longer delete your existing save file! I immediately purchased and installed the Dreadbear DLC and… my save file was gone. All progress: vanished, never to return. I’d have to somehow survive that impossibly hard Funtime Foxy minigame again. So much for the patch.
But worse things could happen. After all, FNAF VR is a heck of a lot of fun, so having a reason to play through it again was actually kind of welcome… is how I looked at it after forcing myself to take an optimistic point of view. When I actually started playing, though, something was off. It didn’t quite hit me until I won my first “food” prize, though, and I was barely able to make out what the item was: after installing the DLC, most of the textures in the game -the entire game, not just the DLC parts- had gone to absolute crap.
While FNAF VR was never going to look as good on Oculus as it did on PC-powered VR systems, it was certainly passable. Things were a bit smudgy here and there, but none of it was outright bad. Now, though? Now it looks awful. And this is coming from me, a guy who really doesn’t care all that much about graphical fidelity. But the downgrade has had a major effect on my enjoyment of this video game, since all I can think about now is how much worse it looks. Suddenly that Funtime Foxy level doesn’t seem so bad, because it’s all pitch-black most of the time.
I don’t think that the grossly deteriorated textures will be a long-term problem during main gameplay, as I’m sure I’ll just get used to them. But it’s a really weird thing that happened, and I can’t fathom why Steel Wool Games would have changed them in the first place. Maybe they needed to scale down the texture resolution to keep the file size under some arbitrary limit? The game didn’t have any major performance issues before the DLC, so I doubt it has anything to do with that. It’s mind-boggling.
All that said, I’m going to continue playing FNAF VR. I mean, I haven’t even started on that DLC that I paid for yet. I’ve just been playing the main game again to restore my completion percentage to 100. It’s still a lot of fun, and I still can’t play for more than like 10 minutes at a time for fear of my heart exploding. It’s just too bad that the experience had to be soured a bit.