Review: Friday The 13th—The Game (PS4)

Developer: Ilfonic
Publisher: Gun Media
Genre: Action
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Rating: M for Mature
Price: $39.99
Jason is out for blood in Friday the 13th: The Game, an asymmetric multiplayer game for PC, Xbox One, and PS4. Stalk camp counselors across three maps, including the infamous Camp Crystal Lake, as Jason Voorhees, or assume the role of a helpless camp counselor and attempt to survive the night.
Will players use one of many available methods to escape Jason’s rampage or will they band together with the other counselors and try to find a way to put Jason down…for good? The choice is up to them as Friday The 13th offers a simple, yet addictive formula that will have players coming back for more.

Content Guide

Violence: Friday the 13th obviously has lots of blood, gore, and severed appendages. This is a game based on one of the most iconic horror franchises of all time, after all. Counselors’ bodies will lay in crumpled heaps of flesh after an unfortunate run in with Mr. Vorhees. Jason himself starts off in his shack in the woods with his mother’s decayed and severed head on a shrine in the center of the room.
Language: There is some language in Friday the 13th but it isn’t excessive. A counselor might say “What the F$%* was that after hearing something behind them or if Jason cuts the power to the cabin they were using as a hiding spot moments before. Also, with this being an online game, it is near guaranteed that you will hear other players muttering expletives whether they are killing as Jason or avoiding being killed by him.
Sexual Themes: To say that some of the counselors dress provocatively would be an understatement. While I understand this a game based on a horror franchise where the first victims of Jason are typically those who are the most sexually promiscuous (because they are easy targets I suppose) one counselor in particular, Tiffany, might as well be wearing a bikini as the shorts she sports in the game barely do much to cover her butt and her shirt is cut off just before her breasts would be exposed.
Spiritual Content: Well, this is Friday the 13th, and part of Jason’s backstory is that he has been to hell multiple times and is insanely strong and basically immortal. Occult themes are present as he has a shrine set up for his dead mother with her severed head in the center of a circle of candles. Throughout the match, the player who is chosen to be Jason is goaded on by Jason’s mother, Mrs. Vorhees, despite her being dead already within the timeline of the game.
Positive Content: The only positive message I would say that this game promotes is teamwork and alliances. While it is hilariously fun to take the car or the boat and say “Bye, Felicia” to the other counselors as you ride off into the moonlight, it is even more fun to band together so that everyone escapes and Jason is unable to claim a single victim. Really good, patient players might even be able to find a way to kill Jason.


When I first heard about a Friday the 13th game I was pretty intrigued. There hadn’t really been a Friday the 13th game since the original that appeared on Nintendo consoles. But then I found out it was an asymmetrical multiplayer-only action game and my excitement died a little. The last asymmetric game I played was Evolve, and that game didn’t turn out real well in the end.
However, after a little over a month since launch, I am happy to say that this game is much more fun to play than Evolve ever was. While it was very janky at launch, complete with glitches and technical issues, over the first few weeks of the game’s lifespan the community has grown substantially and I cannot wait to see where the game goes from here. However, at launch, Jason must have murdered everyone that ran the game’s servers because players would have had a better chance of getting into a game of Halo: The Master Chief Collection around the time of its launch than they would have had playing Friday the 13th. Disconnects were rampant and to this day there is still no host migration, so if the hosting player drops after getting brutally murdered by Jason, then everyone is sent back to the main menu to begin searching for a new match. However, the game is so much fun with a group of friends, and dare I say it, even randoms, that most of the technical issues went largely unnoticed once I was actually able to get into a game and start playing.
There is no campaign or story mode to speak of in Friday the 13th, however, the developers have stated that they plan to release a single player component sometime in the future. While lack of single player would ordinarily drag a game’s quality down quite a bit, in the case of Friday the 13th, I don’t think it even needs single player.

