Friday the 13th analysis. Back to Crystal Lake

Written by Kamran Haider

Friday the 13th is synonymous with blood, gore and, above all, Jason Voorhees. In this analysis of Friday the 13th The Game, we review this multiplayer proposal where seven cheerful camp monitors must survive the worst night of their lives. Is it worth the trouble? I tell you in detail, but I anticipate that to enjoy it you will have to overlook things.

The thing promised. When Friday the 13th The Game was presented on Kickstarter the video game of Friday 13 I thought coldly that we could stand before us with the last of the shoe in terms of intellectual properties that fit the concept of asymmetric multiplayer. Pay attention. Jason is a very charismatic killer, an unbeatable opportunity to perfect the concept presented by Dead by Daylight with a villain at the height and in which the concept of being very powerful and of killing without reference to groups of players will work perfectly. After all, we had been seeing Jason himself doing that during a very long series of films that began in 1980 with Sean S. Cunningham, and that has not stopped since then with a cinematic reset in 2009 as the last exponent.

I did not even squeak that first image in which a girl with her back and half-naked hopelessly waited in the waters of Crystal Lake for her fatal destiny at the hands of one of the most emblematic murderers in the history of cinema. I did not find it free but quite the opposite, it was another element that the franchise had cultivated, some levels of eroticism that since then have not been missing in the horror cinema and that seem to punish with death anyone who has the slightest sexual interest.

In the end, not so specific topics are explored in the video game on Friday the 13th The Game, and its leaders have advocated a much more direct approach. Not surprisingly, this is multiplayer in which Jason kills camp supervisors, thus following his mother’s obsessive and vindictive orders, but it would have worked just as well if he had killed the cheerful campers or anyone who dared to put in the middle. After all, this is about killing the staff or trying to survive, depending on the side in which we touch, and I will not hide that there are no moments of satisfaction in this cat and mouse game, however they are almost always overshadowed by technical problems, a certain monotony and the need for more variety and number of contents.

The United Family…

If you are a terrorist, you probably know what Friday 13 is about, and if not in a single sentence we can summarize it. Jason Voorhees is a supernatural murderer who slaughters everyone who comes before him. With that plot premise, we have seen more than a dozen films in which he initially murdered the managers and supervisors of a summer camp (the reasons, although the film is from 1980, we keep them to avoid incurring spoilers). But that later he was moving towards more and more delusional contexts that took him to outer space or even a bloody visit to Manhattan that showed us a being who in the big city felt outside his world, and who, like Paco Martínez Soria In a homicidal version, he solved all his problems with a blow of machete.

In fact, Friday the 13th The Game forgets everything that is argumentative (so it does not surprise the decision not to translate it into our language even in its texts), it is committed to going to its origins, and thus it becomes strong in three maps that could have been extracted directly from the first tapes. So much so that one of them is the original Crystal Lake, the second is Packanack, extracted from its continuation that reached theaters the following year, and the last is a Higgins Haven where the third movie was set. The promise of Illfonic is, in fact, to add more locations in the future, something that is missing from the game like eating, and so little by little we will see even those more absurd that we have mentioned before for the latest installments of the film series, and that they will undoubtedly offer aesthetic and playable variety to enrich the video game much more.

What we have right now is a relatively limited asymmetric multiplayer in terms of maps and their own possibilities, a title where seven players in the role of summer camp watchers directly measure themselves to a threat for which they are not prepared: a Jason Voorhees who is absolutely unleashed. So each of the eight people who jump on stage do so in a random place, and from there start working to try to win the game. If we play the role of youngsters, for example, it is not enough to survive, we must try to meet objectives. Each map includes a series of them (to put the case, escape by car, escape with the police …), but even these are composed of three or four tasks. To run away with the authorities you need to call them before, and for this, we need to repair the phone with certain tools.United Family

They are games of about 20 minutes and a fairly straightforward style.

In the end, the particularity of the game, and where their best ideas are, lies in the factor that the location of the objects changes randomly. In other words, to start the vehicle, for example, it is necessary to repair it with a battery and have access to the contact keys, and in each game, they will be in one place. Not even that guarantees us success, of course, since in the case of the car afterward you have to drive it, and nobody tells us that Jason is not going to stop our progress by blow of an ax, nor that the clumsy controls of the cars end up causing that we collide with all imaginable elements until Jason reaches our position and does justice to that Darwin’s law on the disappearance of the weakest species.

