Honey, It’s Home: Five Nights At Freddy’s 4 Out Now

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a game in possession of a release date, must be in want of a delay. When Mr Ubi or Miss 2K (no known connection to Mis-Teeq) tell us that their next sequel will be coming out on May 12th, we’re inclined to make like Kyle Reese and ask “WHAT YEAR?” Delays are common but when did a game last release before an announced launch date?

By doing precisely that, Five Nights At Freddy’s 4 [official site] may have pulled off the biggest jumpscare of all. Checking Steam releases last night, I saw the bothersome old bear staring back at me. The game was originally supposed to release on August 4th, the one-year anniversary of the original, but here it is…

Let’s remind ourselves what’s happening in FNAF Land.

Oh, that’s right. The murderous animatronics are inside somebody’s house. You play as a child.

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.

FNAF is popular with The Kids, which leads me to believe that the internet is forging a generation much hardier than my own. I grew up on a diet of horror films and gory games, but I’ve never been able to endure jumpscares. I find the experience of playing the Five Nights at Freddy’s agonisingly similar to the experience of staring down a Jack in the Box. Maybe if I’d grown up clicking on links and expecting Rick Astley screamers to take over my screen and speakers, I’d find FNAF altogether less stressful and would be able to pick over the story and draw some fanfic.

As it is, the worst thing that happened to me was borrowing a library book and turning the page to see that somebody had written “POO” in the margin. It’s not quite the same.

Anyhow, yes, Five Nights At Freddy’s 4. Out now. Notice that it’s described as the “last chapter of the Five Nights at Freddy’s original story”. Spinoff ahoy!

35 Comments

  1. James says:

    *distant rumbling*

    *distant rumbling grows*

    *loud, obnoxious screaming*

    Oh God! It’s a herd of YouTubers!

    • Cyroch says:

      A wild Pewdiepie appears. The wild pewdiepie uses screach… It is very effective!

      • Ekpyrotic Fan Fiction says:

        retsupurae used Mirror Shield. The wild pewdiepie is confused!

        • Cyroch says:

          Pewdiepie is confused. Pewdiepie used Brofist. It hurt itself in confusion.

  2. KFee says:

    I don’t get all the buzz around those game, I really can’t… But that’s maybe just me.

    • cpy says:

      That game is totally worthless. I don’t understand why people like this.

      • Alastor says:

        I don’t understand why people can’t have an open mind and know that it can please someone else, just like sex and BDSM.

  3. LionsPhil says:

    EA could learn from how quickly they crank out sequels to this thing.

    Make the most of it while you have Internet momentum, I guess.

    • Shuck says:

      Three games in less than a year – I don’t think EA can learn much from it, as much as they’d like to. It’s a small-scale game (with minimal asset requirements), relatively simple gameplay and a small, agile team. EA making bigger games with bigger teams is fundamentally slowed by both of those things. Which is just as well, frankly.

  4. Troubletcat says:

    Having played both the first and the 3rd game (didn’t come even close to finishing in either case out of sheer boredom, but I gave them a fair shot), I must say I don’t get the appeal at all.

    Boring gameplay. A story that people seem to find fascinating/creepy but to me seems… really stupid… and just… not scary. Jump scares are startling. Not scary. I don’t get it. And I absolutely love horror movies and games and stuff…

    Did I mention how boring the gameplay is?

    • Beefenstein says:

      If this game is bad then so is Night Trap and that simply isn’t the case.

      • Troubletcat says:

        I agree that Night Trap is definitely not bad.

        FNAF is not Night Trap.

  5. unitled says:

    When it comes to horror, I agree with the massive-handed Mark Kermode: making something very quiet then have something make a very loud noise suddenly is a pretty cheap but effective way to get scares. It’s impossible not to jump at something like that. It’s not my type of horror, it feels very much in line with the ‘Paranormal Activity’ franchise style.

    Still, this isn’t a massive development house milking teenagers; this is one guy, pumping out sequels that are hugely popular at pocket money prices. Fair play to him, and I hope he’s able to develop his style further into something with some more depth with the buckets of money he undoubtedly has now.

    • Geebs says:

      Mark Kermode’s opinion about the Exorcist makes me very suspicious of any of his other thoughts on horror movies.

    • Kitsunin says:

      I disagree with that conclusion. The fact that jumpscares are a terrible form of horror, being shock and little else, without an ounce of subtlety, that I agree with.

      But that’s just the thing, they act perfectly as just that, a jolt of electricity through the mind of the player. Hardly scary in itself, but much like how any game played with friends becomes more tense if you agree that the loser gets pinched, FNAF becomes far more tense and scary because you know that when you lose, your brain gets hit with the electric shock of a jump scare.

      Movies, and most games which use jump-scares only manage a faint imitation of this, so it works very poorly. FNAF is masterful with this rudimentary technique, which makes it a pretty decent series. At least, a decent series if you’re actually afraid of animatronics (I am, Chucky Cheese really weirded me out as a kid!) because otherwise there’s no fear for the jump-scares to amplify.

      • Kitsunin says:

        Oh wow, I wrote it as jumpscares, jump scares, and jump-scares all in one comment. I am the worst.

      • Archonsod says:

        It’s possibly the dependence on jumpscares which makes it less appealing to the older market. Once age and alcohol have taken their toll on your reflexes, or you’re a veteran of raising small children (particularly when well meaning relatives keep giving them those noisy electronic toys) there’s very little jump or scare.

