Five Nights at Freddy’s was originally created for mobile devices by a Christian app developer who received feedback that the original characters in his previous family friendly game were a bit creepy. The game has not only found its footing among horror fans but it is undeniably responsible for spawning a genre of ‘survive by the hour’ horror that includes other titles like Emily Wants to Play and Wick. Despite its roots in mobile, Five Nights at Freddy’s has been available on Steam for quite some time. However, the first four games of the series have only just found their way to console as of the end of 2019.
Typically when an anthology of older games with as rich a history as Five Nights at Freddy’s finds its way to consoles players can usually expect the option to buy them as a bundle and with any existing DLC thrown in. A definitive edition, if you will. However, for Five Nights at Freddy’s the games have been released individually on console. This does allow for players to choose which of the titles they prefer to play, or buy them all and collect 1000G from each title. Unfortunately, it also means there’s no bundled discounts.
In the original Five Nights at Freddy’s players take on the roll of a security guard on night duty at a Chuck. E. Cheese like establishment known as Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. The place is full of creepy faced animatronic animals that, thanks to some questionable plot logic, wander about the building at night. As the security guard, you’re locked up in the building’s office each night because that is somehow a cheaper option than just fixing the robots.
The room has a door on the left and the right that can be controlled with their respective buttons, as well as lights that you can switch on and off as necessary. Additionally, you have security cameras that let you keep up with the pesky robotics’ whereabouts. There’s a hitch to this, however, as literally all of these things use up your power. There’s a limited amount of power each night, and you must ration it carefully lest you find yourself in a position where those roaming robos can pop in on you – resulting in the dreaded jump scare.
Each night is broken down by the hours, beginning at 12am midnight and coming to an end if you can successfully survive until 6am. The different animatronic bots have unique verbal cues, which is vital to knowing how to respond when one is getting close to you. This is even more so of an issue in the following sequels as new garish creatures are introduced.
All four games consist of the titular five nights, with an additional six and seventh night becoming available upon completion. There are no options for difficulty settings for the game with the exception of night seven, which allows you to crank the difficulty of the animatronics all the way up to twenty if you so desire. Despite the name Five Nights at Freddy’s, only three of the games actually take place at a Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza joint. The fourth takes place in the home of a small child who serves as the game’s protagonist, though they are no longer limited to sitting in one room for the duration of the game.
All four of the Five Nights at Freddy’s titles show their age, sadly, and greatly suffer when it comes down to accessibility. Despite a disembodied voice frequently barking out story exposition and game play need-to-knows over a landline phone there are no options for turning on subtitles. There’s a heavy emphasis on the audio cues for impending doom, as well, but there is no option for visual cues for those that are hard of hearing. This shouldn’t need to be said out loud in 2019, but here we are: There is no reason whatsoever for a game to launch without subtitle support.
Despite clearly feeling like an out of date mobile game, its still nice to see a classic horror title like Five Nights at Freddy’s finally come to console, but it would have been far nicer if the developers had thrown in the extra effort to put a little polish and shine on the game before doing so, rather than just throwing it out the door in its original state. The launch of all four of the original titles simultaneously means that there may still be hope for the remaining titles in the franchise to make their way over to xbox in the future, as well.