Bought this at launch and was reminded of why I don't buy games at launch. A bunch of friends and I played the beta and, although it was buggy as hell, we thought it could be excellent. It's still buggy as hell. Sometimes it's brilliant and sometimes it sucks. A very mixed bag. |
Friday the 13th is an asymmetrical multiplayer game like Evolve. One player is Jason and the others are camp counselors. Jason's job is to stalk and kill counselors; the counselors' job is to survive the 20-minute round, preferably by escaping in some way, but if you manage to hide for that long, good on you.
Jason gains new abilities over time. I cannot for the life of me remember one of them. I was only Jason twice in the beta and haven't gotten to be Jason yet in the full release (which sucks), so I'm not well-versed in how to play him. He can sense counselors by their movements and sounds, including breathing. He's got like a super sense ability that heightens detection, he can phase walk, which is going invisible and super fast, he can teleport, and it's the last one I can never remember. Jason becomes really, really powerful, which makes sense. You'll have different experiences (and chances of survival) depending on how good the Jason is. If the Jason knows what he's doing, you're probably all going to die. If the Jason sucks, the match might be boring. A decent Jason is best because he remains unpredictable.
As a counselor, you basically run through cabins looking for useful supplies. You have various ways of escaping: cars (requires a battery, gasoline, and keys), a boat (propeller, gasoline...keys? I was a passenger on an escape boat one time), you can call the police (must find fuse and repair fusebox, then find telephone), who arrive in 5 minutes and save you if you can reach them, and you can wait it out hiding. Ideally, the counselors work together to acquire necessary items to escape, but it's predictably difficult because not all players are alike. Also not all players have mics to talk, and no one types (if you even can). Also, in a brilliant move, you can only talk to counselors nearby (i.e., no one else can hear you) unless you find a walkie talkie, in which case anyone with a walkie talkie can communicate. You also have no map (just a local minimap) unless you find one. You also can carry weapons to stun and injure Jason, some first aid spray, and some other things.
Counselors also have to manage stamina (how long they can run). Even your standard, regular running depletes stamina, let alone sprinting. So you will have to slow down and walk or sneak or hide sometimes, which can be terrifying. And you have to manage your fear level. If you're in the dark too long, if you see Jason, or if you see a dead body, your character starts to lose it. I'm not exactly sure what the consequences of this are other than your character screaming (Jason can hear you) and being difficult to control for a little bit. If you turn on your flashlight or go hide, you will calm down though.
When Jason catches you, he has a ton of different kills he can do, including context kills (shoving you into a fireplace, tossing you through a window, etc.). You might be able to escape if you're lucky and/or quick and/or have a pocketknife. Watching Jason chase people around can be really entertaining. It's not uncommon that my favorite parts of the game are after I die and I'm spectating. Spectating is like watching a horror movie. I love it.
So that's how the game goes down. Unfortunately it's buggy as hell. I played two games tonight before the game froze and I couldn't make it close so I had to restart the computer. It doesn't play audio through my TV for some unknown reason. Sometimes it sticks on a black screen when you launch the game. People who play more report server and matchmaking issues. There are a thousand issues with counselor death animations and collision detection and all sorts of stuff. I was playing a couple days ago and a counselor was using the phone to call the police when he just like...fell into the wall and looked like he died (I think he disconnected), but he was in the wall. And the phone he was using was floating in midair. The person disconnected, or whatever happened, right when Jason smashed through the door, and Jason was pacing around trying to get to the body, but couldn't. We Instagrammed the floating phone.
It's a really simple game. When it's good, it's awesome. I've had some amazing matches and moments, like the time I learned I could re-start a crashed car. As I sped off in excitement, three other counselors came running out of the bushes yelling for me to stop. This one guy says "We can escape together!" So I stopped to let them all in as Jason materialized behind the car and grabbed one and killed her. The rest of us sped off. Jason teleported in front of us. I drove the car backward to an intersection and tore ass toward the exit. As I was almost there, Jason teleported in front of me again, but I lost control trying to go around him (he stops cars) and ran into a fence. He killed one of my passengers and the other two of us scattered. We were all laughing. It was great.
But when it's mediocre, which unfortunately is at least half the time, it's pretty boring. You can wait in lobbies and get in a game and poke through drawers for 5 minutes, get killed, and then either sit there spectating for 15 more minutes (or until everyone escapes or is killed), or you can forfeit your XP (which you use to purchase new counselors and Jasons with different stats, equipment, and special kills) and go ahead to another game. Like, sometimes absolutely nothing of interest happens for half an hour at a time. Oh, also the majority of people with mics are annoying as shit, which makes it really hard to overcome the dull times unless you just mute everyone.
I'll keep playing here and there probably, and they've released a couple patches, but there's a long way to go.
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