In the role of Jason, which by chance and playable style is a caramel into, things are very different. We have to end all the kids, without major complications. Of course, it is worth remembering that the camp guards have missions and we can sabotage them. It is not about being subtle. For example, the communications box that gives access to the phone does not react well to the axes, so the task of making life impossible for the other seven players is relatively simple. The difference between them is that the abilities of humans are relatively basic, while the best-known member of the Voorhees family has all kinds of supernatural powers. The thing at first glance does not seem fair. the campers they can bend down to walk without making noise, hide under beds or inside closets and manipulate some weapons that will stun Jason for a while, while the ominous supernatural enemy can teleport to the second anywhere on the stage, can speed up, grab the other players to kill them instantly or even detect their sources of heat …

A real madness that has raised the alarms of many fans who claim that this is a serious imbalance. My opinion? Like the rest of the conceptual decisions that the game shows, the idea works and fits with the universe on Friday 13. The only way to maintain the justice of an asymmetric multiplayer is to make the weakest link in number much more qualitatively more powerful… And while it is true that everything Jason has in his hands to be a lethal weapon is tremendous, it is also true that in the games that I have enjoyed the game there has been a more or less equitable distribution between who won and who lost. That said the situation causes very hard situations, of course, it is not a good taste for anyone to wait a while to find a game, finally enter Higgins Haven, for example, and last just five or six minutes because Jason has teleported by chance by our side. After? It only remains to contemplate the rest of the game without being able to do much more than move betweencameras and scream in despair when we see the victory of a colleague inches away and, finally and only a few seconds later, what we see is his body in the gutter.

Back to Crystal Lake

The thing is that the game of cat and mouse is fun and has some springs and springs very suitable to give us scares if we are survivors, and also some joys. For example, Jason is slower than us. As the game progresses and their abilities are unlocked, little by little and in a slow but inexorable drip, it will become a killing machine; but at first, it is not too fast and it is quite inefficient. There are options even for the monitors to touch it a little or to tease it. Jason is a little agile as his bestial appearance suggests, so while camp supervisors can throw themselves through windows or open and close doors easily, he solves all his problems by blow of machete or expands, of course, you cannot jump or go through glass. So, in the beginning, it is easy that while we entertain ourselves in opening a door to blows, the survivors escape through a window in the back, but as time goes by the laughter becomes screaming, and the situation is reversing.

They are games of about 20 minutes and a style that has seemed quite straightforward. With an intellectual property of this caliber I did not expect a too tactical approach, and I am pleased that everything is so arcade. There is a very nice point in defining when we are going to run fleeing in terror or when we will try to use stealth to go unnoticed, however, apart from that and place a specific trap or use the recesses of the stage to give a corner there is not much more than do in the case of the seven characters, and something similar happens with a Jason who can also set traps and ambushes but whose planning capacity seems somewhat scarce. In the end, the fact that the camp guards cannot carry more than a weapon is an intelligent decision to force us to choose, and there are a number of weapons not very generous but with different functions such as melee tools and others at a distance … In addition to that, if we load for example with a can of gasoline to refuel the car, we cannot carry a weapon at the same time, so we will have to choose. On the other hand, experience bonuses are obtained for everything we do, but there is also a bonus that is obtained at the end of the game, so you have to wait for it to conclude in order to get the maximum we can get.

We have a relatively limited asymmetric multiplayer in terms of maps and their possibilities

So, if we die soon or if we manage to survive, we will have to wait a while until each round ends, or if we don’t get out of the game and lose some of the bonus. Along the way, it is true that the solidarity and the sense of team that one ends up experiencing for the classmates works as an incentive so that, once dead, we decide to take a look through the different options that are available in terms of camera player and the perspectives that we have on hand to see the camp, however if they are not friends and as we have a few games, boredom seizes us. There are not so many different situations so that what we see is varied and, if we are among the first to fall, we may easily have to wait 15 minutes or even more.

But experience bonuses are worth it, of course. One of the most interesting things about the game revolves around the progression system based on XP points, and there it becomes strong with some very interesting incentives. For example, campers can unlock outfits to customize their appearance as we gain levels, but we can also release some advantages that, for example, give us more possibilities to avoid certain situations or even to get rid of Jason’s lethal hugs. Something similar happens with the villain, who can also allow us to do with executions very spectacular based on investing experience points, and equipping them to end the kids in the wildest and most grotesque ways we can think of.

What is not so good is the graphic and technical performance of the video game. Visually Friday The 13th does homework and period. I did not expect a visual show and of course, it is not necessary for your enjoyment, although there could be a lot more work on the modeling and animations of the main characters, especially on the facials. Jason Voorhees is better than with the capture of movements carried out on Kane Hodder (the actor who has played him in most of his film career), he has good movements. Something better is the scenarios, with some use of curious artificial light but without large light displays since, after all, all the maps are set at night. What is worse is what has to do with the general finish, which causes numerous bugs, incidents with clipping and problems of all kinds, in addition to some interference in the use of servers that in the first days made us take our hands to the head but now, without being perfect, they seem at least quite more polished.

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It is not difficult to discern the potential of Friday the 13th The Game, but in its current state, it is not difficult to despair. The video game of Illfonic has interesting elements and some very good ideas, but right now it is rough as sandpaper and, in addition, it arrives very fair of playable contents and alternatives. With time it will grow, that is clear, but today it is difficult to recommend it beyond the toughest core of fans on Friday the 13th or multiplayer survival games.

  • Some ideas are really good and propose original things
  • The game distills aroma on Friday the 13th on all four sides
  • Played with friends can bring relative fun
  • Few maps, few characters, and very limited possibilities
  • It is easy to fall into monotony since there are not so many different things to do
  • At the technical level, it is nonsense, and it affects the gameplay
  • Some concept decisions do not help make the game comfortable

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Kamran Haider

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