Friday the 13th, Jason Still a Jerk

Sony surprised the PS Plus community by giving survival, horror games to users in back to back months! Earlier this month, we reviewed Dead by Daylight. To close out October (on Halloween, of course), we took a look at Friday the 13th.

If the title didn’t already give it away, the main protagonist is a very bad person and no one likes him.

Background

For an in-depth overview of the series, Wikipedia does a great job of explaining all that is Friday the 13th. TLDR: Jason Voorhees goes to camp, drowns in a lake, lots more death ensues.

It’s pretty common for game developers to try to capitalize on the success of a movie series with an engaging console/PC release. Devs have brought Jason from the NES to smart phones to current-gen systems. Earlier this year, we even got a highly-rated puzzle game on Steam.

With the number of titles that have been released in the last several decades, it’s likely that we’ll see more entries in the near future. If this becomes a cartoon, then we’ll be shocked though.

Starting Up

Similarly to Dead by Daylight, Friday pits a group of regular folks against a murdering psychopath. This time around, you can have up to 7 counselors scurrying through the woods. Even with enough people to play a full-court basketball game, the normies are still at a huge disadvantage.

Each game begins with a short cut-scene where the most unlucky person in the bunch gets murdered. This ranges from impaling to spearing to even back-breaking. Needless to say, this guy has had more bad days than Jack Bauer.

In our matches, we were consistently on the side of the counselors. You unlock different characters as you level up but everyone has the same 5 people available at the start. Interestingly, everyone has different stats which should affect how you play the game.

If you have high stealth, you should sneak around. Got a lot of strength? Pick up those bigger weapons and smack Jason in the head.

Speaking of weapons, there are two different types in this game:

  1. Stun
  2. Damage

Each of these are pretty self-explanatory but different weapons stun/damage better than others. The firearms come with one bullet…so that’s cool.

There’s also a health item that you can use after you inevitably get injured by Jason. We’re not exactly sure what it is but your character will spray it on himself and that magically restores health.

One of the most important items is the map. You start out the game without knowing where you are in relation to other locations in the area. Once you find a map, usually in a desk drawer, you can view the landscape and chart your course to victory. Or at least try to.

To try to level the playing field, there’s also a character named Tommy who has maxed out stats and can sometimes enter the game midway through. He’s got a very powerful shotgun (again, with one shell) but still isn’t really a match for Jason.

With a mild understanding of the workings of the game, we hopped into a random lobby and braced ourselves for a whirlwind of emotions.

Ways to Win

There are four ways to win, but one is pretty impractical without the coordinated efforts of all counselors. Half the options require players to locate parts and repair things. The other half are mostly about a luck (or an unimaginable level of skill).

  1. Escape via a vehicle There are three escape vehicles scattered around the map. You have your choice of very basic sedan, a very basic coupe or the most basic boat on the water.

    From a pros and cons perspective, the four-person automobile seems to make the most sense. It requires three parts – battery, gas and keys – and carries half the counselors on the map. 

    Second best is probably the boat. It only requires two parts, one of which is usually located near the boat, and it carries the same number of people as needed components. Additionally, you don’t need to do much maneuvering once you get in.

    In last place, we’re giving the coupe a bronze medal here. Players need the same three components as the 4-seater, which sometimes means you will leave someone behind. This is probably fine if you are only concerned with self-preservation.

  2. Call the cops
    There’s a phone on the map that of course only allows you to call one number. Once you find the find a fuse to repair a fuse box located outside a cabin, you can run to the phone to place the call.

    The animation takes longer than you would expect though. How long does it take to scream “we need help! bring guns to the lake!”?

    Once the police have been notified, you’ll need to stay alive for another 5 minutes…which is really the longest you can expect to survive while running away from a barely-mortal, teleporting, super-strength juggernaut (how the hell do you spell this word?).

  3. Survive for 20 minutes, lolz
    And we’ve arrived at our first unrealistic scenario!

    Throughout the game, Jason get’s progressively stronger, gaining new skills and knives as the clock ticks down. He can blink his way to anywhere on the map, see through walls and pick up humans with one hand. Chances are that he’s going to kill you within the first 5-10 minutes.

    If you are a Jedi and/or Neo, you might outlast him. From what we’ve seen, it’s more likely that Jason is killing the other 7 people and has just been pre-occupied. Basically, you’re better off with options 1 or 2.

  4. Kill Jason, even more lolz
    We don’t want to say this is impossible, but it does seem very difficult.

    It’s not clear how much health Jason has, but his HP pool is extra large. There have been games where he’s been shot by a shotgun, smacked in the head with an axe, beaten with a metal pot, hit by a flare then caught in a bear trap…and he seems unphased. 

    The video below explains how people have killed him, but it seems like a lot to take down one “man”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHdZVEXvxns

Our Thoughts
Julian

Despite not being a fan of horror movies in general, I know enough about Jason to understand that this game does a good job with it’s plot and mechanics. As in the movies, Jason feels omnipresent and indestructible when utilizing his power-ups, ranging from teleportation to rage mode. 

As a counselor, it is vital to communicate, work together, and, perhaps most importantly, stick together, to maximize survival chances. Making use of a map and walkie-talkies can help coordinate your plan of escape and keep tabs on the lurking monster. Just know, you could do everything right and still end up getting your eyes gouged out.

Overall rating: B
The game is a bit buggy but still loads of fun. (I’d love to have the Friday 13th team and Dead By Daylight team develop a polished game.) Playing with a group consisting exclusively of your friends probably would yield the most humor.  I’m sure with more practice I would feel less like I’m waiting for inevitable death. On the other hand, with a more experienced Jason, the fate could be all the same…

Fred

To be honest, the game reminds me of a suped up version of Dead by Daylight. The map is bigger, you can actually (kind of) fight back, there are more abilities and multiple ways for survivors to win a round. 

I was thoroughly confused in my first playthrough but had a much better understanding of the mechanics after watching a couple youtube videos. I’m drawn back to the game, looking to improve my skills and stop dying so much.

The fear mechanics are a welcomed feature which adds a layer of sophistication to the genre. It makes the situation feel more realistic when your screen starts to go blurry from all the scariness.

Overall rating: B
It still feels like the counselors are at a huge disadvantage but it’s also hilarious to hear my friends screaming over the mic as they crash through windows. I’ll probably bump up my rating once I get better at the game though.

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