Given how everyone is acquainted with my tastes, you will be surprised, I’m sure, to know I’ve spent most of the last week watching four month-old gaming videos on YouTube. These recorded a batch of live streams as a bunch of gamers beta-tested the new Friday the 13th video game due out at the end of this month.
I don’t play games (my old computer wouldn’t allow it anyway) and I hate slasher movies and indeed have never seen a Friday the 13th movie. Still, the game looks fun. It’s basically an eight-player game. I assume it’s meant to be played over the Internet, since I would guess—but obviously don’t really know—that most people don’t have set-ups to allow eight people in one location to play a game at the same time.
Also, you’d need eight screen, as everyone plays a different character who can run around the camp. In the beta test version, at least, there were seven spots for counselors/potential victims and one spot for one of seven different versions of Jason. Unsurprisingly, the goal of the game for Jason is to kill all of the counselors, while the players try to either escape the camp or outwait Jason for 20 minutes at which you have automatically survived.
However, like the movies, Jason is meant to kill at least nearly everyone, and thus is just ridiculously over-powered. He can’t be killed (or he can, maybe, but it’s nearly impossible), he can not only teleport but also move a certain distance at superspeed. And unlike the counselors, he never gets tired.
He also gains even more powers as the match progresses. ‘Rage’ eventually allows him to just walk through doors rather than batter them down with his axe or machete or pickaxe. Worse, he can hear the players from a distance and after a while, as their fear grows, he can see them or houses they are hiding in glow a bright red. This makes hiding for the whole match nearly impossible.
He also has a map (which is how he chooses where to teleport) that tells him where the repairable phone is, as well as the fixable cars. In the regular game they will also add a boat.
The phone allows the players, once they’ve fixed it, to call the police. Five minutes later they arrive at one of two entrances to the camp, and if you can make it to them alive, you escape.
If you fix the cars you can drive towards the entrances, but Jason can track you on the map and teleport in front of you. My favorite bit is that you can stun Jason by whacking him with various weapons laying around (oddly the baseball bat seems the best, not the axe or machete). However, if you hit him with the car it wrecks the car and has no effect on the killer.
The cars also seem nearly impossible to drive. In one hilarious video, four players manage to fix the car (a multi-step process that requires luck to find the needed items) without being murdered, only to immediately drive it right into the lake.
I imagine driving is easier if the counselor you play has high composure or intelligence, two of the best stats, but people constantly crash even without Jason’s help. If Jason appears right after, or causes the crash, you’re kind of boned. He can reach into the car and yank you out and you can imagine what happens then.
There’s also a radio with which you can call Tommy Jarvis, who is smart enough to own a gun, but dumb enough to only have one bullet in it. You can’t kill Jason with it, obviously, but you can put him down for a few seconds with it. Jarvis is played by the first player to be killed after he’s contacted, so the game isn’t necessarily over if you get horribly slain.
Jason is so immensely overpowered that I think even I could kill most everyone, especially after picking up some game tactics from the videos. The big advantage for my would-be victims is that I’d probably hit the wrong buttons and give them a bit of a chance to escape for at least a few seconds.
Even so, it’s a good game when even a few characters escape. Indeed, the phone repair was apparently considered too easy (!!), despite being more likely to result in gruesome death than escape. So it will be harder to do in the actual game.
The counselors all have different strengths and weaknesses, for what it’s worth. And at least in the beta you could have several players play the same counselor, implying there’s a cloning center near Camp Crystal Lake. I don’t know if they will allow that for the actual game, especially since they are adding several more counselors to choose from.
Anyway, it looks pretty fun. If anyone plays it, let me know what you thought.