Friday The 13th is a beloved series for many horror fans and for good reason. Jason has taken the world by storm since his inception into the blood soaked world of Camp Crystal Lake. With several movies, one NES game and countless fan games it’s time we looked at the newest officially licensed Friday The 13th video-game.
Friday The 13th The Game started it’s life as a project on Kick-starter hoping to reach it’s goal, needless to say the kick-starter was a success and a few years later the game has officially released. And just as was promised you are able to play as both Jason and a wide selection of camp counselors trying to survive Jason’s murder spree.
When a game begins one player will be selected at random to play as Jason and the remaining players are thrust into their roles as camp counselors. There are a variety of characters to choose from with varying stats and skills. Which helps to amend an interesting problem that was all too apparent in the beta for the game a few months back.
In the beta the biggest glaring problem showing itself was player experience. If you find yourself in a lobby with an experienced Jason and a group of counselors who are still new to the game or are adjusting to the rules, the game is almost weighted entirely in Jason’s favor. Same goes for a group of experienced counselors and a new Jason.
It was an interesting dilemma and one that needed to be addressed and thankfully Gun Media and IllFonic have taken steps to attempt to amend the issues. By incorporating many different counselors with different abilities as well as varying stats it helps to create a type of balance that was sorely lacking in the beta.
The same goes for the different playable Jason iterations. Each coming with a signature look, weapon, and his own set of strengths and weaknesses. If a group of counselors is able to band together and exploit Jason’s weaknesses then the chances of survival will skyrocket. Teamwork is the name of the game here.
For Jason all you have is your superb senses and paranormal skills based on which iteration of Jason is being controlled. Silently stalking your prey and being patient is the way to succeed in your mission as Jason. Camp Crystal Lake is your home, take advantage of the territory and track down the pesky counselors.
The differing types of game-play collide to create some truly adrenaline fueled moments. Playing as a counselor trying desperately to survive while you attempt to call for help can be truly nerve-wracking. Never knowing where Jason is or when he will show up out of nowhere forcing you to abandon your plans and try again to complete your escape.
On the other side of the coin though, playing as Jason is just as adrenaline fueled just for different reasons. Slowly wandering the shadows playing a twisted game of cat and mouse is empowering and insanely fun when you successfully track down a counselor and close in for the kill.
When the game is working as intended it is insanely fun and terrifying depending on which end of the spectrum you end up on. Friday The 13th The Game does have an option that allows you to choose your preference as to who you would rather play as, Jason or the counselors, but do keep in mind it is still randomly chosen.
While playing as Jason is definitely the appeal of this game, playing as a counselor has it’s moments as well. If the team is able to work together and us the CB radio in the map to call out for help, one dead counselor will be selected at random to re-spawn as none other than series favorite Tommy Jarvis.
Jarvis comes armed with a shotgun and is able to stagger Jason much more effectively than the counselors, but in the end he is still as fragile as those he is trying to save. Just calling Tommy to help isn’t enough to guarantee a win, teamwork is still needed if you want to make it through the night alive.
Jason has only one goal that needs to be achieved in order to win the match, murder all of the counselors. Leaving the freedom up to you on just how you wish to execute that goal. With a variety of abilities and Jason’s natural strength there are a variety of options.
The counselors on the other hand have several ways to win a match against Jason. The easiest to achieve is to simply escape Camp Blood before you add to it’s namesake. Of course though that is easier said than done, in order to escape you will either need to repair a car or a boat. Alternatively you can scavenge for parts to fix the telephones across the map and call for the local police.
Another option is to simply outwit Jason and stay hidden until the timer runs out. This option may be the most tedious, but also the most nerve wracking. Having to constantly jump from one place to another always seeking shelter until the timer ends and you can escape can be tense especially with Jason on the prowl in the shadows.
However the hardest to achieve winning scenario may well be the most interesting. If the counselors are able to work together it is entirely possible to kill Jason and win the game. It is a multi-step process however, it requires Tommy Jarvis to be present as well as one counselor finding Jason’s cabin and looting his mothers sweater.
Once a female counselor adorns the tattered sweater the true terror begins. Jason must be faced head on in order to stagger him, and remove his mask. Once his mask is gone Jason will mistake the female counselor in his mother’s sweater as the real deal and be unable to attack her. It is only then that Tommy can step in and finish the job he was summoned to do.
Friday The 13th The Game is a labor of love and it shows when you are able to get into a match. At the time of writing matchmaking is extremely rough and infuriating. This is a game that I wish wholeheartedly I could recommend to any horror fan, but sadly in it’s current state it simply isn’t worth purchasing until the matchmaking issues are taken care of.
Sitting in a Que for ridiculous amounts of time, constant lagging, freezing and hard crashes plague the game and causes some serious harm to the overall product. It is truly infuriating, Friday The 13th The Game is a game that any fan of the franchise would absolutely adore, just not in its current state.
On top of all of that are the absolutely ridiculous animations. There are times where either attacking Jason or attacking a counselor will occasionally cause the animation to lock up and just freeze for a second. Nothing is more annoying than having the game lock up at random intervals with nothing to do other than wait it out.
The developers are working on fixes for all platforms to shorten the matchmaking times, as well as make sure the ongoing matches are more stable, it’s just a shame that the game has released in the state that it has. For many players it will leave a bad taste in their mouths, myself included.
Friday The 13th The Game is something that I want desperately to love, but with the unbearable matchmaking times and constant locking up and freezing it is making things difficult. On top of all that is the oncoming campaign to be added later on in the summer will drive away those who aren’t interested in multiplayer but still want a taste of the newest game starring Jason.
I want nothing more than to love and praise Friday The 13th The Game for everything that it has accomplished and the fun game-play tweaks added by the developers. It is truly saddening to see such a fun experience be brought down by these nearly crippling issues at the games launch.
The developers are working on patches for all systems in hopes to amend the issues and allow the community to enjoy themselves. It’s just a shame to see such a labor of love have as many issues as it does. Once the patches are released and the bugs ironed out i expect nothing short of pure terrifying fun out of Friday The 13th The Game.
With a new game being released however it does bring the hope that the canned reboot will be brought back to life. Once the game is in working condition I have no doubt that it will excel and be a fan favorite among the horror community. It just needs to get past the hurdles set for it with the unfortunate buggy launch.