The Friday The 13th Game Isn’t Very Good

The Friday The 13th Game Isn’t Very Good

Friday the 13th has a lot in common with some of the sillier sequels in the film’s franchise: it’s great for a laugh, but not much else.

Friday The 13th is an online multiplayer game based on the long-running horror franchise about Jason Vorhees and the teenagers he murders. Up to seven players are counsellors at a summer camp trying to hide from the 8th player, who plays as Jason. To escape, the counsellors can repair phone lines to call the police, find fuel to start up a car or even repair a boat. They can also simply set up traps and hide in a closet while Jason stalks them. Jason, on the other hand, gains the supernatural powers he seems to have in the movies over the course of the match. As you play, you’ll unlock the ability to warp to any point in the map, or see other players through the walls.

For a time, the greatest challenge of Friday the 13th was connecting to the server. On Friday, while I could sometimes join matches, players would be regularly be kicked from the servers and matchmaking took ages. On Sunday, at least half the players I was attempting to start a private match with could not even log in to the game.

“The main issue players are experience is the ‘Game Database Login Failure’ … we eventually had 75K concurrents the first day in and playing but the issue seemed to start spreading locking out users,” Chuck Brungardt from IllFonic said in a statement to Kotaku.

“We are doing our best to identify and fix the problems and have brought in outside resources to help. … We feel terrible for the issues as we know how long the backers and other fans have been waiting for this title.”

By Monday, this was resolved and I could finally join matches with ease. My boyfriend and I jumped in a party and were able to join games via quick play without any unreasonable delay.

Unfortunately, the game is very boring, but at least it’s boring in ways that made playing it with a friend very funny. As each minute of the match tediously ticked down, my boyfriend and I laughed with each other over Skype at just how inept the game makes you feel as either Jason or the counsellors. This is all a matter of taste of course. Alex Bedder, Kotaku‘s Social Media Editor, streamed this game last week and had a ton of fun with it.

In our first round, my boyfriend spawned as Jason and killed me almost immediately. I was in a cabin with another counsellor and he let them get away. “How could you do that?” I asked him. “You only killed me, and the other counsellor is right there.” Later, I found out why: Jason’s walk speed is unreasonably slow. If you aren’t pointing your melee attack in the correct direction, it takes forever for him to wind it up again.

Unfortunately, the combat is the only time it’s interesting to play as Jason. You’re large, you’re imposing, you have an axe and you’re here to kill teenagers — actually performing these murders is thrilling! But the space in between murders is just a slog. You’re pretty much just walking around the map, looking for counsellors as you wait for your skills to unlock. Once they do, you’re nigh unstoppable. You’re able to see what buildings the counsellors are in, invisibly sprint up to them, and even warp to literally any point on the map. It is possible to botch a kill, but in the scheme of things, you probably won’t. In the late game it is so easy to slaughter anyone that it becomes unfun. In the early game, saying you walk at a snail’s pace would be overly charitable.

Being a counsellor is equally boring, but also just perplexing. There’s seven counsellors, but it’s not clear if you’re supposed to be working together or not. Signs point to “no” because there’s no meaningful way to team up with each other or any goals that can be achieved as a team. The means of escape — boats, cars, and the police — can be done alone, and there’s no incentive to escape with other players. What you end up doing is going to every cabin in the map and opening drawers while ignoring other players, or getting killed by Jason.

And you will get killed if you meet Jason. It’s so disappointing how unbalanced these encounters are, because the rest of the game has really got nothing going on. None of the maps offer any variety in your goals as counsellor, and if Jason knows where the car, boat or payphone is, you’re fucked. Counsellors go down in three hits, and while they can run away, Jason’s invisible sprint and warping move has a very short cool down. He will catch up to you. It’s basically to your advantage to abandon the other counsellors and just chill out on the far edges of the map while they all get killed. I watched a player hide under a bed for about seven minutes. They were the last counsellor standing.

All this is good fodder for joking around with a buddy or even randos on voice chat, but not really what makes a good game. Sure, it was very enjoyable to spectate the last player standing completely fail to drive a car and crash on small rocks and tiny wooden fences, but it does not compel me to play again. At the end of the day, Friday the 13th is probably best enjoyed by watching someone else play, if enjoyed at all. If you watch one of the many streamers checking this game out, you’ll get the best of both worlds: you won’t have to play it, and you can get a good laugh at its corniness.


  • That is unfortunate. Was lookibg foward to another game to play with mates.

    • Its a fun game, but give it a few months and maybe a pricedrop. Dead by Daylight has evolved dramatically and so will this.

      • lets hope this game doesn’t evolve like dead by daylight, that game is trash

    • Ignore this review. If you are a fan of the movies or slasher films, then this game is a ton of fun.

