Developer: IllFonic Publisher: Gun Media Series Friday the 13th Engine Unreal Engine 4 Platforms: Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Genre: Survival-Horror Mode: Single-player, multiplayer Available Now
by: Matthew “Son of Lugosi” Watts
Jason Voorhees is back! And this time, he is taking over the gaming world. That’s right! The long awaited Friday the 13th: The Game has finally been released. But has the wait paid off? Is it everything that we have waited for? Does it deliver? Let us take a take a trip to Camp Crystal Lake to find out whether it lives up to the hype
Welcome…. To Camp Crystal Lake
Now, every Horror fan such as myself knows the backstory of Jason Voorhees. If you don’t know the backstory, I suggest you watch all the films cos you don’t know what you’re missing. But to summarize, Jason is a silent, Hockey-mask wearing, emotionless, revenge seeking killer, almost twisted into who he is by his dead psychotic mother, Pamela (whose corpse and jumper he keeps in his shed). Out for revenge due to his torment when he was a young child, he enacts his violent and bloody revenge on the camp counselors at Crystal Lake, recently reopened after many years of being abandoned.
Visually, the game can hold a candle to almost all of your favourite triple A games, which is a monumental achievement for indie developers. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are a fair few indie games out there with great graphics, but Friday the 13th outshines them all. Graphically speaking, it is top notch. There are a few things here and there such as undergrowth coming the floors of cabins (which doesn’t happen much in the game) and bushes not moving when walked through, but this is nothing new when developing games. The more important graphic aspect of the game is that of Jason and the camp counselors, which in my honest opinion are pretty detailed. It really helps with the immersion into the game.
KI KI KI MA MA MA
One of the most important aspects that help to get stuck into a game is the music, which works for 99.9% of games. However, the lack of music in this game is what sets it apart from conventional music filled games. The silence lends itself to the game, adding tension to each moment. Things get really intense when you hear the fateful sound of the well recognised KI KI KI MA MA MA from the films, letting you know that something bad could happen to you in the next few seconds. As soon as Jason is close enough in range and starts hacking down doors and hunting you down, is when music kicks in, further increasing the tense feeling as you scramble to run, hide, distract or attack Jason. Listen out for these little clues, as it could save your skin. Literally.
Break a leg!
The set up for this game is completely online, pitting you and 6 other players as camp counselors, and another player chosen at random to play as Jason. As a counselor, your goal is to survive long enough to escape the clutches of Mr. Voorhees, or find a way to escape. Ways to escape include calling the Police, and making your way to the escape point, run and hiding long enough that you don’t get killed, or finding keys, batteries/motors and gasoline to escape in a car or boat. You can do this either on your own, or with the other players.
Your role as Jason is simple. Find and kill the counselors. However it is not easy as it sounds. Tracking them can be difficult, but once you have found a target, the next step is kill them. With bear traps, throwing daggers, and a choice of main weapons, you can trap, slow down and straight up massacre the victim. That is only half the fun though. You don’t just have to use a weapon to kill them. Environmental kills can add so much more to gameplay. Maybe you fancy impaling a counselor on a tree? How about putting them face first into a log fire? Or you could even go for the fan favorite of grabbing them when they’re in a sleeping bag, and swing them against a tree. Don’t forget to employ your special abilities, which will unlock the further into the match you are, with a fair refresh rate so that the counselors at least have a chance.
In terms of Gaming with others, it can be a hell of a lot of fun. I’m not one for chatting when gaming online due to some players being offensive, rude or blasting their god awful music down their headsets. But 9 times out of 10, I actually had a laugh with a lot of the other players I played the game with, which was a breath of fresh air for online gaming. Even my wife joined in with the laughs and banter.
Now, as with a lot of online only games, Friday the 13th – The Game has had it’s share of hiccups, ranging from matchmaking problems, glitches and exploits, and cheating gamers. Yeah things like this are annoying, but what really gets my goat is when you see ‘entitled’ players literally going out of their way to complain about every little thing about the game on Twitter and Facebook. What they fail to recognize, is that the game was made by an indie developer, producing a game with a lot of hype, based around a hugely popular franchise. No game is perfect, not one. An online only game is bound to have some initial problems, and the Devs have been working hard on patches to fix problems, but hey, none of this is good enough for these ‘entitled’ gamers. But I digress. Hopefully, in the coming months, these complaints will begin to disappear when a single player campaign mode is released. How that will work, i’m not too sure, but I personally cannot wait.
Whilst the game has had a few problems with some graphical elements, and connection issues, it is a hugely fun game with a lot to offer. With customisable characters, you can choose how things are done, and how characters, including Jason, look. I have enjoyed many hours playing this game, had a laugh with a fair few other gamers, and have even been scared witless by one player appearing behind me and literally snapping my jaw as Jason. If you haven’t played this game yet, get to it, cos i promise you, you will have a blast!
Pro’s and cons
- Highly entertaining and tense
- Matches can go either way in a heartbeat (which might be your last)
- The first dedicated and faithful game based on the iconic franchise
- Great way to make new friends and have a laugh
- Connection and matchmaking issues (which are being fixed)
- Cheaters who like to use exploits and glitches for their benefit, or players who try to help Jason by killing fellow counselors
Is it worthy of the Friday the 13th franchise?
The answer to that is yes. All the way yes. It is a great game with so much fun to be had. You can tell the Developers have done their research and are big fans of Friday the 13th, as it shows in the game. It is so good, I actually spent a whole night playing it. I was so caught up in the world or Jason, I hadn’t noticed it had gone dark and morning arrived. I still thought it was mid-afternoon the day before!
I give this game a solid B for quality, the biggest let down being connection and matchmaking problems. Once these problems are fixed, this will surely get an A, but at time of writing, the problems still exist. Nevertheless, it is a fantastic game, and I cannot wait to see what is in store for future updates and single player.