Eagle-eyed readers will have noticed a certain game managed to elude last week’s new release round-up – the Kickstarter-funded Friday The 13th: The Game, which snuck out on Friday. We guess waiting until October 13th – the next Friday 13th of 2017 – was out of the question.
It’s a shame publisher Gun Media couldn’t hold off until then, as not only would it have been a stroke of marketing genius, but first impressions suggest that it sorely needs more time in development. Those who took the plunge and coughed up the rather extravagant £31.99 asking price have compared it to an early access title, full of bugs and features that haven’t been implemented properly. Or even at all, as is the case of the planned single-player mode. That’s being added later down the line. The fact that the developers have plans for future updates is encouraging, at least, suggesting they aren’t about to grab your money and run.
While we haven’t played it for ourselves yet – £32 is a bit out of our comfort zone for something of questionable quality – we have watched half-a-dozen live streams, first impression videos and such.
Most players agree that there’s something of significant substance here, but currently, it’s buried under a tonne of problems. Poor matchmaking seems to be the biggest criticism, with lengthy waiting times to get into a match. Jim Sterling also bemoans of clunky controls, glitches, hilariously daft facial expressions, and a general whiff of dullness. When Jason isn’t hot on your heels, it’s simply a glorified scavenger hunt.
gameranx meanwhile enjoyed the amount of fan service – noting the various incarnations of Jason available – and the fact that each playable camp counsellor has different stats, but found that Jason himself is overpowered and the means of defeating him a little too cryptic. That said, reddit users collectively managed to work it out within a day or so of release, so the know-how is out there.
For those not aware, Friday The 13th: The Game as an asymmetrical multiplayer experience not dissimilar to Evolve and Left 4 Dead. One player takes control of Jason, while the remaining players fill the role of the camp counsellors. The idea is to scavenge for parts to repair either a boat or car, while placing traps and trying to escape Jason’s clutches. Levels are procedurally generated in order to keep things fresh and players on their toes, and over time Jason can grow stronger.
If this sounds like an enticing set-up, that’s because it is: there is something genuinely appealing about the prospect of a Friday The 13th game. Alas, this only makes it even more disappointing to hear that the developers haven’t ironed out all the kinks yet. If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Camp Blood, then make sure you’re prepared to take the rough with the smooth.
On a related note, the arrival of Friday The 13th: The Game has provided food for thought. There must be a wealth of inexpensive movie licenses out there, ready and waiting to be picked up by indie studios. This could very well mark the start of a new era of movie licensed games, created by dedicated teams that genuinely want to do something worthwhile with the source material.