  • Wow Gita it really just reads like you’re shit at the game lol. Been playing since yesterday and while the graphics need work, I’m finding it major fun. Jason is a powerhouse and dispatches campers with ease, counsellors must *work together* to effectively get the car going for example or even to *kill Jason* (which you can do) which can end the game in their favour. Honestĺy, it really reads like you’re just really bad and getting salty over it.

    • Well, in the off-chance she’ll ever actually read your comment I’m sure she’ll jump at the chance to respond to that.

      What platform is best? The PC for its speed of receiving the updates or the consoles knowing that the updates need to be QA’d even just little?

      Does a mic really seem required? I don’t know what’s in-game speech and what is some idiot’s idea of role-playing Jason to be John Wayne or whatever.

      Really interested in the game, but the more I’m seeing of it seems disappointing, so near yet so far etc etc.

      If I wait for a more stable release there’s no telling whether or not the community will still be around. Were you a backer/have you seen a lot of the milestone thingys actually implemented in-game yet?

      • I was a kickstarter backer for PS4. Still waiting for some codes to arrive, but a few of the stretch goals are already in the game as kills (sleeping bag kill for instance).

        My understanding is that the XBOX version is pretty poor (almost beta level – allegedly Microsoft themselves have stepped up and are helping them get it up to speed). PC is much better, but really hard to find a game (people reportedly have spend days without getting on). PS4 is about PC level, but finding a game only takes about 10 mins.

        I’ve written a comment below explaining how the speech in the game works. I think that a mic is 100% required to get the full experience. It’s not about role playing, it’s about surviving.

        I got 4 keys for the game – one for me, three for friends. Each game ends with cursing at someone and fantastic tales that sound straight out of a horror movie. I’d kickstart it again in a heartbeat.

        • Well first off, big thank you, it’s exactly what I was trying to ascertain and more!

          If anything, you should keep at it and write your own detailed impressions as the game goes and offer it up to Kotaku, it’d be a hell of a read no matter what direction the game’s quality goes.

          • I only bought it around 36 hours ago now, but have put in quite a few hours. Keeping in my mind the ‘wow’ factor of an asymmetrical game, I’m well aware this has many faults.

            Shitty graphics, connection time to a round, the inability to actually *select* to play as Jason or a Camper, the animations for the campers are poor in comparison to Jasons whose are excellent for example. The graphics… the graphics… the graphics. Basically, anything that isn’t Jason is poor in terms of visuals.

            I think Kasterix has put down an excellent level of detail for why it isn’t the disaster Gita says it is, but it’s by no means perfect. Dead By Daylight I draw comparison to, as it’s a delight to play that game now, it’s truly fun. But, at the beginning people were decrying it for the *exact* same reasons. Visually it’s picked up, more game modes, better connection speeds, latency issues have been resolved etc. I think my BIGGEST issue with F13 at this point is how it throws *anyone* from around the world together resulting in some truly horrendous pings (and not just because we’re on aussie internet). There should be some effort to localise games, to be able to select maybe pings under 200? Under 300 etc? Some sort of filtering ability.

            Deathduck nails it, the speech is really well implemented. It’s area of effect. You can talk through a mic, but you’re being stalked, so any vocalisation, which comes through your actual voice, can be heard by Jason himself, which gives away your locale. If you have a radio, you can speak to everyone though apparently, though I haven’t gained this item yet myself.

            One last thing, when she says someone was hiding under a bed for seven(?) minutes, I either find that hard to believe, or seriously think that was a noob playing Jason (which is common right now, as we’ve only all just started). When you kick in Jasons ‘hunting sense’, you’ll see outlines of people running around if they make noise, or ‘sonar’ like visualisations. If they’re in a cabin, you wont see EXACTLY where they are, but the entire cabin will suddenly glow bright red, letting you know they’re using the Cabin to hide. I’ve enjoyed many Gita articles, she’s a great writer, but in this case, I really think this is an article borne from ‘I’m not instantly great at a game!’ rather than ‘the games bad!’

            There’s also the price, 53 bucks at this point in time might be asking too much for some casual players, non-F13 fans, unlike myself who loves Voorhees, to cough up, I respect this aspect *completely*. I didn’t back the game myself, but I had no issues paying for it given my love for the franchise, there’s definitely a modicombe of bias there, I recognise it, I embrace it. I however also recognise that this is a faulty game that needs fixing and going by the Dev notes, it’s being done quickly and hasn’t been abandoned like so many have been.

            All up, Friday the 13th is a fantastic group game, that has shit graphics, terrible issues with connection but WHEN it runs well, it’s an outstanding experience. In short order most of these issues will be fixed and I really recommend picking it up for the social experience it is, maybe for you it’ll be appealing when it’s at a cheaper pricing point, not due to financial concerns, but just so it doesn’t feel like such a potential risk.

          • I think my BIGGEST issue with F13 at this point is how it throws *anyone* from around the world together resulting in some truly horrendous pings

            Are you on PC? I’m on PS4 and I’ve never had a game with more than 350ms ping. Granted, I’ve loved being the host as you get the best of it all, but even when I’m not it seems to group me with others located at least roughly near me.