    • Hahaha says:

      “Still, this isn’t a massive development house milking teenagers; this is one guy milking teenagers”

  6. Nevard says:

    He’d better make a fifth. 1-3 games I’d be fine with, but stopping just one short of your game’s titular number is practically criminal.

    • Shuck says:

      Seriously. How can he not do “FiVe Night5 at Freddy’5 5”?

    • wammnebu says:

      the fifth one should just be a meta game where you play as Scott Cawthorn in his office. You are haunted with your previous creations while having to finish one FNAF game each night. Beginning with the creepy animals from his early christian games on night one, the goal as you have to look out your window and the door behind you for monsters is not to “survive the night” but be on your computer long enough to finish one game. As the nights progress you have to deal with more monsters from each completed game.

  7. Big Murray says:

    Deep down within myself, I’m sure there’s a shit to give. But I can’t find it on this day.

  8. Kollega says:

    *sigh* I get that FNAF is all the rage now, but honestly, if not for YouTube stars and the furry fandom, it wouldn’t exactly sell bucketloads. Power to Scott, I guess – he’s just striking while the iron is hot – but I just… can’t bring myself to give a damn.

    Who’s up for a Wolfenstein-inspired game about animatronic Nazi mad doctors, cyborg soldiers, and meth-addicted fighter pilots next?

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      Phasma Felis says:

      Furry fandom? Lolwut? This is like, I dunno, crediting the success of Alien to Star Trek fans, because they’re both in space and thus obviously the same.

      • Kollega says:

        Then you probably haven’t seen the unending deluge of furry fanart based on the animatronics, a lot of which is preeeeeeeeetty damn explicit :P And I’m sure it’s had a decent hand in the game gaining its mad popularity.

        • Kitsunin says:

          I kinda doubt that the furry art had much of an effect on the game’s sales, myself. That’s kind of like saying Homestuck fan art is the reason Homestuck became so popular, just because there’s a lot of it. But I think that’d be reversing cause and effect.

          • Kollega says:

            My point is a little different – it’s the potential of the game for furry fanart that I think contributed to its popularity, not the fanart itself. But you’re probably right that the game’s fanartability is a drop in the sea compared to all the Pewdiepies playing it and recommending it to their millions of subscribers.

          • Kitsunin says:

            Oh, yeah that does make sense, for some reason I was thinking that like, furry porn was some sort of viral marketing, haha…

            I do think that for the most part it’s probably just the general popularity and vaguely furry characters which lead to the art, not so much furries being particularly into FNAF. Then again, if someone’s a furry, that probably means they have a lot of childhood memories relating to furry characters — that could include a certain amount of unease, which might make them more appreciative of FNAF’s horror.

  9. Zankman says:

    I don’t like horror (in any medium) and I certainly don’t like jumpscares. I am not intrigued by the game’s mechanics/core gameplay. I certainly do NOT watch any YouTubers that play these types of games.

    However…

    FNaF is, to a degree, an exception. I am fascinated by them.

    I like the story – it’s creepy and weird.

    I like the storytelling method – the one that engages the entire community, makes the players “work” for every detail, pushes the players to share their thoughts and theories with one another. It’s just so engaging and, although not novel (there have been similar things in books and movies), it is executed well-enough.

    From a gameplay standpoint, I think that the game has changed enough between each iteration – FNaF 2 had “more” of everything compared to FNaF 1, FNaF 3 kinda dialed it back in terms of scale instead adding new elements, whereas FNaF 4 seems to be a mixture of the two – with, of course, a new setting as opposed to the standard restaurant one.

    I think writing off FNaF as just being YouTube bait and only being successful due to screeching YouTubers and “the (DeviantArt) furry fandom” is a bit disingenuous.

    It has obviously found a niche of fun, challenging and engaging (albeit still jumpscare) horror gameplay.

    More so, it seems to have obviously found a perfect audience for the story that it tells.

    So, I am fine with the series.

    As I said – I have not played any of the games, nor do I plan to. Not my thing. However, I have – and I will – check out a playthrough on YouTube, along with then checking out the wiki or subreddit or something.

    Off the mainstream YouTubers that play it, I’d go with Markpilier – not nearly as obnoxious as someone like PDP, instead, hell, he has a very soothing voice.

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      Adam Smith says:

      Lovely comment. I broadly agree, except I love horror in every medium.

    • Beefenstein says:

      There is something fascinating about a community inventing a story because there really isn’t one.

      • Kitsunin says:

        No, there really is one and it’s incredibly obvious that it exists, it’s just that it isn’t literally told to you and takes a little thought to understand. Alternatively, if someone just explains it to you, it makes perfect sense.

        Whoda thunk, stories don’t have to be told as a thoroughly explained linear progression!

  10. geldonyetich says:

    The FNaF series is a glorious meme that I think at least halfway deserves it because the premise of haunted animatronics is novel and executed quite well here. It’s not really about jumpscares, it’s about the potential to avoid the jumpscares, which introduces a feeling of suspense. Plus, in their own way, the individual characters are rather lovable.

    In FNaF 4, they’re monsterous little toys. The Internet’s going to have their hands full coming up with rule 34 this time.

  11. Archonsod says:

    Haunted animatronics lost it’s novelty around about Puppetmaster 3 I think. They still went through another three films.

  12. vorador says:

    I find jumpscares cheap and annoying so i have never played this series. But i do appreciate the amount of secrets and hints crammed in the plot of the game, the metagame of finding what exactly happened in there.