GOTY 2014 | Number 6 — Five Nights at Freddy’s

Ten­sion is one of the hard­est things to prop­er­ly build dur­ing a video game. Most either end up going a lit­tle too slow and bor­ing you or way too quick­ly and become an action game. In Five Nights at Freddy’s, the game takes con­trol com­plete­ly out of your hands and sim­ply forces you to try your best to sur­vive. As you sit in your office, wait­ing to be attacked by killer Chuck E Cheese rejects, you have lim­it­ed options and pow­er for defend­ing your­self. The game takes it from there and very slow­ly ramps up the aggres­sion of your attack­ers, con­tin­u­al­ly sur­pris­ing you with new rules to which you may not have been privy.

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I have video record­ed proof of my squeal­ing in ter­ror as I have been attacked in this game. On the sur­face, it’s easy to just say that the game is all about the jump-scares. Frankly, the most fright­en­ing part of this game, and what allows it to earn those jump-scares, are the moments lead­ing up to them. It’s that moment of real­iza­tion that you for­got to check on the left door just before Bon­nie jumps into your lap and you learn just how high-pitched your voice can real­ly be. Add to that, a sur­pris­ing­ly well thought out back­sto­ry for the game, that gets fleshed out a bit more in the sec­ond game, and you’ve cer­tain­ly got one of my favorite games of the year. It scar­i­ly deserves the num­ber 6 spot on my top 10 list for 2014.

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