It’s here! The Friday The 13th The Game review that I had all intentions on writing a few days after its release on May 26th. Now, almost four weeks later, I was finally able to pull myself away from my Xbox One and sit down to write this mediocre yet passionate “review”.
I’m not a regular big gamer although I am a sucker for the Call of Duty games. I loved Grand Theft Auto 5 and every few years, I’ll buy the newest wrestling game or Madden release. But it’s not uncommon for my Xbox to go months without ever being powered on; just sitting dusty on my entertainment center. These days however, this bad-boy is working overtime. I’m putting in daily work trying to master this ever frustrating yet horror super fun rat race of a game.
I felt like I heard rumors about Friday the 13th: The Game several years ago (and not just the nostalgia of the original NES F13, I mean a brand new game). Finally, this past May, a horror genre game was coming and offered something to get excited about. When the Kickstarter was formed back when, I think I even threw in a couple bucks just to feel like I had some small part in this seeming non-existent idea. That was really the last I remember about hearing anything about this game until I finally saw the trailer and the release date break earlier this year. Still, I would be lying if I said I didn’t have my hesitations. From the beginning, we all knew it was going to be a small independent game; fabricated by a small group of dudes and God bless em. The day arrived – the horror genre fanboys were buzzing – and got right onto that download. Not surprisingly, there were multiple, multiple glitches and errors but rest assured that almost month out, these “technical difficulties” have been fixed. Setbacks aside, the game was still an absolute blast (if you could access a party to play in!). My expectations weren’t only met, they were blown away. The graphics, the characters, the environment, the music – the way it stayed true to the movies but most of all, the KILLS that no MPAA could ever get their hands on!
Keep reading after the trailer
As of right now, the only way to play is online and working with other online players. There is rumor that an offline story mode will be released this summer, but really it’s almost unneeded as online is so much goddamn fun. Understandable that sometimes gamers will just want to work alone at their own pace and time so that’s fair. Hell may even be just as scary if not more that way.
The game isn’t rocket science in theory, but it is in gameplay. The synopsis is basically this: you either start as Jason or as one of the eight camp counselors. If you’re Jason, you try to kill everyone. If you are counselors, you try to survive. Got it? Good. See – simple. You play in one of the three maps of the game: all familiar locations from the franchise including the Packanack Lodge, Higgins Haven & Camp Crystal Lake. On each map, there are multiple cabins and houses you must raid to look for weapons, tools and other items to help you win the game. To survive Jason’s murderous spree, there are a few options available – you can simply run out the clock since each cabin has multiple hiding places such as under beds or in closets. These work well but don’t get to comfortable because Jason can sense your fear and hear you breathing so it is a gamble either way. You can also collect different parts for the car or the boat and escape that way (sorry – this boat doesn’t head to Manhattan but imagine!) or you can find the fuse for the phone and call the cops. It takes approximately five minutes for the cops to arrive so use your time wisely; you must find the proper exit they are at and get to safety. Oh yes – Jason is still on the hunt so hope he doesn’t find you by then.
Are you ready though for this? SPOILER ALERT! The real piece de resistance is when you locate the proper cabin and call in for help – that help is franchise player and survivor, Tommy Jarvis. Tommy comes equipped with a shotgun and better stats than any other counselor. He is here solely to fuck Jason’s shit up! But even with Tommy’s aid, defeating Jason isn’t a one man show. To actually defeat that mongoloid, it takes allot of teamwork; a running theme in this game. A female counselor (think F13 Part 2’s Ginny) must locate Jason’s rundown shack and wear his Mother’s sweater, while everyone else has to beat the shit out of Jason until his iconic mask falls off his ugly as shit face. Then, dressed in the sweater, the female counselor stuns Jason into thinking she’s his mother and hits him with a weapon dropping him to his knees thereafter Tommy, now wearing Jason’s mask, slices and dices his head with a machete.
Now, as you can probably tell, this isn’t an easy process, and my description may not even be 100% correct because honestly, SPOILER ALERT haha, I’ve never gotten that far. Not many people have apparently. This is the only game I’ve ever played where the player is meant to fail. Why? Well because Jason is borderline immortal just like in the movies. That’s what makes it so fun. You even get to fulfill some deep dark sickness inside you as a horror fan because when it’s your turn to play as Jason, that’s when the blood really flows. The more XP you gain, the different variant Jason formats you unlock; each from a different movie and even some special bonus variants too. All the Jasons have different strengths and kills but they all share four similar abilities: You can SENSE where people are based on how scared they are. You can STALK, so you can really focus in on one target. You can SHIFT, to where you blitz around as fast as an Evil Dead camera chase. Lastly, you can MORPH, where you can randomly select a different place on the map to magically appear. All these attributes help you hunt your prey so you can kill them in an assortment of ways. This is where the game really shines. The creative ways you can end other players still excites me every time I see it. Whether it be with impaling them with your weapon, throwing them through windows, curb-stomping them into the fire, choke-slamming them on a tree stump or drowning them in the lake – all these multiple kills the game allows are exhilarating. I won’t say whether or not you can perform the famous sleeping bag kill.
On top of everything else, the best part of this game is that it really does create the horror mood when playing. You’re always tense and scared wondering where Jason is. The soundtrack plays head games with you too; making you think that he’s closer then he really is until the second he finally appears! Everything about this game is really well thought out and stays true to the movies. The teamwork needed to play is unlike any game I’ve ever played before. Microphones aren’t meant for lonely boy gamers telling other players how they fucked your mother, Nah-uh! With this game, you’re always helping people – swapping tools, navigating and cross referencing. It really is unlike anything I’ve ever played and that seems to be the group consensus with my fellow online players. Think about that – a medium stereotyped to be mindless entertainment and bad for kids brains, in a genre that is stereotyped by senseless blood and guts – yet here is the perfect combination promoting friendship, communication, teamwork and educated thinking. Kudos! That said, doesn’t seem like we get to hook up with our fellow counsellors yet but who knows. I wonder if Freddy Krueger will ever find his way into the gameplay with us. That would be wild.
With all its faults and bugs, launching woos, and initial concerns, this game is still unbelievably fun. I am pleased to say that all the updates and patches are constantly coming out that just put the icing on the cake. Even at its most bare Friday the 13th: The Game is a perfect 10. It’s a game that can give renaissance to the horror movie genre of gaming and maybe help move along multiple others (would love a Texas Chainsaw Massacre game or Child’s Play). It was more than worth the wait and equally worth the price. While we wait for the movies that don’t seem to be happening, at least here we can that Jason lives and he didn’t go to hell in the process.
Now excuse me, I have some killing to do….. Ki, ki, ki, ma, ma, ma