Part of the magic of what makes this game so great is that everything happens on the fly. One game, players might successfully find all the components required to get the car and/or the boat up and running and they may easily escape from Jason. But then in the next match, on that same map, there may not even be a boat; the only means of escape may be the two seater car, which would leave the remaining five counselors scrambling to find a fuse to repair the phone box and call the cops, their only remaining means of escape. However, savvy players can also gather the necessary components to attempt to kill Jason, though this ultimately requires all seven counselors to work together to succeed.
Friday the 13th is at its best when played with friends. However, unlike most online multiplayer games, playing with randoms is also quite fun, especially if you are selected to play as Jason as you can hear other counselors in your proximity chat as they frantically whisper strategies to each other. However, counselors are not without their perks as well. As players progress in the game, they earn abilities and perks for the different counselors that might allow them to start with a radio, which allows communication with other players who also have found a radio and are not within the range of proximity chat. Another perk also allows counselors to start with a weapon to defend themselves against hasty Jason players who like to go on the offensive at the very start of a match.
Each match basically boils down to the counselors raiding the various buildings scattered across the map looking for supplies, weapons, and/or car batteries and gas cans to aid in their escape from Jason. One player is selected to control Jason whose sole job is to track down and kill all the other players in the game before they escape. While the different versions of Jason each have their own strengths, weaknesses, execution kills and signature weapons, Jason will always have the same four basic powers.
Players controlling Jason will always start the match with the Morph ability. This allows Jason to teleport to any spot on the map on the fly, however, a rather lengthy cooldown ensures that this ability is not abused. The next ability that unlocks over the course of the match is Sense, which highlights in red any building or hiding spot that a counselor currently inhabits. Following Sense, players gain access to Shift, which allows players to basically go invisible and fly to a specific location at a faster than normal speed. For example, if a counselor has placed a trap behind the door of a cabin and Jason wants to avoid it, he can simply use Shift to quickly disappear, phase over the trap and into the house, and then resume his chase. The last of Jason’s abilities to unlock is Stalk. While ordinarily, counselors will hear very loud, shrill, suspenseful music when Jason is nearby, Stalk prevents players from being able to sense when Jason is near them which allows Jason to sneak up in an unsuspecting group of counselors more easily. Aside from these abilities, each version of Jason also comes equipped with throwing knives for weakening counselors so they can’t run away as quickly, and bear traps which are best used to create choke points and block escape routes by placing a trap right next to the boat or outside of a window so that when counselors try to escape they get stuck in the trap.While some of these abilities might sound overpowered, in actual practice they are not. Most of them do not last very long, and counselors also have tricks and perks up their sleeves which allow them to avoid Jason and escape certain death.For starters, the location of escape vehicles and other methods of victory are procedurally generated and change each map. In all, there are four methods of victory for counselors while Jason only has one. Counselors have the option of escaping in either the two-seater or the four-seater car, the boat, or if players can find the fuse and the fuse box it goes to, they can call the police and escape on foot after a timer reaches zero.
Players also have the option of calling Tommy Jarvis, a fan-favorite character from the movies who has gone toe to toe with Jason and survived. Hidden in one of the cabins on the map is a radio, which can be used to call in Tommy Jarvis for assistance, however, Tommy will only spawn if Jason has already killed a player or if one of the counselors has already escaped. Once Tommy has been summoned, a dead/escaped player will respawn and assume control of Tommy Jarvis. Tommy spawns with a walkie talkie and wields a shotgun (though it can only be fired once) that can be used to instantly stun Jason for a surprisingly lengthy period of time. Steady aim is important, however, as friendly fire is always on and can sometimes be more of a threat than Jason.
