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Despite glitches, Friday 13th game slays
May 31, 2017
By John Powell - G4 Canada
As most gamers are aware, the launch of Friday the 13th: The Game has been as ugly as one of the 173 corpses Jason Voorhees has left behind. Since last Friday, massive server issues have made public sessions unplayable forcing gamers to host private matches just so they can play the game otherwise they are just staring at a very expensive screensaver for the time being.
This is why I cannot recommend purchasing the game at present nor can I give it a complete score, review as this critical issue and others have yet to be resolved.
Using private sessions on Xbox Live, I was able to play quite a few rounds of the game and these are my impressions thus far. Although the title still has some gameplay bugs that need to be ironed out here and there, Friday the 13th: The Game is this life-long horror fan’s dream.
Each timed session begins with one player taking on the murderous role of Jason while the others are camp counsellors with various abilities and traits.
Jason’s mission is simple: hunt down and kill everyone. To do so, Jason has some powers which are supposed to mimic his ability to blindside his victims in the movies. Jason can, to some extent, teleport around the map and he also has special sense which allows him to track the counsellors. These are all metered powers and take time to recharge.
The counsellors have several options open to them but they have to work together in order to be successful. They can kill Jason, which is extremely difficult although not impossible. The plan involves one female counsellor finding Jason’s lair and the shrine he has made to his mother and putting on his mother’s sweater. Creepy. Then, another counsellor has to die and be resurrected as or call for Tommy Jarvis, the infamous Jason killer in the films. Once Jason believes the female counsellor is his mother and is stunned, confused, the other players can batter him and knock his mask off. Once that is accomplished, Tommy Jarvis can deliver the killing blow.
Yeah, it is about as easy as it sounds.
A far simpler way of winning is either just surviving or escaping. To escape one has to flee in a car, a boat or call the police for help. Of course nothing is simple in Friday the 13th: The Game. None of the vehicles are in working order and need their parts replaced in special mini-games. Vehicles need gas, keys and batteries to run. Those items are scattered about the map in seemingly random locations. As you are motoring you way out of harm’s way, Jason can still try to stop your car if he chooses so you have to put the pedal to the metal wisely.
To call the police, a phone must also be repaired and it takes them five minutes to get there. In that time, you must continue to survive and reach the police, which is easier said than done.
What really makes the experience for any horror fan are all the little touches. When Jason is nearby, the familiar Friday 13th music starts to crescendo. When you play as Jason, the disembodied voice of his mother (Pamela Voorhees) urges him on. You can communicate with the other counsellors via your headset and microphone but you must be close enough in the actual game to do so. There are different unlockable versions of Jason from the films, everything from the “hillbilly” look in Friday the 13th Part 2 to the zombie-like resurrected version of him in Jason Lives: Friday the 13th Part VI. When you are injured as a counsellor, which includes jumping through broken windows to escape, you will leave a trail of blood behind for Jason.
Just like Alien: Isolation did in 2014, Friday the 13th: The Game perfectly captures that feeling of being stalked by an unstoppable force. Although the gameplay and objectives are simplistic, like Overwatch, part of Friday the 13th’s attraction is its straightforward, entertaining, effortless gameplay that just works time and time again.
In the past, horror fans like myself have had to put up with a myriad of terrible, awful games. Commencing with the minmalistic Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre on the Atari 2600 to the abominable Jaws, Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday The 13th games in eighties and nineties, horror fans have seen their favourite films, one after another, turned into dreadful games.
Despite all of its undeniable flaws and shortcomings, Friday the 13th: The Game is a big step in the right direction for slasher, horror fans. It is just a shame that the first impression that was made was a very, very bad one. Let’s hope IllFonic and Gun Media can turn things around and deliver on what was promised to fans because they have the foundation of what could be a killer game franchise with so many possibilities.
Friday the 13th: The Game
Rating: N/A (Not applicable)
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