After playing nearly 20 hours of Friday the 13th: The Game, I feel confident enough to write up this review. At the moment, it is only online multiplayer with a promised single player update sometime in the summer. Friday the 13th: The Game is a 1 vs 7 multiplayer game where one person gets to play as the iconic mama’s boy, Jason Voorhees, while the other 7 players are trying to survive as the unfortunate victims as camp counselors.
The goal as Jason is to hunt down these 7 counselors before they have a chance to escape, or before the timer runs out. He has many unique abilities, iconic to the franchise, at his disposal. The Morph ability let’s you teleport to any point on the map, explaining how Jason can always be a few steps ahead of his victims. There’s the Sense ability which can be used to highlight areas that the counselors may be hiding. There is also the Shift ability, which moves Jason forward in a zoomed in first-person mode, which is very reminiscent of The Evil Dead. The final ability is called Rage, which enhances all of his other abilities and cool downs. This ability also makes it so Jason can smash through doors and walls with a press of a button.
The counselors, on the other hand, only have one goal and that is to survive. There are four ways that this can be done. You can escape the camp by either repairing the boat or one of two cars, calling the cops and running to their location, or to survive the night. When the game starts, the counselors have to search through every cabin to find the necessary tools to survive. To repair the car you need a battery, a can of gas, and a set of keys. To repair the boat you will need a can of gas and a propeller. To escape via the cops you need to find the radio tower and a fuse, then find a phone to call for help. To survive the night, well… just try to stay alive for 20 minutes.
Now let’s get into the game itself. Gun Media, a small indie developer, got this started by running a kickstarter which was very successful. You can tell these people are huge fans of the franchise and have worked tirelessly to bring us a faithful adaptation of Friday the 13th. Not only did they recreate the locations from Friday the 13th parts 1 thru 3, they even got Kane Hodder to do the MoCap to bring the iconic Jason Voorhees to life. They had Tom Savini on board to help create the kills. Hell, you even have Tommy Jarvis from Friday the 13th Part 6, voiced by Thom Matthews, as a special character to help the counselors out.
Due to Friday the 13th: The Game being highly anticipated, it comes with no shock that the online servers became overwhelmed and a lot of people had problem with not being able to log in to try the game out. Unfortunately, Gun Media ended up getting a lot of heat for this issue with many people demanding refunds or free dlc. However, Gun Media has been persevering and working round the clock to get a lot these issues fixed and keeping everyone informed, step by step, through the whole process. Luckily for me, I didn’t experience too many server issues on my end, which gave me plenty of time to play the game.
So, what are my thoughts on Friday the 13th: The Game? I have been having a blast! Not only is this a love letter to all of us fans, but it is a lot of fun to play. Playing as Jason is as much fun as I had anticipated, while playing as a counselor is truly frightening and puts me on edge whenever I hear Harry Manfredini’s iconic score or when I hear the infamous “Ki ki k,i ma ma ma,” that alerts me whenever Jason is nearby.
While the graphics for Jason look incredibly detailed, the counselors unfortunately have a kind of cartoonish look to them. Some characters have a frozen look of fear etched onto their faces which comes off looking a tad ridiculous and don’t even get me started on Chad! With all that being said, Gun Media has taken the time to recreate some of the most iconic kills in the franchise, like the sleeping bag kill, head crush, and punching off someone’s head. Sometimes during these animations though, the game will glitch and Jason will be performing a kill with a body that he is not in contact with, or the body will have these weird rag doll physics that I just can’t help but laugh at. There are also some instances of weird clipping issues that will have someone’s arm sticking through a wall but, for me, that doesn’t detract from the fun. The only other minor complaint I have is that, upon its release, there are only 3 maps available, which I can see eventually getting old but that could change with future updates.
Even though there is a small chance of this game getting slightly repetitive with the maps, the progression system will keep you playing for a long time to come. As each match ends, you earn XP and in-game currency called CP. The XP helps you level up, which in turn unlocks new counselors and different Jasons. The CP is used to buy new kills for Jason and new perks to help you survive as a counselor. All of this leads to a game that keeps you coming back for more.
My final verdict on Friday the 13th: The Game is, if you are a fan of the franchise and own either a PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or a Steam account, you are doing yourself a disservice if you don’t try this game out – especially for the price of only $39.99. In the meantime, check out some of the amazing kills in the video below!