The Final Entrant into the Five Nights at Freddy’s Series May be the Spookiest Yet but It Lacks the Charm of the Original.
Anyone who’s anyone has, by now, heard of Five Nights at Freddy’s. The deceptively-simple horror game has amassed a cult following in recent years for its fresh approach to the horror genre.
After spawning a sequel and a prequel, series creator, Scott Cawthon, has decided to put it to rest. And what better way to celebrate the franchise than with yet another entry to the series, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4
Developer: Scott Cawthon
Publisher: Independent Developer
Price: $7.99 USD (Steam)
The Scariest Game So Far
It’s not hard to see that Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is the most pants-poopingly scary game in the series. The game itself is no longer set in the pizzeria (or an attraction based on the pizzeria) as the player takes on the role of a child locked in his room during a thunderstorm. Four points of entry allow for quite the varied assault from the monsters: the wardrobe, two doors on either side of the room, and the bed behind the player’s field of vision.
Camera mechanics and hall lights have been done away with. In their place, the player must continually investigate the room’s doors and scare animatronics away with his torch. The caveat to this being if one of the monsters is loitering directly outside your door, the torch is a death sentence.
Pacing has become an important part of Five Nights at Freddy’s 4.The previous instalments emphasised moving as quickly as possible to cover as many of the cameras or entry points as possible.
While Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 emphasises more methodical movements. Too hastily shining that torch in a panic will result in death. It’s a nice change up to the series; and to horror in general.
In Sharp Focus
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4, as we talked about earlier, has done away with much of the early warning system present in other games. Given the series’ proliferation, there are many popular strategies to allow players to coast through at least the first few levels. Indeed, even in later nights, it’s common practice to ignore the cameras except for the purposes of checking Pirate Cove/4B. Simply using the hall lights is often enough to survive.
With the changes, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is effectively expanding the hall lights/doors tactical game into the main focus. This makes it overall more dynamic and a fresher experience even for more tenured players.
Expanding this dynamic game of animatronic cat-and-mouse does carry with it increased difficulty. The first three games (especially Five Nights at Freddy’s 3) essentially give a free pass to players who are paying any sort of attention. Five Nights at Freddy’s 4, though, is quite punishing and challenges players from day one.
Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is not the best game. It’s not the best representation of the series either. The increased difficulty and lack of instruction via the phone guy are barriers to entry to newer players. The nature of these factors make it seem as though Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 is the game Mr. Cawthon has made for fans of the series.
I’ve been enjoying Five Nights at Freddy’s 4. It has made some changes to speak to more experienced players of the previous games. Almost as though it was the final boss fight of Five Nights.
For all the positives that came from these alterations, there are, of course, downsides. Where the original game gave you a small view into a very rich and meaningful world of strategic depth, each subsequent game has cut into this by adding complicating factors for the sake of difficulty.
I’ll still be playing Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 but it’s the original I’ll be using to introduce everyone into the fold.