Publisher: Gun Media
Friday the 13th is a multiplayer 1v7 co-op survival horror game. The game has only multiplayer matches right now. A single player campaign is supposed to be coming at some point in the future.
In each match there is one person randomly selected to play as the killer Jason Voorhees. Jason’s goal is to kill the camp counselors. The counselors have to work together to escape or survive. You can play in quick play mode with random people, or do custom matches with your friends.
When I first started playing Friday the 13th in beta, I didn’t understand the mechanics, and I admit I found the game to be annoying, and not very enjoyable at first. Since release, I have figured out how to be a much more effective counselor, and I have escaped or been the sole survivor numerous times. The more I play Friday the 13th, the better I get, and the more I enjoy it with every match. With that being said, the game has a lot of bugs, and sometimes server connection issues where you can’t connect to play.
The game has a progression system, where you level up to unlock different versions of Jason, and different counselors. The different Jasons and counselors have different abilities and stats. As you play and complete tasks in game or full matches, you also earn currency to buy different executions for Jason, or craft various perks to customize your counselors loadouts. The perks are randomly generated, and offer small bonuses for counselors.
When playing as Jason, your goal is to kill the other seven camp counselors before they can escape or the 20 minute game timer runs out. Jason is extremely powerful, and a decent Jason feels very, very OP. This is how the game is designed, and even though Jason is OP, it doesn’t mean he will kill everyone. Jason has different abilities that give him huge advantages. He can morph around the map instantly, he can sense enemies fear to stalk them and find them easier, and his most notable ability is called shift, which is his fast moving teleport-like ability. Using a well positioned shift and then combining it with grab can be a one-shot kill more often than not. Jason can grab survivors any time he’s close enough and execute awesome and gruesome fatalities, or he can just hack players to bits with melee swings.
When playing as Jason, you’ll need to be attentive to audio and visual cues to hunt down your prey. Breaking windows, and lights can strike fear into your victims that makes them easier to find with your sense ability. The longer the game lasts the stronger Jason becomes as his rage meter builds up.
When playing as a counselor, knowing that the odds are stacked against you makes you feel incredibly vulnerable. Even though you can fight back to distract and stun Jason, it’s best that you try to avoid him completely, and work together to escape. Counselors can juke the grab, or break free if they’re quick enough. There are three different ways to escape: you can call the police and wait for them to show up at one of the exits, or leave using the motor boat or a car. All methods, require you to find specific items in order to make the escape. In addition to finding the required items, you’ll spend a lot of time searching houses for weapons, or other utilities to help you stay alive and escape Jason’s clutches. In Friday the 13th, running at the wrong times, and wasting your stamina will get you killed. You need to know when to move quickly, and when to just stop and hide, all while keeping your fear levels down by using your flashlight and other lights, and avoiding Jason.
It’s absolutely terrifying when Jason is nearby, and then the fact that he might morph to where you are at any given time keeps you in a permanent state of suspense and unease. By working together, you can actually save your allies by stunning or distracting Jason. Making use of windows, traps, and barricades to slow Jason down while you find a place to hide plays a key role to successfully evading Jason if he does find you. There is a way for the counselors to kill Jason, but it is very difficult to set up all the necessary factors, and typically isn’t worth the effort.
When counselors die, they remain in the game as spectators, and have the option to wait out the rest of the game for significant bonus xp or they can just leave with the xp they’ve already earned. Those who stick around, have a chance to come back as Tommy Jarvis to help others.
- playing as Jason gives you that thrill of the hunt combined with the super-satisfying, gory executions, which are a lot of fun
- playing as counselors is extremely intense and nerve-wracking, but very enjoyable once you get the hang of it
- good replay value since the items are randomly spawned, and even though you’re doing similar tasks each time, every game feels a little bit different (I’ve got 12+ hours and want more!)
- environments look decent, and Jason’s kill animations are awesome
- music and sound effects are immersive, and create a very tense atmosphere that will keep you feeling on edge and uneasy
- in game player voice chat to communicate to anyone in close enough proximity or over walkie-talkies – it’s pretty funny to hear the camp counselors and Jason taunting and heckling each other
- full controller support
- the game needs more polish and bug fixes – bugs can range from stupidly funny to extremely frustrating, with the most common and most annoying one being with the interaction prompts not showing up properly
- there are sometimes server connection issues where you can’t join (this was worse on launch day, but seems to have improved greatly)
- team killing is possible, and sometimes people will kill you to steal your spot for an escape, or just grief (this isn’t that common though, and will only be a con for some)
- (nitpick) the character animations are not very good (i.e. counselor’s faces are pretty goofy looking, and bodies flip-flop all over like rag-dolls)
- (nitpick) the three maps are very similar, so they don’t really feel unique
- (nitpick) controls are not customizable which can be annoying
Overall, Friday the 13th is quite enjoyable once you figure out how to play well. Yes, there are plenty of bugs still, and sometimes server connection issues, so the game is by no means perfect. All-in-all though, it’s a fun game if you enjoy the survival horror genre. I do wish it had been slightly cheaper since it still needs polish, but I have no regrets with the purchase.