Illfonic and Gun Media have brought the horror movie experience to a video game. Find out what we thought about it in our Friday the 13th: The Game Review!
I’ve always been a big horror fan with films series like Halloween, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Friday the 13th being some of my favourites. Being a big gamer, I always hoped that they would make a decent game based on one of these series. Sadly, I was always left disappointed as the few games based on these franchises came at a time when video games were just starting to game a foothold and most of them were considered some of the worst games of all-time. Illfonic and Gun Media finally tried to fix this issue by bringing us a brand-new game based on Friday the 13th. So let’s see how this one stacks up!
If you played Friday the 13th on the NES, you probably have a sour taste in your mouth. It just wasn’t good, but that was a product of the limitations of the console at the time. Friday the 13th these days is exactly what I would expect from a game based on the series. It’s an asymmetrical online multiplayer game in which a group of up to 7 camp counselors must work to escape from the murderous Jason Voorhees. It’s an addictive little game of cat and mouse that plays out differently every single time.
The developers really did a great job making Jason feel supernatural and menacing. It can be incredibly fun to hunt down your prey with all the tools available to you. Jason is able to Morph around the map, sense counselors through walls and objects, and shift positions quickly. All of these things have a cooldown as to not become overpowered. You really feel like an unstoppable force at times as this iconic character should.
A lot of people have criticized the fact that the game does not allow you to choose to play as Jason. The only thing it allows you to do is to prefer Jason. This was not a problem to me. How else would you like them to do this? A lot of people would choose Jason every time and you’d have the same problem. Not only that, but certain people are much better with Jason than others, this keeps the playing field even.
I spent the bulk of my time playing as a counselor and I enjoyed that quite a bit. There are so many different strategies you can use to survive the night. The 4 ways you can survive are by escaping by car, boat, calling the police and making your way to them, or surviving until time runs out. It sounds easy, but it’s harder than it seems. You’re basically rummaging for items as you need a key, gas, and a propeller/battery for the cars and boats to start. These items spawn randomly so it requires some coordination with other counselors to get the vehicles going. If you do that you still have to make it out without being stopped by Jason which can prove pretty difficult depending on how well the person playing him uses their skills. I did get lucky finding all 3 items in 3 close cabins and getting out with the car without having to worry about Jason once, but that’s not the norm.
Jason can be killed. I personally have never seen it in-game, but it is possible. It’s something that requires quite a bit of coordination between counselors and even then one misstep can completely derail the attempt. Communication is a key element of this game. Players on headsets can let other players know which items they have allowing you to coordinate an escape plan. They can also alert you to which area Jason is lurking around in.
There are several different Jason characters to choose and each one has different strengths and weaknesses. They also have different weapons so who you choose depends on what your preference is. Certain versions aren’t unlocked until you reach some of the higher levels as well so there’s incentive to keep playing. The same thing goes for counselors as there are multiple different ones to choose from with different stats. Some are stealthier than others while some have more composure. There’s a character for every playstyle and I certainly stick to the same few every time I play to have more success. You can even buy different perks with Customization Points to make your stamina regenerate faster or make it harder for Jason’s Sense ability to detect you to name a couple. It’s a nice way of giving the counselors some kind of way of combating Jason’s abilities.
The star of the game has to be the gruesome ways in which Jason kills the counselors. There are plenty of different environmental kills to go along with some weapon specific and unlockable kills (using CP to unlock them). I’ve experienced being burned alive in a fireplace, pinned to a wall with a spear, and having my head smashed in a door. It’s pretty terrifying to see Jason standing over you and knowing that some crazy death is about to happen. It’s Mortal Kombat-esque violence, but it really stayed true to what you would see in the movies.
Speaking of staying true to the movies, there are a few maps to play and they each take different pieces out of certain movies such as the barn in Part 3 and the shrine to Jason’s mother in the post-match screen. Jason old nemesis Tommy Jarvis even makes an appearance if you call him to come help finish off Jason (a dead player will assume the role of Tommy). It’s true to the Friday the 13th universe and brings the best of the whole saga together in a neat little package.
The game isn’t without its faults, though. There are some annoying bugs related to collision detection that can cause floating, inadvertent deaths because you somehow miss Jason with a weapon shot or just weird rag doll effects after you die. They aren’t game-breaking, but they’re quite annoying at times. There’s also the issue of characters popping through walls occasionally and hosts leaving before the match is over making the game end. Keep those in mind before you dive into this game.
Friday The 13th is still worth buying for the sheer amount of joy you’ll have playing it despite the bugs. It’s a game that never plays out exactly the same way twice and it can really create some great laughter depending on how things go. It’s an exciting horror game that keeps the tension up while still being enjoyable in the process. I recommend this to anyone who can get past the bugs, I’ve had a great time playing it and I can’t see many people not feeling the same.