Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Four games at Freddy's: I solomly swear that there will be no jump scares in this post. Besides, have you tried typing Jump scares?

Five Nights at Freddy's, chances are you've herd of these game if you've spent any time on Youtube this past year, that's what happens when one person puts out four well received horror games in under a year, which bugs me even of itself, as I feel that the quality of the games is diminished as a result. But, I did promise last year that I'd review the first game, and I'm doing one, I may as well do all four. So, here's my review of the four Five Nights at Freddy's games. As a forewarn, I'm reviewing the PC versions of all of these games, but iOS and android versions do exist.

I'll start with the plot, as it's the shortest plot I've ever seen for while making content for this site. You're either a night guard, or you're a kid. There are killer robots trying to get into a room you're trapped in for some reason, you have to keep them away for six in game hours all while some resources. If you were expecting more, that's because I don't want to touch the lore of this game. The reason being is because its all theory at best. The lore is teased in all four games, but nothing is concrete in any of them. If you want to see what I mean, then there are better places to look for it then here, I'm here to review the games, not add more theories to the lore.
"I see dead people..."

With that being said, the games are as simplistic as the plots. In three of the four games, you are effectively super glued to your chair and you have to survive by
  • Looking into cameras
  • Shutting doors that seem to drain power for some reason
  • Putting on a mask
  • Shining a flash light
  • Winding a music box
I wish
  • Playing Marco Polo with a sound effect and a killer robot that may or may not have a barely alive serial killer in it after almost 20 years. To borrow a quote from the, unfortunately, scrapped video version of this review as I had several problems with it, "And here I thought Borg mind Zombie psychic vampire female decepticon was over the top… actually it still is… for another time though."
  • Remotely fixing your ventilation system 
  • Using your room with two doors at your disposal and 
  • Sitting on your ass doing jack shit. Seriously, was the child the only one who thought about moving around? 
(Yeah, I like reusing things I've done for other things, so expect traces of the script of the video review to return here)

"Hi, are you a registered sex offender?"
Almost the entire game uses a point and click control scheme, which means you'll mostly only be using the mouse. There are times when you'll use your keyboard, but it's not as often as I'd personally like, and it leads to deaths because of "New Super Mario Bros syndrome" of trying to do lots of things with the one control. Though this is mostly limited to the second game. I do know why this is done, as it helps with the atmosphere, but it did take me out of the experience at times. Between the four games, you use the mouse to do: change the camera angle, access your tablet to use the cameras, turn on lights, open and close doors, put on a mask, wave your flash light, repair systems, play marco polo, and run to your doors, your, apparently very comfy, closet, and shoe away nightmare teddy bears before they can give you a bear hug. Just to give an example.
Smile for the camera

As I was saying, the reason the control scheme is like this is because of the horror nature of the game, as it builds up tension, which in theory would make the jump scares more terrifying as you have to do several processes to make sure you don’t get jump scared. But it means that you’ll quickly fall into a routine, especially on the challenge nights when they are available. Take the first game for example, here’s the theory on how to win. Check the left door, check the right door, check Pirate’s Cove, and on night four on, check the stage. Why do I say this, it’s because all the animatronics follow basic, pre-determined systems. Some of them are obvious like the Puppet and Springtrap, others you need to do some trial and error to find.

"We will. We will. Kill you"
My major problem with the game is this: I don't think the animatronics are scary.

Before I get hate for that, let me explain. Now don’t get me wrong, I think that the way Scott handled the visual and sound design is great, sound design especially in the fourth game, where all you have are sound cues to tell you where the animatronics are, no cameras. But I don’t find animatronics scary. It might be because I haven’t experienced a Chucky Cheese, as that brand doesn’t exist here. But the only time I’ve experienced animatronics are at museums. Now I admit that the concept of killer robots is scary, as that’s genuinely life threatening. Skynet is terrifying, but that’s because anyone can be terrifying if they’re pointing a loaded gun right at you. But even the Freddy Cougar esque Nightmare animatronics aren’t that scary to me. Especially in the first game when you realise that the song that plays when your power goes out is the second part to a song you’ve probably herd called the Les Toreador. Allow me to refresh your memory if you don’t recognize the name.
You can no longer take this moment seriously.

But yes, I am not afraid of the animatronics. I think the mood Scott sets up in the first, second and fourth games are quite good, but the robots themselves aren’t scary, creepy at best for the first game, laughable at times for the rest.
"Come give your Uncle Foxy a kiss"
Should you play FNAF. Well, with all the Let’s Plays of the series, all the videos about the lore ect. I don’t think there’s a need to unless you like horror games, in which case you’ve probably already have played the games. The thing with FNAF is that there isn’t a lot of randomness to it, everyone is going to have similar experiences. Now I know you can use that excuse for any game you want, but there are games where the developers do a better job at hiding it, and that’s one thing that I don’t think the FNAF games do well. It’s not something I can really describe, but people who play a lot of games know what I’m talking about in that regard. If you are hesitant, check out other videos online to see if it’s a game you’ll enjoy. But again, I hope you like Point and clicks, as that’s all you’re doing. I feel like indulging the 80's children a bit, by taking a look at something I have never seen until this week, as another Halloween review, the 1984 classic: Ghostbusters.

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