I'm actually a bit surprised that I have to dedicate a rather decent amount of time to discuss the plot of this game. In reality, the premise of the game is simple. You are a security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza for the night shift. You have to watch security cameras from midnight to six in the morning, and just make sure nothing goes wrong. However, the one thing that the management neglected to tell you is that the animatronics on stage, Bonnie the Bunny, Chica the Duck, Foxy the Pirate, and Freddy Fazbear, all come to live after hours and roam around the place. And by roam, I mean they want you dead. So truth be told, you just have to survive the night with limited power. You have six hours, four animatronics want you dead, and the power is always draining. Good luck!
When it comes to a game like this, it's much more interesting to talk about the horror aspects of it than the gameplay, but I might as well address the gameplay first. All you can do is sit in your guard room and watch cameras to see the animatronics move. They don't move when you're watching them. They only move when you can't see them. Think the weeping angels from Doctor Who and you have a general idea what they're like. The only way you can hold them off is to use the doors to lock yourself inside your room, yet locking the door drains your energy, so you can only keep them locked for so long. It's minimalistic for a reason, and that reason is that you can easily enter the game world and let it freak you out. If you have a fear of people in costumes, or even giant cartoon characters, this game will mortify you and make you crap yourself.
|Just let this face stare into your soul...|
It comes down to how easily you can be absorbed into the world that the creator is trying to make. The easier it is, the more invested you get, and the more invested you get, the more effective the scares. Five Nights at Freddy's is a game that is all about trying to invest you into its world. All that you do is literally looks through cameras. You are looking at a screen, and you're looking at monsters looking right back at you. There is barely any separation between the player and the game because you yourself are looking at a screen as you play the game. The separation is non existent.
But does that make Five Nights at Freddy's scary? Yes and no. Yes, the game is terrifying to play through. You're always on your guard and always afraid at when the animatronics will come at you. Are they right outside your door waiting to attack, or are they just staring into the cameras, fully aware that you're watching them? Your imagination is able to take hold, and you start to let your fear get the better or you, which means you'll mess up more. The more you mess up, the easier it'll be for them to get you. And they will get you. They will wait for the right moment, swarm you, and make sure that you die an agonizing, painful death. They will make sure that you will never breathe again. It's just a matter of how long you can hold them off.
|This is the stuff nightmares are made of.|
A few rare instances aside, the game lived up to its reputation. It was scary, made me on edge, and makes me afraid to go near any animatronics. Missions accomplished, right? Well it would be, but people are now debating the merits of jump scares as a means of horror. After all, all jump scares are is a person jumping out and startling you, so it isn't scary. It's just startling. Well let me paint for you a little scenario to tell you why exactly Five Nights at Freddy's is frightening.
You know that there are animatronics roaming the halls. You can hear their footsteps in the hallways and you can hear them move stuff around. You look outside your door, and you see one in the doorway looking back at you. You slam the door shut, and think that it's all over! But then you realize that they're still out there. Your visitor leaves you, but he's still in the building, and you can't leave. You're frantically checking all of your cameras to see where they are, and you see all of them. Your power is running out though! You need to turn off your cameras! But if they're off, they can get you! But where are they? You need the cameras to see! It's a giant mental battle to find out where they are, save yourself, but not drain your power. You have to let yourself become a sitting duck in order to win. You have to lose yourself to the atmosphere to win. You have to let fear get inside of you. That is what true terror is. It's when you let all of the fear and fright inside of you against your own free will, but you know that it's the only way to win.
|Kids love him|