I’m not often taken by surprise regarding game news (as the nature of my job doesn’t afford that luxury), but today is an exception to the rule. With huge titles such as Arkham Knight , Halo 5 and others coming to the next-gen system in 2015, I can honestly state Friday the 13 th wasn’t anywhere on my radar. But apparently, this 80s slasher flick (and pop culture phenomenon) will be hitting our home consoles by the end of this year!
I’m a HUGE Friday the 13 th fan, as being named Jason myself naturally meant I was required by law to sport a hockey mask while Trick or Treating many a Halloween night. Like many of you, I grew up on the NES licensed title by LJN (which was both terrible and addictive at the same time). Later I graduated to the cult classic Splatterhouse and its many sequels. While not technically the official character (you play a guy named Rick Taylor ), we simply used our imaginations. We happily slashed our way through hordes of monsters, pretending Jason had somehow had a change of heart and was now a good guy.
Sean S. Cunningham, the creator of the original film (which had nothing to do with Jason by the way), recently made the announcement via EGM. “With a new television series on the horizon and plans announced for the thirteenth installment of the film franchise, we felt the timing was right to finally explore Jason , Camp Crystal Lake , and the rest of the Friday the 13 th story in interactive form. We have some exciting new ideas for a game that supplies plenty of replay value, while delivering the kinds of thrills and scares that fans of the franchise have come to expect.” he teases.
So let’s just take a moment to breathe and soak this in. Is anyone else as psyched about it as I am? Think about it. What better setting for a legit survival horror experience than Camp Crystal Lake ? Combining the frightening chills of late-night gaming with the menacing woods and eerie cabins of a dilapidated summer camp fits like a tailor-made glove, if you ask me. To long have today’s titles relied on copious amounts of blood and gore to freak out their audiences. Personally, I think this has become nothing more than a crutch. I feel we’ve lost the elements of anxiety and dread which spring from the fear of not knowing what lurks around the next corner. If you want a perfect example of how this can be done right in 2015, I point to the P.T. demo of Silent Hills as exhibit A. With one person taking on the role of “hunter” (A.K.A. Jason ) and the rest of the group acting as the “hunted” (A.K.A. the survivors), this certainly puts a whole new spin on a very familiar multiplayer mechanic.
Not to mention one extremely important point; this sounds like SO much fun! You youngsters out there may not appreciate the significance of a project like this, but us older folks will immediately resonate with the game’s cool factor. Frankly, I think modern survival horror could learn a thing or two from this upcoming release. Friday the 13 th for the Xbox One and PS4 probably won’t be technically spectacular, but the idea sounds endlessly entertaining. Why? Because it gets back to basics. And isn’t that what our industry is all about in the end? It’s not how many disemboweled corpses you can throw at us while the lights above flicker in a seizure-inducing manor. Scaring us on a level beyond that is the real trick.
Hopefully Friday the 13 th can recapture some of that classic horror feeling.