Will you survive five nights at Freddy’s? Probably not.
Photograph by: Handout , Canada.com
As the youngest of three, I’ve been put through the ringer when it comes to jump scares.
My brothers thought it was funny to jump out from the dark corners of the house to make me scream like the sensitive child I was. Did I mention I have a heart condition? Yeah, they didn’t know about that.
Even if jump scares are able to lift you off your seat, after a while they start to lose their potency. They follow rules, although my brothers never seemed to, and you can pretty much figure out when they’re going to happen. Changing up the formula every single night, Five Nights at Freddy’s puts you in charge of a bank of security monitors and dares you not to be scared.
Outside of your squalid security office, something stirs. As a summer student working at Freddy’s, your job is to watch over the fun-loving animatronic maniacs who entertain children during the day and kill summer students during the night.
Your predecessor gives you a bit of a pep talk over the phone to get you started and apparently the friendly creatures loved by all ages see you as a kind of robot without a frame, which is strictly against the rules. So they have to stuff you into a suit.
The only problem is between the metal struts and wires there isn’t much room for a living, breathing human being. It’s the classic, “I’m way over my head in this new job” feeling mixed with the horror of being murdered by a Chuck E. Cheese knockoff. The game’s first person view can pan from left to right, and that’s the extent of your control. You also have the ability to look through a number of security cameras to check the positions of each mascot. You also have two lights to check you blind spots and two doors that can save you in a pinch.
Sure, you can protect yourself by closing the containment doors, but there’s a limited power supply and it dwindles fast when under strain. From 12 a.m. to 6 a.m. it’s your job to survive, but it isn’t easy. Between the messages sent to you by the supervisor and the little hints each machine give you before they charge into the security room, the atmosphere changes constantly and it never gives you a chance to rest.
That’s the power of Five Nights at Freddy’s. The catharsis of reaching 6 a.m. after the first night leaves you feeling a tingle of satisfaction until you realize there are still four more nights to get through. It becomes a slog of terrifying jump scares compounded with frantic searches for the mascots over the security cameras. You constantly flicker the light watching as your power reserves go lower and lower until you’re just about dead. It’s just a point and click game, yet it’s execution is so fantastic that you can’t help but laugh when the game still finds a way to get you.
Five Nights at Freddy’s takes a simple concept and makes it into something novel. Games like Républic and Echo Night: Beyond use video cameras too much to the same effect, but there’s just something more to Scott Cawthon‘s take in this game. Perhaps it has to do with an innate fear in carnivals and robots sauntering through the Uncanny Valley, but maybe it has more to do with Cawthon knowing the game’s audience.
Chuck E. Cheese’s was Atari founder Nolan Bushnell way of combining eating pizza with playing video games all in one spot. It made for a perfect storm of kids hopped up on pizza, soda, and video games, but there was no way they’d be able to find performers at each location to keep visitors happy. So they made robots to do the grunt work.
The first location opened up in 1977 and if we do the math most of the kids who, we’ll say were 10 when they first went, would be in their 30s now. They’re likely owners of Steam or Desura accounts making them an ideal target for this kind of nostalgia-rife horror. Vague recollections of Chuck E.
Cheese’s might even form in your mind as you play and perhaps some neurons will fire when thinking about the animatronic shows played every half hour on the stage. Remember how they looked when they weren’t singing?eah, their eyes flicker. They might even look at you when you’re sitting eating your pizza and you think, “I bet they’re angry being chained up all day playing songs for little kids.” It’s this fear that Five Nights at Freddy’s preys upon. While we were all young, innocent little kids playing games these silent figures were staring at us thinking how abominable it is that we don’t have our proper robot bodies.
We mostly ignored them, but they never ignored us. So when we return to Freddy’s as a teenager or as adults we start to realize that something strange is going on. Now you’re on the graveyard shift where shadows crawl through your imagination and the smallest of sounds are claws scraping against the walls outside.
Freddy is a slave to the children who demand he keep playing. Even though his joints creak and wires spark, he’s here to play, but now here’s here to make us pay.
Follow me on Twitter: @MatthewOMara.
you roam at night wording what would happen and ..game over .