Friday the 13th: The Game: The Review
You can't hide forever. You can't run forever. All you can do is pray you're smart enough to escape.
I want to preface this review by saying this: This review will not be covering the server issues with this game. Yes, we all know the game's launch was mired by unforeseen server overloads but I'm here to review the time I spent playing the game. The review will be split up into three sections: Playing as a counselor, playing as Jason and the Overall Experience. So, without further ado, let's don our hockey masks, arm ourselves and dive into this bloodbath.
PLAYING AS A COUNSELOR
In the menu, before the game starts you will get to select which counselor you wish to play as, each one has different stats that will give them an advantage in certain situations. For example, Jenny (3rd left in the picture above) has the highest Composure rating, meaning she is more difficult to scare and will be less likely to trip up in fear at the sight of dead bodies. Other characters have better Luck, Stamina, Repair, Speed and more. Choosing which counselor has the stats that benefit your playstyle is key. If you find you are more suited to sneaking around then a high repair and stealth counselor is for you. If you want to try taking Jason on, you can pick counselors with high speed or strength and try out outmaneuver him.
(ignore the ridiculous CP, only look at the stats here)
Each counselor also has three perks that can help them to survive as well, these are randomly generated by spending 500CP in the pre-game menu. Each perk will give an advantage, then a pro and con. For example, I have a perk that lets me drive boats faster if I am at the helm but as a con, my cars drive slightly slower if I'm the driver. Choosing these is also vital to your survival because Jason can quite easily interrupt escape attempts if he catches on to them quick. A faster car means less time for him to react but if he gets in front of the car he will disable it for a short time.
The counselors, when the game begins, are dropped into a random spawn point and are just told to "Survive." Sounds simple enough, right? Wrong. As soon as the round starts you feel uneasy because Jason could appear anywhere. You used the WASD keys to move around and your mouse button looks as standard. You also have proximity-based voice chat which can both help you greatly and lead to your demise as if Jason is nearby he can also hear you talking. Players can also find walkie-talkies in the buildings which can be used to communicate to anyone else who also has one, anywhere on the map. Speaking of maps, you better hope you find one because counselors do not come equipped with one but Jason does. You'll need one if you are to communicate and survive. Around the map are buildings which you must search around for items to help your escape. You can try to repair a car by finding fuel, a battery, and a key. You could try to repair the boat with fuel and a propellor or you can try to repair the phone box and call the police. An additional and optional quest is to repair the radio and use it to call for Tommy Jarvis, who will arrive on the scene with a powerful shotgun that can kill, but more likely stun, Jason. Tommy can only be controlled by a player who has died though.
(Your list of objectives is given to you at the side and once you find a map, you can see where the other counselors are too)
Players will need to use every last ounce of wits they have to craft an escape plan and successfully escape but the feeling of driving out of Camp Crystal Lake after having narrowly avoiding Jason for five minutes as he prowls around looking for you... That is a good feeling. Overall, playing as the counselors is a terrifying experience but one that handles very well. They can easily jump through windows to escape from Jason with just a single tap of E. They have the option to barricade doors and hide under beds or in closets. While doing so you must hold down the spacebar to hold your breath so Jason can't hear you. Beware though, you can't hold it forever and once the bar runs out you will breathe VERY loudly. The movement speed for the counselors varies but overall they don't feel unfair. The varying stamina and speed levels are pre-picked by the player so if you feel someone is too slow or can't run long enough then selecting a different counselor will fix that. Finding items is a simple enough task, just pressing E to look in drawers and taking what you need, the items that are vital (batteries, fuel etc) will be carried by hand, dropping whatever weapon you have to hand.
(The tension caused by the repair minigame is insane)
The repair minigame is another aspect that is adapted to the choice of counselor you made, some people are very bad at repairing and they have more buttons to press than someone who is higher in the skill. Failing to hit the right button in time makes a proximity sound and if Jason is nearby he will be alerted. This minigame is just a quick-time event with a radial wheel and small light-up segments. When the bar passes into the lit-up sections you will receive a prompt, either right click or left click. Simple. It speeds up with each correct input though.
