The horror genre of films has gone drastically downhill over the years. Even the films starring some of our favorite horror movie baddies have only disappointed audiences. But if there's one horror movie icon that helped define the genre, it's Jason Voorhees, the star of most the Friday The 13th films. The only noteworthy game to ever feature the villain was Mortal Kombat X in which he was the first DLC character. But after a successful Kickstarter, Friday The 13th: The Game promised to give fans a fun multiplayer experience centered around Jason doing what he does best: killing horny teens.
Unfortunately, as with a lot of Kickstarter games, Friday The 13th: The Game has proven to be very disappointing. The core idea and gameplay is good and entertaining, but everything surrounding it lacks any sort of polish or care. It is very clear that this game was rushed out and the developers plan to fix it all later. While that is appreciated, it doesn't change the disappointing package fans and backers are given, to begin with.
Friday The 13th: The Game is available now on the Playstation Store for $39.99
Unfortunately, there is no story at all to speak of in Friday The 13th: The Game. I know that the game's concept sold on it's multiplayer alone, but it would have been nice to have some sort of solo campaign to play through; perhaps a single player mode that you could play while waiting to get into a match (but we'll talk more about that later). While the franchise isn't known for having real compelling stories, it would have been a nice touch to see the developers put their own spin on the Friday The 13th formula.
There are some audio diary collectibles to get, but they aren't interesting in the slightest. The counselors have nothing interesting to say to themselves or the others. Even when you look at their stats and skills there isn't any kind of character descriptions or backstories. It makes these counselors just useless, uninteresting cosmetics with different stats. How is that interesting? I've heard rumors that the developers might make a single player campaign in the future, but why didn't they just make one for release? Just don't go into this expecting any kind of lovable or at least quirky characters to play as.
Currently, Friday The 13th: The Game only has one game type. In this mode, one player plays as Jason while everyone else is a camp counselor. The counselors must find and complete multiple ways to escape the camp, while Jason just has to kill every counselor before they get away. It's very simple, but honestly, this core concept works in practice. Each match I played, whether I was Jason or the counselor, was pretty fun to play.
By far the most fun you'll have in the game is working together with your teammates as the camp counselors. Whether you're talking via mic or silently working together, having that feeling of facing a masked terror together gets the blood pumping and puts a nervous smile on your face. Jason is also very fun to play as; especially when you hear the panicked voices of the counselors you're about to kill. And each kill move is very satisfying to watch and perform as well, making both ways to play a match very entertaining and fun.
There is also some pretty solid progression in the game. The more you level up, the more camp counselors and versions of Jason you'll unlock. You'll also gain credits that you can spend to get random perks for the counselors, as well as new kill moves and abilities for your Jasons. It can sometimes be pretty frustrating, as the perks are randomized and you'll often get perks that you already own, but I still found everything pretty satisfying.
Unfortunately, everything besides that is a total letdown. While I did just praise the overall gameplay, it takes a criminal amount of time to get into a lobby. At first, I thought this was just due to my internet, but after playing several other online games and looking at what other players were saying online, it became clear that the problem is the servers. It can take up to 10-15 minutes just to get into a lobby. Granted, private lobbies with friends work pretty well, making that the best way to play.
The game can start to drag the longer you play. With only one type of game mode and nothing else to do but apply perks and listen to mediocre audio diaries, you won't find yourself playing the game for very long; probably only an hour or two per session. The lack of variety here is pretty much detrimental to the experience.
The game also has several bugs and glitches. While I do praise the overall concept and gameplay, playing a match can sometimes feel…off. By that, I mean that it doesn't feel very polished. Playing as the camp counselors is fun, but their movement feels very weird. Also, the game's rules seem to change at random. For example, I can move around while aiming the shotgun, but with the flare gun, I'm forced to stand in place. Why? However, it does feel like more care went into Jason as he controls and plays exactly like you would expect him to in a video game.
Overall, I feel that the gameplay of Friday The 13th: The Game is a very mixed bag. On one hand, the game itself can provide a lot of fun and the progression is pretty well done, but the lack of polish constantly tries to challenge that fun. A lot of these problems can be fixed with patches, but only time will tell if things get better for the game.
Graphics and Sound
This game…isn't pretty. While I think the team did an excellent job with the overall atmosphere, character models look pretty bad. All except Jason that is. Each Jason model is a faithful recreation of his look in several films. But the camp counselors are poorly modeled and animated. It almost looks like this is supposed to be a cartoony game at times with how exaggerated the facial animations get and how wide they open their jaws.
As mentioned, the overall atmosphere of the game is pretty good. It does actually feel like you're playing a scene from a Friday The 13th movie. The sound is well done as well. There are several songs and sound effects taken directly from the films with a few new tracks here and there. There's even an option to turn off the copyrighted music, allowing content creators to avoid some of those pesky copyright strikes.
Things in this category are a mixed bag also: the graphics are honestly pretty bad by today's standards, but the sound and overall atmosphere of the game is well done. This game truly is a mixed bag all the way through, making me love it at times, and utterly hate it at others. It's been awhile since a game could make me feel this conflicted.
Friday The 13th: The Game has a good foundation. The concept is great, along with solid gameplay, atmosphere, sound design, and progression. But it is severely lacking in polish along with poor servers, behind-the-times graphics, zero variety, and odd design choices and overall just a lack of content for 40 bucks. If you do decide that you want to try the game, I'd wait for a sale or until some of these issues are worked on and patched over time. Otherwise, you can skip this title.
|+ Great concept and gameplay||– No story or interesting character interactions|
|+ Creepy atmosphere||– Downright bad graphics|
|+ Good sound design||– Awful servers|
|+ Satisfying progression||– No variety in gameplay|
|– Lack of content for $40|