Five Nights at Freddy's 4 is the final game in the saga and brings the story of Freddy Fasbear's pizza full circle.
Rather than playing as a guard in a security room like in the previous three entries, this time you're a child alone in the dark in your bedroom.
It's an excellent scare-tactic, playing off your own childhood fears and anxieties while creating a much stronger sense of vulnerability than before.Show me the light
You sit under your bed pointing a flashlight at three doors in front of you. Directly in front is a cupboard - the source of all childhood anxiety at night time - and flanking that are two doors leading to a hallway.
You can swipe around the room to shine the torch in different directions, or tap on the bottom of the screen to check what's sitting on your bed.
It's a decent enough system when it works. Far too many times though you double tap on a door and nothing happens, or the game freezes and crashes when you activate your flashlight.
It's also a shame that the game uses virtual controls instead of a series of taps and swipes. They're massive, and include text that remind you of the controls long after you've already mastered them.What's going on?
Instead of relying on visual cues like in previous entries, this time you're listening out for the sounds of danger. You're going to need headphones if you plan on surviving.
The idea is, you're listening out for a moving animatronic and need to dash to the door nearest to the sound as soon as you hear one.
If you hear breathing at the door, slam and hold it shut. Otherwise, turn on your flashlight to scare away any potential attackers.
It's a compelling idea in theory - and genuinely terrifying in practice - but the execution is a total mess.
There's so much background noise like bells, alarms, and odd feedback that it's really difficult to rely on sound alone as your line of defence.
An even larger issue is the fact that when you do hear something, it's often more of a hindrance than a help.
You'd assume that the sound of an animatronic charging at you from the right would be a hint that you should sprint over to that door and hold it closed.
Nope, many times that will lead to you being jump-scared by an off-screen attacker. Or, if you opt to use your flashlight you'll find nothing waiting for you.
It begs the question - what's the point in having audio clues at all if they're of no use?
It's a problem compounded by a serious spike in difficulty over the previous games.
Right from the get-go you could be attacked by multiple animatronics at once, and it's almost impossible to defend against them with the broken tools at your disposal.Boo!
Credit where credit's due, Five Nights at Freddy's 4 is genuinely terrifying. In fact, thanks to the unsettling new setting it could be the most frightening iteration of the franchise to date.
It's also the most difficult by far, which in turn makes it the most frustrating. That wouldn't be so much of a problem if the mechanics were satisfying and made sense, but more often than not you're left wondering what more you could have done to have survived the night.
Five Nights at Freddy's 4 leaves you in the dark, both literally and figuratively. As a result sitting through all five nights is too frustrating an experience to recommend.