Friday the 13th: The Game | IllFonic/Gun Media
FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME
Ki, Ki, Ki, Ma, Ma, Ma
by Felipe Parada
It’s safe to say that Friday the 13th is one of the most iconic horror movies of modern cinema. Friday the 13th also boasts one of the most iconic murderers of all time, Jason Voorhees. The hockey mask wearing, axe-wielding, life stealing, son of a gun is pure unstoppable evil. He’s haunted my nightmares on a couple of occasions. We all remember having in depth discussions on how to stop Jason or even if there was a way you could stop him.
Thankfully Gun Media has given us the opportunity to see if we really can beat Jason at a game of hide and seek. But it seems like this is yet another game that doesn’t get the credit it deserves, but why? How can such an iconic franchise get so little attention? Join us as we take a look at some of the factors that has led this game to be categorized as criminally underrated.
Before we begin, as in every Criminally Underrated segment, let's look at the releases of May 2017:
May 5 - Prey
May 16 - Injustice 2
May 23 - Darkseiders: Warmastered Edition
May 26 - Friday the 13th: The Game
May 26 - Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2
As we can see, other than Prey and Injustice 2, there doesn't seem to be any AAA games that would suck up a majority of gamers time. Even if we factor in the highly regarded Persona 5 from the previous month, gamers had a little extra time to play other games. The fact that Friday the 13th: The Game started off as a concept on Kickstarter might have put off some gamers. Lets face it, Kickstarter hasn’t really delivered the highest quality of gaming experiences as of late.
One thing I realized upon loading up Friday the 13th is that most of my childhood has been a lie. Once you load up the game you are greeted by the infamous chi-chi-chi, ha-ha-ha audio that has made Friday the 13th a staple in the horror genre. But Gun Media has really done their homework and dropped a bomb on us. In one of the loading screens they kindly remind us that it’s pronounced Ki-ki-ki, ma-ma-ma not chi-chi-chi, ha-ha-ha. Finally after all these years the debate can finally be put to rest.
At first glance, Friday the 13th: The Game has a hard time identifying whether it wants to be a horror game, a multiplayer experience or a murder simulator. If you spend too much time trying to place Friday the 13th: The Game in a specific category, then you are missing the point of how good this game really is. It’s a Friday the 13th video game based off of a popular movie franchise, plain and simple. Each game starts on one of the various maps modeled after the locations from the films. Seven players take on the role of the vulnerable camp counselors and one random person fills the shoes of the mask-wielding lunatic, Jason Voorhees.
Jason was always meant to be portrayed as an unstoppable force of evil that has every tool at his disposal to get the job done. Jason’s goal is simple, kill all of the counselors. Don't think it will be a cakewalk because playing as Jason presents its own set of challenges. Each version of Jason has a different set of abilities you can equip but each version also has his own set of strengths and weaknesses. Part 3 Jason can run and has high grip strength but he has a low resistance to stun making him one of the easier Jason's to take down. Personally I find that Jason from Parts 6, 7, and 9 are arguably the best versions because they can catch counselors rather quickly, and in a game like this, time is definitely a factor.
On the other hand, if you are one of the counselor's, you are automatically at a disadvantage. I mean the game starts with one of you dying, not a good way to begin your night. From here it's a mad dash to the finish line where you must use your counselor specific abilities to escape the map, survive until the time expires or kill Jason. Yup, you read that right, in this game you can actually kill Jason, but it will not be easy because you need to perform a specific set of tasks in order to put him down for good. This is where the game really excels in ramping up the tension to an 11, just like in the movies.
Remember what I said about time being a factor? Well the longer you are out in the wilderness the strongest Jason gets. A dead giveaway of the increase in strength and ability is the infamous Ki-ki-ki, ma-ma-ma, once you hear that your chances of survival decrease significantly. This is why it's important to select the counselors best suited for survival. The counselors to have their own set of strengths and weaknesses which makes for some real intense moments. Do you choose composure or repair ability? Stealth or speed? This adds variety when it comes to your counselor play-style.
The game isn’t without its flaws, but then remember, we are playing this game for the first time a full year after its initial release. Many of the original issues have been resolved but the game does still looks and feels like a PS3 game, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Character animations are slow and stiff which can lead to some moments where you have difficulty navigating the forest or getting around a fence. These are minor occurrences that don't take much away from a great horror experience.
That's what we should take away from Friday the 13th: The Game, a game that is flawed but stays true to its roots. The cat and mouse gameplay leads to some intense moments that usually end up with Jason smashing your face in, and that's ok. That type of outcome is expected in a game based on a horror franchise. It's the small things that make this game great and should be experienced by everyone looking to return to Crystal Lake and experience the Friday the 13th franchise.