Friday The 13th: The Game Impressions – Stay Out Of The Woods For Now
Friday the 13th: The Game launched this past Friday the, uh, 26th, but you probably haven’t seen [...]
Friday the 13th: The Game launched this past Friday the, uh, 26th, but you probably haven't seen many full reviews for the game yet, and you may want to approach some of the ones out there with skepticism. Unfortunately, the Friday the 13th experience has been thoroughly gutted by online issues on all platforms, although PlayStation 4 and Steam seem to be most seriously affected.
I can personally attest to the issues on the PS4. While Friday the 13th runs relatively smoothly once you get into a game, actually connecting to one is no easy task. I've found myself staring at a "Searching for Sessions" message for 20 or 30 minutes, and often found myself cruelly booted once I got to the character setup menus. There is a Private Match mode, but this is a game that really requires a full eight players, and it's unlikely you know that many people who own the game. Quick Play is usually your only option, and it's thoroughly busted right now.
But, as I mentioned, I did manage to get into a small handful of games, including one where I got to play as Jason, so what are my impressions based on my limited time with the game? I'd love to report Friday the 13th: The Game is as thrilling as quick skinny dip in a cold lake, but I just can't.
First off, Friday the 13th is very rough on a technical level. Publisher Gun Media has done a great job of selling the game, because it looks alright in trailers and promotional materials. In reality, the game is glitchy, dated, and its characters look like (unintentionally) creepy animated sex dolls. Graphics aren't everything, and I don't expect triple-A production values from a small indie production like this, but perhaps a more stylized approach was in order. Friday the 13th takes a stab at a realistic look, and badly misses its target.
Gameplay suffers from exactly the issue you'd expect – it's a lot more fun to play as Jason than the camp counsellors. Friday the 13th gives the seven hapless teenagers in each game a decent number of options for surviving and escaping Camp Crystal Lake and its other maps, but ultimately, gameplay as a counsellor mainly involves hiding, waiting things out, and just hoping things go your way. This can lead to the occasional tense situation, but for every thrilling showdown with Jason, you'll spend five minutes hiding under a bed or aimlessly wandering the woods hoping not to run into anybody. Games are better if you happen to get matched with a chatty bunch who are willing to work together, but most of the time, things were pretty silent.
The few times I actually survived to the end of a game, I didn't feel like I had done anything particularly remarkable. I just got lucky. I found a good hiding spot, happened to stumble across the car keys, or got a good weapon that let me evade Jason's grasp. Other times I died within two minutes playing the exact same way, which is always a drag, because then you're stuck spectating for the remaining 18 minutes.
My one chance to play as Jason (in Quick Play games it's purely random) was a lot more interesting, although I spent a while trying to figure out my abilities and let more than half the counsellors escape. I'm a pretty sad serial killer I'm sorry to say. I like that Jason's various unexplained powers from the movies have been turned into actual in-game skills – Jason can warp all over the map at will, sense counsellors in a heightened "fear" state, and close in on his prey supernaturally fast once he sets his sights on them. I'm sure there are ways to chain Jason's abilities together in effective ways, but I mostly just ran around swinging my machete, which worked well enough.prevnext
Even though I've only got to actually play a few minutes of Friday the 13th, I still feel like I've seen a good portion of the content on offer. Given the game's $30 price tag, its three maps and two game modes are pretty paltry. You can unlock and upgrade new counsellors and versions of Jason, but aside from that, there's not a lot to pursue.
With only one Jason session under my belt, I feel like I haven't seen or slaughtered enough to fully judge Friday the 13th: The Game yet, but what I've seen thus far has left me less than thrilled. The game's online issues and lack of content has had a chilling effect, but the core gameplay also feels unbalanced an unpolished. There's a good core idea here, and I could see the game turning into something worthwhile with a patch or two (or 13), but for now, you may want to keep your distance from Friday the 13th: The Game.
These impressions were based on a PS4 copy of Friday the 13th: The Game provided by Gun Media.prev