Friday The 13th: The Game is an asymmetrical multiplayer Survival Horror game, developed by Illfonic and published by Gun Media. 1 player plays as Jason Voorhees, while 7 play as the counselors.
The goal of Jason is simple. Kill all the counselors, by any means necessary. Jason is given many tools to do this. Along with various melee weapons ranging from his signature machete to a battle axe, there are many brutal contextual kills littered throughout the environment. Jason also has traps he can place to try and snare his prey. He also has four abilities to help you catch those pesky counselors. Morph, which allows you to teleport around the map, Sense, which lights up counselors and buildings they are inside of bright red, Shift, which allows you to quickly speed up on fleeing counselors, and stalk, which help you quietly sneak up on your victims. There are 8 different Jason variants to choose, from the sack headed Jason from Part 2, to the monstrous undead Jason from Part 9. Each Jason has different strengths and weaknesses. One Jason may have increased shift speed, but less traps. Another may be able to break down doors faster, but be slower in water, making it difficult to chase down an escaping boat. With each Jason having pros and cons, you can experiment and find the one that fits your play style best.
This game is rather violent. You probably guessed that.
The goal of the counselors is to escape. There are several ways to do this. You can repair a car or boat, you can fix a phone box and call the cops, or you can try to hide and wait out the timer. You can even attempt to kill Jason, however this takes an incredibly well coordinated team. Speaking of which, coordination, teamwork, and communication is key if the counselors want to survive the night. The different counselors all have different of areas of expertise. Some are better at repairing objectives, but slower to escape from Jason. Others will be good as runners, with high stamina they are able to quickly transport important items to objectives, although they will have trouble repairing them themselves. Some are good as bodyguards, able to more reliably stun Jason and buy the repair counselors some time. And some are all rounders, decent at all tasks, master of none. You will be playing as a counselor far more often than Jason, as there is only a one in eight chance you will be chosen as him.
Most of your time as a counselor will be spent opening drawers and searching buildings for the vital components to escape, such as a boat propeller or car keys. You can only speak to other players close to you unless you find a walkie talkie, and a map will enable you to see where all the objectives are located. There are weapons strewn throughout the map as well, they can can be used to stun Jason, if you are willing to get close enough to try. If they get too scared, they will lose their mini-map and make scared gasps, making Jason more likely to locate them. One other aspect of counselors to mention: the perk system. You will earn CP for completing matches, performing certain actions like repairing or killing, and completing the objectives in Single Player Challenges. You can spend these points to roll from a random perk. These perks vary from rather useless to very helpful. Things such as starting with a map or med spray, or an improvement to stamina. They also have different levels of rarity. The higher the rarity, the higher the benefit. I feel I should also point out that these perks are NOT able to be purchased with real money, so there is no fear of any pay to win system here. You have outfit customization options with them as well, as you level up you will unlock more clothes to mix and match on your chosen character.
You will need to search cabins and campsites to find items to aid in your escape.
One thing Gun/Illfonic can be be praised for is authenticity. If you are a fan of the F13 franchise, you will be thrilled with the attention to detail that they have put in. Tons of easter eggs and references to the various films litter the different maps. The maps themselves are iconic locations from the franchise, such as Jarvis House, Pinehurst, and of course, camp Crystal Lake. These maps are lovingly created with astounding accuracy. It is clear that this game was a passion project with all the detail they include. The Jason models are also dead on accurate to their on screen counterparts, including their faces when they are unmasked. Most of the counselors are original characters with heavy references to movie characters, but Shelly Finkelstein and Fox are both from the movies, and look the part very well. While the graphics themselves are average, any F13 fan will honestly have fun just due to the accuracy of the whole game.
The game also includes a single player component with three different modes, Offline Bots, Virtual Cabin, and Single Player Challenges. Offline Bots is simply the online mode, but instead of counselors being other players, they are controlled by AI bots. You always play as Jason in this mode. Unfortunately, the bots are pretty stupid, getting stuck on things or trying to hide when you are nearby. However, their behavior has been improved with patches since they were released. Offline Bots does not have much reply value, but it is great for new players to learn the layout of the maps and practice playing Jason. Virtual Cabin is a first person mode, where you walk around the cabin looking at easter eggs and trying to find the secrets. A lot of the secrets rely on knowledge of the movies, so if you are unfamiliar with them, you will likely struggle without using a guide. Virtual Cabin is a fun little distraction from the main game, but you likely will not come back to it again and again. Still, fans of the movies will enjoy it.
