FRIDAY THE 13TH THE GAME REVIEW: ...HIS NAME WAS JASON
It's a little over day 3 in the life of FRIDAY THE 13TH THE GAME ...I intended to have this review up yesterday but...well, honestly, IllFonic (developer) and Gun Media (publisher) needed a bit more time to get their shit together- and if today is any indicator...they need even more time. The servers have been bombarded and are struggling with the traffic... they've kept constant updates coming through Twitter and I'm hopeful that they can get things straightened out. So, let's get into it.
The concept is very simple: Be Jason. Kill Counselors....or Be Counselors. Survive. The last part can be achieved by multiple means...Finding gasoline, a car battery, and car keys will give you access to vehicles you can drive off the map to safety...there's also a boat, which needs gas and a propeller. There's the option to find a fuse, repair a power box, and call the police....who you can then run to for a safe escape. Each match has a time limit, and living until the end of the match is also counted as surviving. Or....if you're completely insane....you can attempt to kill Jason.
As Jason, you win the match by dispatching all of the counselors. Jason comes with several "abilities" inspired by the films. He can sense where players are, he can warp at high speeds, he can teleport across the map, and he even has a "sneak mode" that is frankly, pretty damn terrifying when executed well. Each ability is unlocked the longer the match goes on....so Jason doesn't just start out at full power, i assume it's to give the counselors a head start....they definitely need it.
The good news is that the Counselors aren't completely defenseless in the face of Jason's bloodlust. Each Counselor has a set of attributes: Composure affects how well you deal with being in close proximity to Jason, who has a "Fear Aura" which messes with the counselors in different ways. Stamina deals with how long you can sprint. Speed is how fast you can run. Intelligence deals with how well you can repair the cars or the power boxes. You also get perks that affect a plethora of stats, game mechanics, and other effects. You can get extra uses out of heath items, you can reduce the effectiveness of Jason's "Fear" aura, you can start the match with a map of the camp, an item that usually has to be scavenged from a cabin. There are also items which can be used to distract Jason or get you out of his grip...and weapons like shotguns, bear traps, and baseball bats that can stun Jason for a few seconds.
On top of being a badass murder machine, Jason also unlocks dozens of killing animations for style points and extra experience points. You start off with the basic "Choke to death" and "Axe to the face" kills... but you can unlock everything from pulling someone's jaw off, to bear hugging them to death. On top of these grab kills there are tons of awesome environmental kills. Stabbing someone through a bed, shoving them into fires, or hanging them on wall hooks. Jason is a versatile death dealer to be sure. The man is practically an artist.
The makers of the game have thrown in a few extra nuances and call backs to the films. One of which being the ability to radio Tommy Jarvis for help. Once called, one of the deceased counselors gets to respawn as Tommy....fully equipped with a shotgun and boosted stats. Each kill from Jason comes with echoing words of encouragement from Mommy. Each unlockable version of Jason has different abilites...Jason from the 7th film can swim faster for example. And not every Jason can sprint. The game is well thought out, you can tell it's made by fans of the source material. If they can get the server issues worked out then the $40 price tag isn't bad, along with the promise of DLC soon to come, I'd say the game is well worth it. I've had tons of fun playing with the occasional frustrations...but the cons don't outweigh the amazing pros. Now get out there and SURVIVE!!