Friday the 13th The Game

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.

  • Yeah, this looks really nice. Not only did it have Tom Savini as an advisory (he even made a fresh design for one of the Jasons you can play as) they got Kane Hodder to motion capture for Jason. They even have a single player mode, but as this was a late feature I don’t know how good it would be.

    Still, for a game that doesn’t have “Silent Hill” or “Corpse Party” in the title I’m fairly interested myself.

  • Eric Hinkle

    “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 hope that after this they cut to Jason, watching nearby and shaking his head in disgust.

    And with how powered-up Jason is, yikes. By this point all he needs is a kryptonite machete and he could probably one-shot Superman.

    “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.”

    This is a great idea! Jason gets to have horny stupid teens to kill, but since they’re only clones, no one will care. It’s win-win!

  • Gamera977

    With the current rage being survival games I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. Not really my sort of game since I like playing a hero that has at least a chance instead of a victim forced to run and hide from an unstoppable foe. Still It’d be a hoot to play with you guys and Ken as Jason!!!

    Makes me think about the old Atari 2600 VCS ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ game which I never played but have heard about. You played as Leatherface, which makes it almost as offensive as ‘Custer’s Revenge’ – how it got released back in 1983 is beyond me. You had a chainsaw and went around mowing down victims who were young women while avoiding cattle skulls and wheelchairs! When you ran out of gas for your chainsaw the female victims who are apparently from a Joss Whedon movie kick your ass and kill you!

  • Ken_Begg

    I’d actually be good to escape from up close and personal, because I’m awful with buttons and controllers and things. Still, Jason’s powerful enough that I’m sure I’d get a fair number of kills, almost by default.

    The seven Jasons, like the counselors, have different strengths and (kind of) weaknesses, so it helps to know which Jasons are bad at running or swimming or more stunnable or whatever.

  • Gamera977

    Hmmm, seems like you could do a Halloween game in the same vein. One player as Myers has to kill a certain number of victims while a second player as Loomis hunts him down.

  • GreenLuthor

    For what it’s worth, there’s a game called Dead by Daylight that’s similar in style to the Friday the 13th game, where one of the killers you can play as is Michael Myers (actually licensed, not an ersatz “Myers with a different name” character). (There’s other killers as well, but I think Myers is the only one (so far) not created for the game.)

  • Rock Baker

    I assume the counselors are also impaired (and thus given an extra level of difficulty) by alcohol and pot levels, and that there’s a long section before the killing starts where the characters try to bed each other, right?

  • The Rev.

    Thanks for the heads-up; I’ll have to look those videos up later.

    Also, please check your e-mail!

  • Gamera977

    Yeah I’m wondering if two councilors of the opposite sex try to hide in the same place they start getting it on and Jason’s player then gets the option to instant-teleport to their location and get critical hits on them…..

  • Marsden

    At least I can give them credit for being “source accurate” I don’t know how many games I’ve seen had the name of something because they bought the license but has no resemblance to what it’s supposedly based on.

    I wonder if they have an option for Jason to race to kill everyone before Freddy shows up?