Five Things Friday the 13th: The Game Needs

Jason Vorhees, Friday the 13th, horror games, horror, multiplayer, online
A blood-spattered Jason Vorhees

Friday the 13th is a Good Game—Here’s How It Could be a Great One

Like many fans of horror, when I first heard that a video game was in development based on the Friday the 13th series, I was immediately intrigued.  As eager as I was to climb aboard the hype train, something in the back of my mind was stopping me.  I couldn’t help but wonder: How the hell can you make a video game out of Friday the 13th?

Naturally, as time went on more details surfaced about how the game would work.  It would be an exclusively multiplayer survival game where one player controls Jason and the rest control counselors.  Jason’s goal, as you might have guessed, is to kill all the counselors before time runs out or they escape.  The concept sounded promising. 

Then, on May 26th the game was released—and it was a catastrophe.  Bugs abounded.  The wait to find a game was unendurably long.  To those of us that looked forward to the game for so many months, it felt like horror gaming’s No Man’s Sky.

And then something strange occurred: the developers listened.  They patched the game to sort out (some of) the worst bugs and apologized by gifting its player base a spunky new Jason skin, 13,000 credits for in-game purchases, and a double XP weekend. 

For all the problems around its release, the Friday the 13th: The Game is incredibly fun and addicting.  However, it still isn't perfect.  If it wants to have any staying power—and deliver a game truly worth its $40 asking price—there are some changes it needs to make.

 

1. More Maps

Friday the 13th: The Game is a purely multiplayer experience, so it needs to keep that experience fresh for its fans.  It succeeds, in part, by randomizing the item locations for each map in every game.  The problem is that there are only three maps to choose from, and they are all remarkably similar. 

Where are the urban maps lifted from Jason Takes Manhattan or the space-based maps from Jason X?  Sure, those films weren’t great, but doesn’t hunting down students in zero-gravity sound fun? 

Okay, maybe the developers aren’t ready to take the game to Manhattan or space.  But that doesn’t change the fact that this game needs more maps—and I’d settle for some new campgrounds.

2. Unique Jasons

Part 6's extrememly broad-shouldered Jason is my go-to these days

There are six different Jasons to choose from in Friday the 13th and while all of them look amazing, they play virtually the same.  Sure, one might have a machete while another has an axe, and each Jason has some slight ability buffs and nerfs, but the differences aren’t substantial. When it comes to counselors, each one has his/her advantages and disadvantages.  What’s more is that counselors can roll for unique perks, three of which can be assigned at a time. Not to mention they have a huge variety of unlockable outfits. 

If Jason got the kind of customization that the counselors have, a whole new layer of strategy would be introduced to the game.

3. More Game Modes

Perspective of Jason

While hiding and escaping from Jason is exhilarating and satisfying, most players would agree that controlling Jason is the best experience the game offers.  Unfortunately, depending on how big your group is (and bigger is better in this game), you have a 12.5% chance of playing as him.  However, new game modes could change that.

I would love to see a mode that sets two Jasons loose on a campground full of counselors, competing for the most kills.  At the very least, players should have the option to hunt down AI, so we can all get our Jason playtime when we want it. 

The good news is that the developers have announced that they are adding a new campaign mode to the game by the end of the summer, giving players the chance to don the devil’s hockey mask whenever they please. 

4. Fix the Bugs.  For the Love of God Fix the Bugs

A counselor escapes from Jason by…floating into the air

Every online game inevitably suffers from bugs from time to time.  Usually they’re small bugs that affect the game’s aesthetics or sound design.  Friday the 13th had more than just those smaller bugs on launch day. Server crashes, problems with the matchmaking system, gameplay freezing. The game was virtaully unplayable.  

The developers eventually acknowledged and fixed many of the major issues players were facing, but the game is still rough around the edges.  Finding a match still takes forever, game crashes are not uncommon, and Jason’s kill animations can look unrecognizably shitty.  The game isn’t totally broken like it once was, but the developers still have a lot of work to do.  

5. New Slashers?

So many horror icons. So much potential

Okay, I know the game is called Friday the 13th¸ but bear with me.  Imagine getting to hack your way through Crystal Lake as Halloween’s Michael Myers, Psycho’s Norman Bates, or Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface.  It would be all kinds of awesome. 

Is it a pipedream?  Maybe.  Probably.  Obtaining the rights to use these characters would be a costly project in and of itself, but it could break open so many doors for the game.  Playing on maps based on the Bates Motel or the quiet suburb of Haddonfield would be exhilarating—and so much potential for the upcoming campaign mode would be unlocked.   

Friday the 13th: The Game has a lot going for it: The asymmetrical multiplayer gameplay feels fresh, playing as Jason is a lot of fun, and it’s based on an iconic series.  But, it also has a lot of problems it needs to sort out before it can reach its full potential.  Right now, Friday the 13th is a good game. With a few changes, it can become a great one. 

 

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Jake Swain has been interested in horror gaming and films since first watching David Lynch's Eraserhead at a far too young and impressionable age
Top 3 Favorite Games:Outlast, SOMA, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
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