Something you should know about me is that I’m a very nervous person. I jump whenever a friend sneaks up behind me to say “boo,” I look around me when I hear strange creaks in the house, and I freeze up at unexpected knocks at the door. There’s a warning in front of these sorts of games that tells me that it’s not for me.
Basically, it’s nothing short of a miracle that I beat the second and third Five Nights at Freddy’s titles, and an even bigger one that I managed to trooper through the first night of this, because Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is the scariest of the bunch, and that’s saying something.
There aren’t any cameras to check; in fact, there are only four different areas to check in total: the closet, the left hall, the right hall, and your bed. While I’ve only played the first night, I can already guess the closet will be occupied in the future by an animatronic, because all other sections have their own you have to deal with.
Bonnie occupies the left, Chica on the right, and there are strange, monstrous versions of Freddy that sometimes sit on the bed behind you. You must keep all three in check by flashing your light at them … at least until you hear breathing. Once that happens, shut the door and don’t look back until the breathing stops.
Of course, this plan isn’t foolproof, as I got myself killed a few times due to waiting too long on one door. Since you can’t keep them closed, you have to listen carefully and dart back and forth between key points.
Yes, you read that correctly, you can move in this game. Well, not move in the classic WASD sense, but move by clicking at your doors. This will take a few seconds to move—a few precious seconds that could cost you your life. The other new gameplay mechanic is that in between nights, you can play a minigame with a plush Springtrap, the villain of Five Nights at Freddy’s 3, where you must time your flashlight to catch it on an X marked on the ground. If you flash your light too early, it will retreat back to the other side of the room, and too late … Let’s just say you might not be sleeping well at night.
Now, for everyone’s favorite part of Five Nights at Freddy’s: the story. The story is once again told through atari-style minigames, this time focusing on a very familiar looking crying child. While you’re locked in your room in the first minigame, you can explore some of the house in the second. I never thought I’d say this, but a super-pixelated jumpscare got me during these minigames, and I can only expect there will be more to come.
Overall, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is shaping up to be my favorite of the series. The scares really got to me, the story seems fascinating as always, and the new gameplay features encourage you to pay a lot more attention than the first two games. And even though I’m a giant wuss, the creativity in this game’s premise is enough to keep me drawn in. However, can the game keep this pace up? There’s only one way for me to find out.
Wish me luck.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 was purchased by the reviewer and previewed on the PC platform.