Game Review – Five Nights at Freddy’s 4

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This time, the terror has followed you home.

In this last chapter of the Five Nights at Freddy’s original story, you must once again defend yourself against Freddy Fazbear, Chica, Bonnie, Foxy, and even worse things that lurk in the shadows. Playing as a child whose role is yet unknown, you must safeguard yourself until 6am by watching the doors, as well as warding off unwanted creatures that may venture into your closet or onto the bed behind you.

You have only a flashlight to protect yourself. It will scare away things that may be creeping at the far end of the hallways, but be careful, and listen. If something has crept too close, then shining lights in its eyes will be your end.

Against my better judgement, I’m going to go ahead and review this game without finishing it to the end myself.  Why?  Mostly because I wanted to get this review out and I don’t have time to play more of the game, but I have played enough to get the picture and I have seen game play of the entire thing, so there’s that.  The reason I haven’t finished the game yet, though, isn’t due to how hard it is, but rather because I am legitimately scared to play this game.

Unlike the previous installments in the FNAF series thus far, in this game we are not in any sort of establishment and monitoring security cameras with any sort of limited power source.  We aren’t a security guard, and in fact we are playing as a child.  A child who is scared to sleep for fear of the monsters that are lurking in his hallway, his closet, and under his bed just waiting to get him.  The thing is, these monsters used to just be his stuffed animals which he saw as his best friends – probably his only friends, but something has made him scared of them to see them this way in the dark.

Throughout the night, you have to move around throughout your room: checking the doors on the left and right side to make sure there’s nothing coming down the hall, checking the bed behind you to keep the demon mini-Freddy’s away, and going to the closet when Foxy has snuck into your room to make sure he doesn’t come out (though he does have a habit of snarling at you when you look in the closet, but he can’t actually hurt you while doing that).

The thing about this game is that it makes heavy use of its audio.  You have to wear a good pair of headphones to play this game or else you won’t be able to hear what you need to hear.  When you check out the doors in the hall, you need to listen for a few seconds before flashing your light.  If you hear breathing, you close the door, because flashing the light will result in your death.  Forcing you to listen so closely for such small sounds makes the jumpscares all the worse, because you’re already straining your ears, and the jumpscare sounds are intensely loud, so the strain of listening for small noises makes that experience even worse.  With this game, it all feels way more surprising/shocking than in the previous games.  If you know how the animatronics work in all the other games, you pretty much know when they come, in which case you can mentally prepare yourself for it.  In this game, you’re on edge all the time.

In between nights there are little cut scenes for the sake of the story, but then there’s also a mini game called “Fun with Plushtrap”.  Let me tell you… it ain’t fun at all.  I did this mini-game twice and got my face ripped off both times (well, I assume that’s what he does to you when he gets you).  I was like one second too late each time and it was awful.  I hate Plushtrap.  However, if you do somehow manage to win that mini-game, it rewards you by starting you at 2am on the next night.  Not that that makes much a difference if you die immediately, as you’ll have to start out at 12am again when you restart and there’s no way to retry the Fun with Plushtrap game before that (so it can end up feeling like a waste).

Oh yeah, the story.  You’re a kid who’s emotionally abused by his family (specifically his big brother, possibly also his father who, it is speculated, is an employee at Freddy Fazbear’s – or perhaps it’s Fredbear’s Family Diner?) and who is terrified of the animatronics at his local Freddy’s/Fredbear’s for… reasons that are unexplained. (He saw something, that’s all that’s said).  At some point, someone locks him in the parts and service room in the place, which obviously freaks him out, what with the costumes and all the animatronic parts.  And then Night 5 begins and you get a very unpleasant surprise.

Fredbear_righthall_closeGolden Freddy himself makes an appearance, and he’s the only animatronic haunting you on this night.  This Golden Freddy has a name, though.  It’s Nightmare Fredbear.

Basically with Fredbear around, you have to totally rethink the way you’ve been playing the game up until this point to survive.  When you finally make it to the end of the night, you see the last cut scene of the game, and the fate of the crying child on his own birthday.  His brother, with his bully friends, take him over to the animatronics on stage and hoist him up to Fredbear’s mouth.  And then there’s a bite with a sickening crack.  They stare in horror at what just happened – at what they caused – and the screen fades to black, taking you back to the menu to show you that Night 6 is unlocked, along with an extras menu.

Night 6 goes back to the way it had been with all the other animatronics – though much harder than before – but once 4am hits, all of the animatronics disappear and are replaced by Fredbear once more.  Winning this night treats you to a final cut scene of the child in the darkness talking to his stuffed animal friends, with Fredbear telling him he will put him back together before you hear a flatline.

There is a Night 7.  It’s exactly the same as Night 6 with… one exception.  Fredbear is gone.  He’s been replaced by Nightmare.

FNAF Day 7The thing about this Nightmare character is that his jumpscare is akin to the Golden Freddy jumpscare from the original Five Nights at Freddy’s.  If he catches you, he doesn’t just jump in your face and grab you like the others have.  The screen goes black, and then this face shows up and there’s a horrible static sound playing and you just have to stare and listen for several seconds before it takes you back to the main menu.  It’s truly horrifying, especially if you’re not expecting it.

Nightmare is like a much more twisted version of Fredbear.  Pure black with a yellow hat and bow tie instead of purple, and there are some parts of it that are transparent like a ghost.  Some people have even compared him to being the grim reaper.  After all, he shows up after the cut scene where you hear a flat line.

The end of Night 7 shows you a locked box.  You can manipulate the locks on the box, but you can’t actually unlock it.  Eventually the text, “Perhaps some things are best left forgotten for now” shows up before taking you back to the menu.  I’ve already talked extensively about this in my post about Unsolved Mysteries, so I won’t go into that anymore, here.

I like this game a lot because it brings back the scares that the second and third games really didn’t have all that much.  I said in my review of the third game that it really wasn’t all that scary, but this one definitely is.  I believe that’s partly due to its location.  While not everyone can relate with the fear of pizzeria animatronics, most people can relate to the fear of monsters in your house when you’re a kid.  Nightmares that come when you’re alone in the dark.  Because of that, it spoke to me on a much more personal level than any of the other games ever did, and that’s another reason why I’m scared to play it, but I still love it.

If Five Nights at Freddy’s 3 was about the fate of the Purple Guy, then this game is about the fate of the Bite of ’87 victim.  Wait… or is it ’83?  Why do the Toy Animatronics exist as action figures?  Why is Mangle found in the house?  What about that brief Purple Guy cameo easter egg?  Who, or what, is the Puppet, anyway?  THERE ARE STILL SO MANY UNANSWERED QUESTIONS.

And they’re going to stay that way, just as it says with the box.

Five Nights at Freddy’s wouldn’t be what it is without its deep mysteries, so why spoil it by solving them?

But this story has come to a close.  Yes, there is going to be a FNAF World game, but it’s going to be an RPG, not a horror, and I don’t have any expectations of it answering any more questions, and I’m okay with that.  This is a good ending to the series.  It’s finally over.

But wait, there’s going to be a Halloween update.  What’s that all about?  Scott, why did your website change again?

inthedarkDANG IT, SCOTT!

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