Counselors can also arm themselves with a variety of weapons, ranging from a machete to a frying pan, a shotgun and a flare gun. These can be used to kill Jason (which is NOT easy or recommended unless you are all around and well equipped) or simply just to fend him off should he decide to come for you. Each weapon has it's own stats and advantages. Players can also find helpful items like pocket knives, bear traps and firecrackers which can be used to escape from Jason in a pinch.
PLAYING AS JASON.
Jason is an entirely different beast to the counselors. He is slower in his base movement speed but his intimidation and his abilities make him more than a match for up to 9 counselors. When you take control of Jason you are given just one objective: Kill everyone. Armed with whatever weapon you have (each unlockable Jason has a different weapon) and an array of executions (purchasable with CP) you are dropped into the shack where your mother's head lies and your killing spree begins. You can find throwing knives scattered around the map which can be used to hurt and slow escaping counselors and you also come equipped with bear traps which can be utilized to hinder progress on cars, block escape routes or even just catch unwary prey as they move.
Jason unlocks abilities as the timer runs, starting with his Morph ability. This allows him to open a map of the area and select a point to teleport himself to. This allows him to keep the entire map in check in case the counselors decide to split up. The cooldown for this ability means he won't just keep jumping between locations so if you see him leave your area with it, act fast. He can also use this ability to intercept fleeing cars and boats should he become aware of them.
His second ability is his Sense. This allows him to see a red outline of nearby counselors which varies in range depending on their skills and perks. He will also see buildings in bright red if there is noise coming from it. This can be helpful to get the drop on unsuspecting players who aren't paying attention to their sound levels. This ability comes off of cooldown rather quickly so you can keep an eye on anyone silly enough to alert you.
The third ability Jason unlocks is his Shift. This allows Jason to move at incredible speed over a short distance, ignoring traps set down by players and letting him close the gap on any fleeing prey. Using this ability sparingly is key as you want to have it handy to catch up to someone who is escaping on foot. This ability can be difficult to control at first as your movement is automatically forward and all you can do is control your direction with the mouse. Once you have a handle on it though, it is a truly terrifying weapon.
The final basic ability Jason gets is his Stalk. This mutes the audio nearby players would get a hint that Jason is nearby and also lets Jason hear player sounds a lot easier. This is invaluable if someone is trying to sneak around you or is totally unaware of you as you can get the drop on them much easier.
Once half the game time has passed Jason unlocks his Rage. This means he can now burst through any and all doors without needing to chop them down and his grabs are a lot harder to escape from. On top of that, all the abilities of your chosen Jason are also increased.
When playing as Jason it is key to check on all the main escape objectives and try to lay traps near them to hinder anyone trying to flee. It is also important to try and isolate the survivors one at a time if possible to deny any stuns they might have and to eliminate teamwork. You don't move very fast so positioning is highly important, counselors with a full stamina bar can easily outrun you and hide. Using your abilities to keep them in check will help but can also leave you without any real way to keep on top of them. Like the counselors, each Jason also has his own pros and cons, ranging from the inability to sprint to being able to move faster than the boat while underwater. Pick whichever one suits you and tear some people apart.
(Once grabbed, a counselor has a limited time to break free or they die.)
Jason comes equipped with executions that can be used once a counselor has been grabbed with the right-click. These are all brutal and gory but still extremely satisfying. More can be purchased with your hard-earned CP and then used in the game. Jason is a much simpler play than the counselors but requires thought and tact to pull off. Knowing how to set traps or when to just relentlessly pursue someone is integral but sometimes it's just fun to play Jason like the movies and cut down everyone without mercy.
The game controls well, the sounds and music are brilliant and graphically the game is pretty darn good. There are some amusing moments with counselors "terror-faces" but these are quickly forgotten when Jason starts coming after you. The fear mechanic is really well done and overall I am having a lot of fun with the game. I would recommend trying it at least once and would recommend playing it with a group of friends the most. Don't use Discord or anything like that. Just use the game chat for the perfect horror experience!
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