Single Player Challenges is the real star of the single player modes. In these challenges you play as Jason, while the other counselors go through scripted scenes. The mode is similar to the idea of the Hitman games, where the goal is to kill them as quietly and quickly as possible. There are many context kills you can use when counselors are in the right spots, a lot of them references to the movies. There are 10 different challenges, each with six objectives in each, as well as 3 "skull" objectives. The objectives can range from getting a certain context kill to using a particular Jason. The skull objectives are the same on every map: one for killing every counselor, one for remaining undetected, and one for achieving a high enough XP score. Each skull objective you complete will unlock a new emote for your counselor to use in multiplayer, things like dances and taunts. Going in and just openly slaughtering will not work too well, most of your potential victims will escape. This mode has a fair amount of replay value, as you can't complete every objective in one go. It will take multiple rounds of each challenge to see and do it all.
Fans of the movies will enjoy reliving many iconic moments from the franchise.
Of course, the game is far from perfect. The game has had many ups and downs throughout the different patches. Sometimes the bugs could be game breaking. Currently, I have not encountered any game breaking bugs since the latest patch. Mostly it has been minor things, such as graphical errors or delayed sound effects. Annoying, but not a deal breaker. However, one glitch I am aware of that is still around is the interaction bug, which basically causes your character to become unable to pick up or interact with any objects, or climb thorough windows. A swift smack from a fellow counselor will fix it, and thankfully this bug seems quite rare, but it does happen, and it can be problematic when it does. Another problem is the lack of dedicated servers, meaning if the host leaves the match for any reason, everyone will be booted from the game. Thankfully Gun has confirmed that dedicated servers are on the way, meaning that hopefully this will not be an issue much longer. The only other real negative, is that due to the ongoing lawsuit involving the F13 franchise between Victor Miller and Sean Cunningham, Gun has been forced to cancel any future DLC. They can release new bug fixes and dedicated servers, but they are no longer allowed to add any new content. So we won't be seeing the much anticipated Uber Jason and Grendel map from Jason X, or any other new Jason, map, or counselor. It's sad, but unfortunately this decision is out of their hands. Regardless, I think the game already has plenty of content to satiate any F13 enthusiast.
I don't consider achievements with my final score, because I don't think achievements should ever stop someone from playing a great game. But considering the website we are on, I should at least mention them. While many of the achievements are quite easy, The Final Chapter, which requires you to play 1000 matches as Jason, will take you a long time. It can be boosted in private matches, but even that will take quite a while. Doing it legit will be next to impossible, considering your 1/8 chance of being Jason in each match. If all you want is an easy completion, move along, nothing to see here.
"Kill them all, Jason!"
At the end of the day, there are 2 big questions that I feel must be answered:
1. Is it fun?
2. Would I recommend it?
For the first question, I can say in my experience a wholehearted yes. I have put more time into this game than any other game of 2017 or 2018, and I still always have a good time. I'm over 400 hours in and not sick of it yet. As for the second question, that is a bit trickier. If you are not a fan of asymmetrical horror games, this one isn't likely to change your mind on that. If you need a 100% bug free experience, this is not the game you're looking for. If you are fan of the F13 series, you should absolutely pick this up, and you likely already have. There is still a lot of fun to be had for non fans, many of the people I play with regularly had never seen a single movie in the series before they played this game. If you enjoy other asymmetrical horror games, I believe this one to be the best of the bunch. However, I can not express enough how much better this game is with friends. Having a team of buddies communicating is always much better than some randoms with no mics. However, the game still has a lot of people playing, and I have made tons of new friends that I play with often through the Xbox One's LFG feature. If you are not shy, this is a great way to get a crew. Overall, I do indeed recommend this game. It has provided me many hours of fun, and I know it will provide me many more.
*Note: This is my first review for TA, constructive criticism is welcome. I may revise this review over time if I see things I feel need fixed.