Memorial Day Weekend is the unofficial beginning of summer for some and what better way to start summer than at Crystal Lake! I have spent many hours over the Memorial Day weekend playing Friday the 13th: The Game which was released on May 26th 2017. While the game does have it’s pros and cons. As a whole, the game is a lot of fun to play.
Before you even get to the intro screen (where you press X to start), the developers and engine screens are a great throwback to the 1980s and VHS owners everywhere. The skipping music, the VHS static lines (which are throughout the game as well), and the total 1980s sound are great. The developers paid a lot of attention to the original series and it definitely has the feel of a great Friday the 13th movie.
At the intro screen, you are subjected to the iconic Ki Ki Ki Ma Ma Ma (not Chi Chi Chi Ha Ha Ha) Jason music that everyone knows. Once you hit X to start a 5.25 inch floppy is present to show loading and then you wait to connect to a server to actually start playing. This is the first con of the game. I have waited well over 7+ minutes to get into a server and even experienced a timeout error or two and had to start the process over, resulting in another 7+ minute wait.
Once you finally connect and get to play, there is still some more waiting while other players choose their favorite Jason and counselor they choose to play as and then finally select that they are ready. Then more waiting while the game finally loads (unless it waits for more players). Once everyone is ready and the game begins, you are greeted with a cut scene of Jason murdering a counselor and you see the other counselors scatter. This is where gameplay actually begins. someone is randomly chosen to play Jason and the rest are camp counselors.
Playing as a Counselor
Most of the time you will be playing a counselor as there is a 12.5%* chance of getting chosen to play the killer himself. Counselors need to work together in order to get a car repaired to drive off of the camp, fix the telephone in one of the cabins to call the police, repair the boat, or wait out the clock to survive. For most of my matches, it was easiest to find the boat and/or car parts to leave the camp. Only a handful of times were the police called, by fixing the phone.
Once the car is fixed, you then need to find the keys in order to start it. Once you have the keys you can load up the vehicle and drive away. This does not mean you are safe from the super powered Jason. If he catches up to the boat, he will tip it, leaving the counselors to swim for safety (and he is faster then it on water). If the car was your choice of leaving camp, Jason can get in front of it, stopping it in its tracks, again leaving the campers to scatter like roaches.
I found that the phone fuse to fix the telephone is the hardest part to find, but is the easiest way to survive. If the phone gets fixed and the cops are called a 5-minute countdown will begin. Once the countdown ends, the police show up, and the counselors need to make their way to the exit that the police are at. Once at that location they survive.
Lastly, the counselors can just wait out the time limit (If alive the clock is not present). Depending on how good the Jason player is, this seems to be the second easiest way to survive the round.
Playing as Jason
Now if you were chosen to play the killer, you have multiple abilities that unlock over time to catch up to the counselors. There is a transport option that allows Jason to warp to any area of the map, A stalk option that keeps him invisible (or something not sure) to catch up to players, and then some speed option that speeds his ass up to catch up to counselors on the run.
Once Jason is close enough he can grab or swat his weapon at the Counselor. If he swats and hits enough times, he will kill the player. If he grabs the player, the player can mash X and try to escape otherwise Jason can use an ability to kill them, for instance, rip off their jaw.
The only thing Jason has to do is Kill.
While playing the game, either as a counselor or as Jason, you will earn points to level up depending on how long you last, how much of the car or boat you fix, if you called the cops, and various other tasks that are available as either a counselor or as Jason. Leveling up awards you points, in turn, allows you to add “perks” to your counselors or extra kill options as Jason.
Pros and Cons
Let’s start with the Pros:
- Nostalgic Friday the 13th feel.
The game definitely feels like a Friday the 13th game and even after you die, you can still watch from players perspectives as if it is a horror movie. Which sometimes is just as fun as playing
- The puzzles and minigames
Each object to get off of camp (boat, car, phone) requires some sort of minigame to fix it. Most require to press R1 or L1 at the correct time and after you complete the puzzle that piece of the car, boat, or phone is fixed. This process is repeated until the object is fully functional and allows you to get away.
The game is fun…Period. I have spent more hours then I would like to admit playing this over the Memorial Day weekend.
Now for the Cons.
- Wait times for servers.
Like I said. There were times I spent over 10 minutes trying to get into the servers and occasionally received a Timed-Out error.
I had multiple games where I either died or survived due to a glitch. For instance, I was hiding in a tent and when I tried to leave, the game glitched and I was no longer able to control my player and Jason couldn’t find me even though he passed where I was stuck about 4 or 5 times, resulting in me surviving. Then there was a time, the game glitched and I got stuck in a window and Jason just went to town on me resulting in a death.
I even heard some others glitching and being frozen in an area and couldn’t move.
In the end, the game is worth playing and overall fun as hell. I am hoping in the future that the glitches and server wait times get fixed to allow a better gameplay. I have already put in about 12 hours and still having fun and can see myself playing for at least another 25. Last bit of advice, once you get connected to a server, stay as long as you can.
*=based on a full lobby
5-31-17 UPDATE: Server times seemed to have decreased, but I find it easiest to ask players in quick play to send friend requests to everyone and open a private game.
In a private game, you can spectate Jason as well as counselers which is something you can’t do in the quick match option.
I also learned that you can kill Jason, which requires at least one female player and Tommy Jarvis. I am not going to spoil how to kill him, but finding the info isn’t too difficult.
For those who don’t know who Tommy is, he is a reoccurring character in the Friday the 13th movie series.
To summon Tommy into play, a counselor must use the radio in one of the cabins. This will revive a dead player to command Tommy. Tommy is by far the best character in the game and has the best stats. He is initially armed with the shotgun.
Lastly, I really hope that this becomes cross platfrom (especially for PS4 and Steam) as it would be great to play with other friends. It appears that new maps and other extras are coming, and I hope this is one of them. I am really crossing my fingers on this one.
6-6-17 UPDATE: PS4 Patch is now available. Please see the official announcement here for a complete list of fixes/patches.