Friday the 13th: The game, a fun mess, but still a mess.
Friday the 13th: The game, after having a very successful kickstarter and backerkit campaign (which I did donate to, as well as took part in the beta) has finally released… But it’s been a very bumpy launch so far, and probably will be in the immediate future as well.
It is another game in the rapidly climbing in popularity, “multiplayer asymmetrical horror” genre.
TLDR: The game is fun, but definitely has its problems. Do your research to see if you really want to purchase it. Watch some streams/videos to get a feel for the game. The core of the game is fantastic, but it has some clunky issues and mechanics. In my personal opinion, I would recommend it, but only for PC/Steam right now, since the console versions are having some trouble as of writing this.
One player takes control of the iconic Jason Vorhees of Friday the 13th franchise fame, hence the name, while seven other players take the role of camp counselors who must now run for their life while trying to escape.
The premise and core of the game are astounding. Anyone who is familiar with another game in the genre, Dead by Daylight, will have a deeper understanding of the genre and it’s inner workings, but F13 is radically different from DbD.
I will refrain from comparing Friday the 13th and Dead by Daylight. While it’s true that they share the same genre, they are very different games. Essentially the only correlation being: you are being stalked by a killer and must survive in some way, with or without your allies.
In Friday the 13th, as a camp counselor, you can repair up to two cars (one is a two seater, the other has four seats) and successfully drive away, call the police and make it to them after a set time, repair and speed off in a boat, kill Jason (which isn’t that easy) or just survive for twenty minutes, which is the time limit for every match.
Already, there are numerous ways of escape, but it won’t be that simple! Each escape method requires various items and actions that must be performed in order to escape.
The cars for instance, requires gas, a battery and the keys for each, all of which are hidden randomly throughout the map, sometimes pretty far from where the cars are.
As Jason, you have one goal: kill everyone. That’s it! Pretty simple and very fun!
Through your various abilities, items and personal skill, you are tasked with hunting down the counselors and murdering them the best you can.
With introductions out of the way, how does the game actually play?
Well, somewhat clunky. There are many mechanics that are finicky, or downright clash with other mechanics of the game, making them pointless.
The worse offenders being the “break free” and the combat stance mechanics.
If a counselor gets grabbed by Jason, they have a chance to break free by rapidly tapping a button/key to break free certain counselors are supposedly better at this than others.
Jason can near instantly kill you regardless of your tapping or character if you get grabbed.
There is an item, the Pocket Knife, which will automatically make Jason drop you if you have one, but they are pretty rare each match, so you can’t rely on those for any prolonged period.
The combat stance is fairly useless as well. You can dodge, block or attack while in combat stance.
Jason can just grab you out of it, even if you are blocking, and the “dodge” doesn’t dodge enough to matter!
The developers themselves have stated that it isn’t a good idea to go toe-to-toe with Jason, which is understandable, except, the combat stance itself downright sucks as of now.
These issues, apart from other small things are the biggest complaints I have with the game right now, other than the fact that for many, the game isn’t even playable, really. (Looking at you console versions!)
This game has had a very rough launch, which is still pretty rough even a week or so later.
For most players, when the game launched, they couldn’t play at all. With the servers constantly giving errors and crashing as more and more players desperately tried to play, it was a downward spiral that was only recently rectified by a moving of the servers and more servers everywhere.
Regardless of these problems, the game is still fun at the core and as a backer, I remain hopeful that once these main issues are addressed, they can continue to grow the game into something even better. Or perhaps that is just wishful thinking?
In conclusion, the multitude of counselors and the different Jasons offer a much needed variety of play-styles and customization options that are quite nice. The game offers various ways to escape, so you are not set in always escaping a particular way, as well as having pseudo-randomized item, cabin and objective locations, so you never know exactly where each objective or item will spawn.
I just wish that the combat/grab system was a bit more tuned up, so characters like Jenny Myers (who is supposed to be good at escaping Jason’s grasp) are more accessible.
I feel like the systems are there, they just need some fixing up. That is my whole problem with the game. The pieces feel a bit jumbled around right now, but I know they can be made to fit.
I have ideas on what I would like, but I am no developer, just a gamer, so I will wait to see what the developers decide.
With all that said, I know this sounds like a hate article, but really, it’s more of a disappointment article, while simultaneously recommending the game, oddly enough.
The game’s atmosphere, ambience and music all mesh really well to create this wonderful experience, if everything aligns right. Just a few oversights, issues and minor bugs hold it back at the moment.
If you and some friends want to all join up together in a private match, hunt each other down, and just play and have fun, by all means, go for it, this game is fantastic. Just be aware that there are problems that are present with its design choices and some bugs that need to be ironed out.
Official site: http://f13game.com/