Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th.

I wasn’t a part of the hype train. I really wasn’t. I saw the horror movies and watched all the gruesome deaths in SD.

I really liked the Nintendo game from close to twenty something years ago.

And then the spiritual successor came out. The characters all fall into a scheme of checks and balances. Most of them have their own strengths and weaknesses weighed against a ten point scale.

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You can use perks that you unlock through points that you earn from each play through.

Even Jason himself has customizable features and strengths/weaknesses.

All of the characters have a different kind of play style. For instance, Kenny who is obviously meant to be the balanced character of the camp counsellors really doesn’t have anything going for him, but manages to be a character who should be played in a flexible manner just in case the situation changes mid game.

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AJ Mason is a stealthy character who has one of the lowest strength stats in the game. But she can avoid Jason’s awareness ability like the plague.

Friday the 13th is a game at its core, that’s about checks and balances. What brings these checks and balances into turmoil are a myriad of small and minor technical issues that can some times hamper the game to the point where it renders it unplayable.

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That aside? Friday the 13th is a game that can be played In a public game lobby. Players are forced to work together as camp counselors in an effort to solve small puzzles, compete in mini games and avoid detection, all while trying to escape from Jason’s supernatural presence.

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The music is pretty terrifying. In fact the audio is extremely important to pay attention to as it can tell whether or not Jason is in your vicinity.

The camp counselors have a variety of weapons at their disposal, all of them with different properties. Take for instance the base ball bat. It’s a deadly deterrent to Jason when wielded by one of the more stronger characters like the edgy greaser rocker counselor or the jock. Both with high strength stats, they have the capability to stun Jason for a number of seconds.

Cabins are a manner of ducking inside and looting. The idea is that you forage for materials, weapons and equipment. Once inside if you’re lucky enough, you can barricade doors and set up bear traps, just in case Jason decides to get froggy and give chase.

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Jason isn’t without defenses. As the most powerful character in the game and a juggernaut of pain, it is very difficult for Jason to die, but it is possible.

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As Jason himself, you can spend your perk points in a way that adds different kinds of kills to his repertoire. Though, given how strong he is as a villain, you can get away with simply upgrading the camp counselors and their survivability.

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For players who are interested in killing Jason, it’s near impossible. It’s always easier to escape either by boat, by calling the police or simply by automobile. Everything is procedurally generated at the start of the game so options are a player’s best friend in this party themed fright fest.

Is it worth the buy? If you’re into multiplayer games with lots of replay value and fun factor then yes. Forty dollars for an independently developed game is a hard pass up. Plus? In a world where big name developers fail to deliver? Friday the 13th is a love letter for developers and gamers alike seeking a solid title that stays truthful to the source material.

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