There is a certain amount of strategy involved though in playing as both Jason and the different counselors. For example, to escape in a car, players must first gather fuel, a battery, and the car keys which are spread out in different locations across the map. Once the items have been found, players must install them in the vehicle, with specific characters being better at certain tasks (perks), like installing the battery or taking less time to start the car with the car keys. The boat is also an option for escape, and while it only holds two counselors, it also only requires that players find the propeller and a can of gas to get it started. However, timing is important with these vehicles as Jason can teleport in front of the car, smash it so that is has to be restarted, and drag counselors out through the car window. He can also move very quickly in the water and can flip the boat to prevent counselors from escaping.These moments though are where being able to trust your other teammates really pays off. I have had players try to steal the boat that myself and another counselor gathered the fuel and propeller for. I have also escaped in the car while holding the other set of keys for the only other car on the map locking out that option of escape for the other players. While this was hilarious at the time, since I had escaped, it would have been somewhat frustrating had I been the one left behind.
However, if players do happen to be left behind as all the escape vehicles are gone, the most sound strategy is to call Tommy Jarvis if this has not been done already as he should be able to keep Jason at bay long enough for the remaining counselors to find the fuse, install it, and then find the phone on the map to call the police. Once the police have been called, after a 5 minute countdown, players can escape on foot via a specific location on the map, provided that Jason does not kill them before they arrive there. My favorite counselor perk is one that reduced the amount of time it takes for cops to arrive, from 5 minutes down to 3.5 minutes, after they have been called. This allows for me to coordinate with the other players as we all hole up in the different cabins near one of the two possible places that the police will spawn so that we are almost guaranteed an escape.There is one other option for victory as the counselors, and that is killing Jason. While possible, this is very time consuming and requires a full team of counselors working together in addition to one of the counselors being female. This is because the first step is to find Jason’s shack where he spawns at the start of the match; this shack is not shown on player’s maps and it must be sought out. Once located, a female counselor must go inside and pick up the sweater worn by Jason’s dead mother. The sweater allows for a special attack that stuns Jason long enough for players to then begin the other steps required to kill him.
Also, even if players have not found the sweater, counselors can go toe to toe with Jason, though it is not recommended. Many items such as flare guns, firecrackers, and bear traps are scattered throughout the various buildings on the map and are used to temporarily distract or incapacitate Jason long enough for players to run away. Pocket knives are used to stab and stun Jason if he grabs you, but they can also be used to disarm traps planted by Jason, preventing an almost certain death. Health spray is also available and will heal wounds gained from jumping through windows, getting attacked by Jason or from stepping into a bear trap.With so many different options for counselors and fair yet powerful abilities for Jason the game is fun and enjoyable whether players are stalking everyone as Jason or trying to escape as a counselor. I highly recommend this game to anyone who enjoys a fun, ever-changing online experience where frustration is minimal and matches almost always end in raucous bouts of laughter. Despite a myriad of launch issues, some of which still have not been resolved, I cannot fault this game too much as it has been one of the most fun experiences I have had while gaming online in some time. As a courtesy for staying vigilant through all the launch issues, the developers even gave players a free Jason skin that plays the classic music from the old Friday the 13th Nintendo game when Jason is nearby. He also sports a purple and blue color scheme. If the developers continue patching the game and fixing the issues that are still present, while updating it with more and more content then Friday the 13th is only going to get better from here.

The Bottom Line



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Damien Chambers

Before I became a Geek Under Grace I was a student of Journalism and have always aspired to write for a gaming and geek culture publication. I am truly blessed to have found an outlet to reach not only thousands of fans, but those who may not have yet found Christ. My favorite genre of games is third-person/sandbox games. I like the freedom that they allow both in gameplay and in scale and they just seem less bland and limited than more linear titles. I still have a soft spot for RPG games but I now enjoy JRPGs far less than I did as a child because they are still basically the exact same as they always were, with a few exceptions of course. I also enjoy playing more tactical third-person multiplayer shooters or first-person shooters that try to shake things up. I absolutely hate games based on WWII or Vietnam as those settings and those types of gameplay have been done to death. Though I am not opposed to a future Assassin's Creed title being set during one of these wars. I also typically tend to stay away from MOBA's as they are notorious for abusive, and generally unsavory online communities. My favorite game of all time is Chrono Trigger, which ironically enough is a JRPG but its one that I consider untouchable in quality. The runner-up for my favorite game of all time would be Star Fox 64.

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