You and your friends took the perfect summer job as counselors at the newly renovated Camp Crystal Lake, when suddenly one of your friends is murdered in front of you by the unstoppable serial killer, Jason Voorhees. You and your friends flee into the woods for safety. Should have listen to mother and taken that retail job at the mall, am I right?
Thus is the basic premise for the new Friday The 13th: The Game developed by Illfonic and Gunmedia and funded through a Kickstarter and BackerKit pledging from diehard fans of the famed slasher movie series. On top of this both special effects icon, Tom Savini and the man behind the hockey mask himself, Kane Hodder provide their assistances in helping make this game a reality — with Kane doing all of Jason’s motion capturing kills.
Originally developed as an indy game titled, Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp back in 2015, the game gradually morphed into the now known Friday The 13th: The Game after the Gun Media secured the official license for the series by Sean S. Cunningham after multiple meetings. From that point on, the game went on to become the 124th most successfully crowdfunded project of all time at approximately $1,095,143.40 through both Kickstarter and BackerKit.
The game itself is an asymmetrical multiplayer game where up to seven players can play as the counselors and try to escape from one other player playing as Jason. As the counselors, the players are tasked on trying various methods of escape with the options being fixing the car, repairing the boats or calling the cops and running to them. Another option would be to outlast Jason for a good 20 minutes or working together and finally killing Jason for good. However the means to finishing off Jason is not easy and will take everything you have to attain. Jason is no pushover.
As Jason, players take on the silent killer and all of his moves made famous in the movies — sleeping bag included. Jason is insanely overpowered and can instantly off any counselor in a matter of seconds, however the charm in playing as Jason is the ways you can do this. You can practically troll and toy with other players as Jason, creating tension throughout the game by killing the power, setting up traps, breaking windows, etc.
The gameplay and presentation itself is very similar to classic third-person survival horror games of old, acquiring key items from cabins to help your means of escape choice. However every match will randomize the placement of said items, making each and every game diverse and full of replay value. Graphically the game is on par with something akin to between a PS3 and PS4 game using the Unreal Engine 4, yet it gets the job done and the environments are highly detailed for what it’s worth. You can tell that the guys at Illfonic and Gunmedia truly do love the property that they have at hand, due to all the tiny details they put in that call back certain areas or situations from the movies.
The sound is no slouch either, creating the perfect amount of tension whenever Jason is nearby and dread whenever you are isolated from other players. The music constantly moves the game along. Another interesting and yet fun thing thrown in, is proximity chat if you’re not in an actual Xbox Live or PSN party. When proximity chat is active, it does exactly what the name implies with players only able to communicate if near each other by a couple of feet, 20 or so. However there is a drawback to chatting all the time when near someone, Jason can be listening in to your plans!
While I can go on and praise the gameplay, sound and other features added to this game. There are some extremely notable drawbacks to the game that might make this not for everyone. The game is currently online only with no single player to play incase the servers are not working — a single player update is said to arrive sometime Summer 2017. As of this writing however, the servers are also under immense stress due to how many actually bought the game on release, causing players to be stuck in longer then normal wait times trying to get into a public match. So it’s not a stroll in the woods just yet for Jason.
Is it currently worth the $40 digital to get killed by Jason? No not really. However, once the servers are stabilized and the updates start rolling in in the coming days and weeks, filling out certain omissions here and there, you’re going to be looking a gem of a survival horror game similar to games like Resident Evil: Outbreak and Clocktower. Once all that’s sorted out, this game will easily be an 8/10 offering massive replayability for all. So grab your best friends and head back to summer camp when the renovations are finally over.