As I walk through the dense woods at night, an eerie silence rolls over me, as if telling me there is nothing here for the living. To my right is a beautiful lake that holds a story, one that most want to forget. I hear something on the wind, but what was it? Someone chanting something. I tense up. A giant of a man rises out of the lake, with a hockey mask over his face, and an axe in his hand. His name is Jason Voorhees, and he wants to drive his axe in my face. I go to run, but it feels as if I’m running in place. Jason proceeds to come after me, only to have it look as if he were running in place also. I freak out. What can I possibly do to stop my impending doom? Sadly, nothing, as the connection to the server times out.
That was my first few days with Friday the 13th. Finishing an entire game felt impossible, and left me frustrated. I will go ahead and start with me being what some would call more than your average Friday the 13th(F13th) fan. I have all the movies, discontinued novels, statues, figures, signed mask replicas, etc. So when I hear of a game called Summer Camp that looks exactly like F13th, I get excited. Then the ball gets rolling, and Gun Media, who is publishing the game, gets the rights from New Line to use the F13th license. A Kickstarter is born. I back it. I wait and wait to play this game. It releases to major problems. No worries, I tell myself, this isn’t your major AAA devs working on this, I can be patient. I finally get into games to be booted constantly. But I keep playing. Why? I’ll tell you.
This is pretty much what I want from this game. An overpowered Jason to make you feel helpless? Check. Motion capture is done by horror legend Kane Hodder, who most regard as the best Jason. You have multiple Jasons to choose from, spanning across the different movies, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Some can swim faster, some can run(jog really), some have better cooldown on your powers. Powers you ask? Well, to make Jason feel unstoppable, we get powers! From teleporting anywhere on the map, to morph(think moving really fast like Evil Dead in the woods), Sense, where players and cabins are highlighted for you, and Stalk, where Jason mutes the danger theme when nearby and lets him hear players easier. And finally, Rage, where Jason flips out, can destroy doors instantly by walking through them, faster cooldown on powers, and just overall killing mode. So with all this Voorhees mania going on, do the other players, who take the role of the counselor, stand a chance? This takes you into survival mode.
Every counselor also has their own stats, from speed and stamina, and others. Composure for instance, reduces fear if your counselor discovers a dead body, or encounters our killer in the woods. They might stumble less when running, or freak out so bad your minimap fades away, leaving you to panic and figure out where to go. And where to go is the key point of the game. As you tiptoe around each map, you go into cabins scavenging for things. Weapons possibly, to stall Jason with. Or a map, which is needed at all times. Other players can hear you talk if you are in range, but if you find a walkie-talkie, you can converse anywhere on the map with anyone else that has one also. You might see broke down cars, that need a battery, and gas, along with some keys. Or a boat that needs a propeller and gas. See where I’m going with this? Find the items and try to escape. But there is a catch. Only so many people can fit on the boat or in the car, leaving you to jump in and leave others to their death, or you wind up stranded and looking for other options. If you find a fuse, you can call the cops, having to wait five minutes for them to show up and you hike it on foot to try and escape. You can radio in for help, and one of the players that has died or escaped has a chance of coming back as Tommy Jarvis to help even the score. Great fan service. But all of this comes at the expense of time, and Jason can ruin the entire group. If you are lucky enough to be alive when time runs out, you survive also. As you level up, you unlock more counselors, more Jasons, and you use CP to unlock more Jason kills, and counselor perks, such as start with a map, run faster but make more noise, there are ups and downs to them. There is a single player set to come at a later date, so I will review that when the time comes.
Did I mention fan service? This has it in spades. So many people who have worked on the movies pitched in to help. Even Sean Cunningham helped some! Tom Savini designed most of the kills, and even an exclusive Jason for Kickstarter backers! And nothing would be complete without the spooky ki,ki,ki, ma,ma,ma sounds, with the soundtrack score by Harry Manfredini himself! I could keep going as a fan forever, but back to it…
When the game comes together, it makes for a fun, creepy night of multiplayer. And as I sit here now, it has improved with detailed patches to help the problems. Is it a perfect game? Not at all, and could use some of that AAA polish we all have come to know and love. But for what a small group of devs set out to do, I think it is worth a shot if you enjoyed reading what I have wrote. And wrote I have. But fear not as I leave you with this score, knowing that everythi-……..[connection error]
Price: $39.99 PC, PS4, Xbox One (reviewed)
Publisher: Gun Media