|System: PS4, Xbox One, PC|
|Pub: Gun Media|
|Release: May 26, 2017|
|Players: 1-8 Player|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Intense Violence, Blood and Gore, Suggestive Themes, Strong Language|
by Garrett Glass
In Friday the 13th: The Game, you can play as either Jason or a camp counselor. As much as I’d like to continue such roleplaying into my review, I just can’t. For the first few days, I felt less like a camp counselor isolated from society thanks to a madman determined to kill me and more like an alienated camper who wants to participate in the group activities and is not sure if he’ll just want to go home when he gets the chance. Fortunately, as the Gun Media has addressed the issues surrounding the game, I found myself wanting to participate more and more as time went on.
Initially, my Friday the 13th: The Game review was going to be much harsher, due to its disastrous launch. For the first few days, the game’s servers were overwhelmed by eager, unassuming camp counselors; ergo, I didn’t have many opportunities to play. Thankfully, they’ve fixed it since then, but I’m still hesitant to recommend people buy the game immediately while the team is still fixing issues, some of which are specific to PC and consoles. To its credit, Gun Media has been actively updating their social media pages with explanations for the causes and solutions for every known issue. Still, this is the problem with multiplayer-only games. Although a single player mode is planned for later this summer, it would have been nice to have that option available at launch.
Part of your enjoyment of Friday the 13th: The Game depends on what you look for in an online multiplayer game. If you prefer to run and gun as a lone wolf, then it is, for the most part, not for you. Before each round, you have two character slots: one for a counselor and one for your favorite iteration of Jason. Because a game contains up to 8 players and not all of them can be Jason, chances are you’re going to wait a while before your turn comes up. Playing as Jason is a cathartic release, not because I’ve always wanted to play as him, but rather because playing a counselor can be rather dull.
As a counselor, you have a few options for escaping camp: you can phone the police, repair a car or boat, survive for 20 minutes, or kill Jason if you’re able. Of course, it’s not as simple as it seems. Both the car and phones are missing components and must be repaired before the players can use them. This means that most of the time you’ll be running from cabin to cabin, opening drawers until you find the items you need. Having a mic is handy, because you can ask your fellow doomed cast members if they’ve found certain items yet and coordinate how the majority of you will escape this round. (Keep in mind, a car only seats four people.) Even after you’ve secured a route, Jason can ambush you at any turn. He can stand in front of the car, stopping it in its tracks, and the police will be powerless to stop Jason even though they might just be right across a bridge. Thankfully, you can set up a variety of traps, and you can assume a combat stance for a chance to stun him if you’ve exhausted all options.
Both the counselors and Jason can level up, which is good because it has an effect on the likelihood of surviving or winning. For instance, you can increase your ability to repair vehicles, giving Jason less time to thwart your escape. Unfortunately, you have to stay until the very end of each game to earn experience, and while this is a good way to stop people from rage quitting, it certainly makes playing as a counselor feel like a grind. If you die early in the round, you could find yourself waiting a dozen or more minutes until the next round, although you might be lucky to return as Tommy Jarvis. But this is what I’m talking about when I say there are a lot of dull moments in Friday the 13th: The Game: your average game might be nothing more than an uneventful scavenger hunt or a rude reminder that, yes, you would be the first of your friends to die in a horror movie.