My fascination with both gaming and horror started at an early age. My NES collection had classics such as Castlevania and Nightmare on Elm Street, but nothing came close to my obsession with the Friday The 13th game. The game was incredibly difficult and not very faithful to the series but something about it worked for me. The unnerving 8-bit music and the fear of running into the “man behind the mask” was more than enough to keep me entertained. Since then, Jason has been virtually absent in the gaming world aside from an appearance as a DLC character in Mortal Kombat X. It took 28 years but Jason Voorhees is back in his own game, the aptly titled Friday the 13th The Game.
This game is online multiplayer only and I found that to be a major turn off. Games like this run the risk of having a very short life span or even worse, not being able to find anyone to play with. I really enjoy revisiting older games in my collection so this worried me and kept me from downloading it. On October 13th a physical copy of Friday the 13th The Game was released for PS4 and Xbox One so I decided it was time to finally give it a try.
Friday the 13th The Game is an asymmetrical multiplayer game for up to 8 players. At the start of each match one player will be randomly selected to play as Jason Voorhees, the unstoppable killing machine. The rest of the players are the fragile counselors who must use their wits to escape or die trying. Each match the councilors must attempt to work together to meet objectives and escape the somewhat procedurally generated campsite. These objectives range from calling the police or fixing a car/boat to killing Jason. As you can imagine the latter is insanely difficult and requires an intense cooperation that I never ran across online. It is even possible to summon Tommy Jarvis to assist you if specific conditions are met. Little things like that show that the creators truly love the source material. The objective for Jason is very straight forward; Kill everyone and do not let the other players escape the campsite. Playing as Jason feels incredible and is every bit as satisfying as you would imagine. His abilities and skills are all basically in line with the films and work better in game than I originally expected. I still don’t love the idea of Jason being able to teleport around the map but I understand why the choice was made. Teleportation allows the slow supernatural killer to appear all over the map, keeping the councilors on their toes. It is effective but it’s odd to see Jason disappear and reappear. Throughout the game you can unlock new counselors and Jasons with different stats. Unlocking clothing, kills and characters with a basic progression system provides some replayability in a game that is light on content.
This game has plenty of stuff to love but in the end it needs some serious polishing. The cat and mouse slasher concept is very solid but when the game crashes or you encounter a game breaking bug it is hard to appreciate it. As it stands now I found myself having a great time with Friday the 13th the Game but I can’t recommend it to everyone. This game has incredibly tense moments that are frequently ruined by weird glitches and matches suddenly ending due to players leaving. If you love the franchise and understand that this is a Kickstarter game with some serious flaws that will likely be patched, it’s worth checking out. I am still holding out hope that we will get the single player mode and some new and varied multiplayer options soon. Currently there is only one multiplayer mode available with a scant 4 total maps. Finding a game isn’t always an easy task either. Although it is a lot of gory fun, I can’t see myself playing this for more than another week or two until the next big update. Currently I give Friday the 13th The Game a 6 out of 10. The game has some incredible groundwork laid down and hopefully will get better over time with patches and new modes.