Review — ‘Friday the 13th: The Game’ for the Nintendo Switch

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Fans of Friday the 13th and horror games will rejoice as GUN MEDIA brings Friday the 13th: The Game to the Nintendo Switch on August 13th!

The Background

Ever since my older sister brought home the original Friday the 13th on VHS home one night in 1985, I have been hooked on the saga of the Voorhees family. I remember her renting each Friday the 13th that week until we reached part V. I would go on to watch every film from that point and every episode of the TV series, even though it only shared a name with the films. I would also purchase and play the widely discussed and debated about game for the NES. So, 5 years ago when GUN Media announced a Kickstarter for a co-operative game for PC and consoles, I could not jump on board fast enough. I could not wait. I followed the Kickstarter closely and was thrilled to see names like Sean. S. Cunningham, Harry Manfredini, Tom Savini, and everyone’s favorite Jason Kane Hodder jump on board the project. On May 26th of 2017, the game was finally delivered after raising $823,704.

After downloading the game, I began living the dream of being chased around Camp Crystal Lake by my favorite hockey enthusiast. I played with friends, I played with enemies, I played with people around the world and around the block. I killed and was killed, and I had a blast doing it all.

Managing Jason’s Stats

The Game Itself

Friday the 13th: The Game was not a AAA game and GUN Media was not a AAA game developer, and I knew that going in, so it helped me create realistic expectations throughout the development. GUN promised a lot during the Kickstarter and I was curious to see if Friday the 13th could deliver. I have to say when I first fired up the game I was pleasantly surprised. To be fair, the designs were not of the highest textures, but that could be expected when you are playing a cooperative game online. In fact, I prefer a little less texture for a few extra FPS any day, especially when I am being chased. Everything looked pretty good. I loved having the ability to unlock many of Jason’s iconic looks throughout the years. What is also fun is the collection of camp councilors they made available to play. I eventually owned the game on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Camp Councilors thrive to survive in Friday the 13th The Game

Onto the Switch

After 2 years GUN Media enlisted Black Tower to port Friday the 13th: The Game to the Nintendo Switch. I was thrilled to hear this because of the possibility of playing it on the go or playing in my bed sounded pretty good to me. Luckily for us here at GeekDad, we were fortunate enough to get a review copy of the game before it’s release.

Having played it on all the other consoles and PC, I was curious to see how the game would be adapted with the limitations of Nintendo’s flagship handheld console. The first major concern was if the Switch was capable of maintaining a good connection without life-ending lag? I had little difficulty doing this at night, but the following morning I had some issues finding a lobby and even had a couple of game crashes when just terrorizing bots.

The game still has some glitching issues as well, so be mindful of those. Mostly they offer players a laugh or two. I began by playing the game in docked mode on the Switch and it looked great on my living room TV. The graphic quality was a shade less than what I experienced in other platforms, but that was to be expected when porting to the Switch. What is important to note is that Friday the 13th: The Game was made out of pure love by GUN MEDIA, and you can tell. So many classic elements of the film are incorporated into the game. Even though there may be a few technical shortcomings, the experience you will have with your friends chatting and plotting is second to none in fun.

Like the previous incarnations, you do not decide whether you will play as Jason or a councilor, which is not ideal but adds a bit of mystery to each game. You can level up fairly quickly to unlock other Jason’s or costumes for your councilors as well as getting special kill abilities for each Jason, which makes them unique beyond just their outfits. Luckily, you are looking at about 12 to 20 hours to unlock everything.

Gameplay

As Jason, you have five main powers: morph, sense, shift, stalk, and rage. Some help you find the councilors and the others help you finish them off. In addition to his abilities, Jason can also manipulate the environment to turn the odds in his favor:

  • Power Generators – These are marked on Jason’s world map. Disabling them kills all power in the associated camp. This makes it more difficult for counselors to see and causes their fear level to increase.
  • Windows – Once broken, any counselor who tries to escape via windows will take heavy damage from the shattered glass. This is great for when you’re trying to contain a group of counselors to a specific structure.
  • Doors – All doors can be destroyed, therefore rendering them useless to counselors. Sometimes it’s better to destroy as many doors as possible early on because once they are locked or barricaded, Jason will have a much harder time breaking through.
  • Phone Power Box – Once counselors have repaired the phone box, it then becomes available for Jason to disable. Doing so will force the counselors to repair the phone box once more before calling the police.

Unlike Jason, counselors don’t have a set of specific abilities that can be used during the match. Instead, they have a much more open and dynamic way to experience the game. For example, players can work together to fix escape vehicles, repair phone lines to call for help, find weapons to defend themselves and fellow campers, or abandon team work altogether and play lone-wolf style. The choice is up to the individual player to experience the game how they wish.

Final Thoughts

Friday the 13th: The Game is a delight for anyone looking to add a little horror to their handheld or living room-based Switch play. It is a stark contrast to the Switch’s more family-friendly titles, so be mindful of that. That being said, it is a wonderfully enjoyable game to play with friends and older family members, especially those of us who spent our summers thinking that Jason Voorhees was coming for us!

Specifics

Friday the 13th: The Game

Publisher: Gun Media

Developer: Black Tower

Release Date: August 13th, 2019

Genre: 1v7 Asymmetrical Multiplayer, Horror

Platform: Nintendo Switch

MSRP: $40 USD

A copy of Friday the 13th: The Game was made available by GUN MEDIA.

To read my previous articles, click here.

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