          • Yeah I’m on PC, we had some chinese players join who had pings of around 450 or so, then someone SOMEWHERE join who had 500+. Then a 999 which fluctuated badly.

        • yup. I’m a PC kickstarter.
          I played the shit out of the beta, and I’ll rack up many hours in this.
          It’s by no means perfect, but it’s so much fun.

        • Xbox version is suffering primarily due to Microsofts policy on patches being tested internally instead of allowing the production team to place them on the servers before pushing them out. MS has a notoriously slow system unfortunately for this. The dev team has been all over FB talking about it and its issues.

      • You”ll essentially put yourself and your team at a disadvantage if you’re playing counselors without voice communications.

        It’s one thing to be able to see another counselor and just follow them around, but a big part of the communication and getting things done efficiently is using walkie talkies you can find to talk to others across the map.

        It’s also supremely useful to alert people not only of Jason’s position, but if he’s about to murder you and you’ve got a key component your teammates might need to successfully escape.

        • Yes I don’t currently have a mic and I’m pretty sure it’s gotten me and/or my fellow counsellors killed a few times.

          Will be getting one pretty soon so I can up my survival game..

      • A mic isn’t absolutely necessary, but extremely helpful. The other day I picked up car keys, not knowing how to drop them, and had no way to tell my group I had the keys. Fortunately one of them was smart enough to ask me if I had them (I could hear everyone but couldn’t talk because I thought my push-to-talk key was different than it was) and told me to teabag if I did, so that method worked until I figured out I should have been pushing “T” the entire time to speak.

        Since there’s no text chat within the match, if you find something of use, you have no real way of letting anyone know… so if you die with it on your person, your team is potentially screwed.

    • I too liked how the article missed that the whole point of working together is to get things done MUCH more efficiently. The fact it’s possible to setup a car solo is irrelevant, a Jason player even casually protecting objectives will simply never allow it.

      On another note, the complaints I hear about Jason being overpowered irk me also. Because it’s always “He can kill people so easily!”, well duh. Sure he can when he picks people off one by one, as he should. Meanwhile only two or three people working together can pretty reliably stunlock, distract or delay him quite significantly.

      I feel like it’s the one thing they absolutely nailed in that there’s simply no going toe-to-toe with the supernatural serial killer by yourself, and even trying to should end in your death. Just as being caught by Jason while you’re alone should absolutely spell your end.

      It’s something Dead By Daylight started to screw up by giving survivors perks for free escapes, etc, and they’ve started walking those changes back because they realised how moronic the game became when survivors were no longer afraid of killers.

      • There’s so much to appreciate here honestly, that you get what is required to fully love in a true supernatural slasher game.

        I feel like it’s the one thing they absolutely nailed in that there’s simply no going toe-to-toe with the supernatural serial killer by yourself

        The fact Jason CAN be killed, but it’s an absolute group effort, that allegedly requires a sacrifice to bring in Tommy Jarvis, made me so happy. I didn’t want to see it just be one thing. But I want more options to kill him. I want the chain drowning from 6, I want multiple ways but I want them *all* to be extremely difficult!

        On another note, the complaints I hear about Jason being overpowered irk me also. Because it’s always “He can kill people so easily!”, well duh.

        It’s almost like they never saw a F13 movie where the guys a goddamn walking tank… I suggest they check out Parts 4, 6 and 7 for Jason at his best 😉

        And so agree with your Dead by Daylight point. The game lost me at that point. True talent comes with your ability to stealth and escape, not rely on ‘gimmes’.

    • Hmm you can kill him. That answers my question about weapons I guess. Though I’d have thought at best it’d slow or reduce his abilities rather than just killing him and letting you win.

  • I’ve seen a few streams of this and the one thing that comes to mind is that the character in red and black plaid looks amazingly like Jontron.

  • I’ve got so many problems with this review. I’d advise anyone who’s interested in playing the game for themselves because it’s a ton of fun (I agree that the servers suck at the moment, but it’s a game that had so little funding it barely got Kickstarted. Give them a break).

    My experience is playing on PS4.

    First off, Friday 13th is about being alone in the woods with Jason chasing you. If you play properly (i.e., using the game’s inbuilt chat function) you can only hear people in your immediate vicinity (unless you pick up the walkie talkie). Jason can also hear you and use this to locate you though, which often ends up with frantic cries of “Oh my god, he’s coming this way SHUT THE HELL UP HE’LL HEAR YOU!”. But instead, Gita hopped onto Skype and spent the time chatting with her boyfriend. Guess what? You just destroyed the atmosphere the game builds up. That’s like watching Friday 13th at 5pm with the lights on while you sit and chat with your friends about other random stuff, then complaining the movie wasn’t scary enough. The movie didn’t suck, you ruined it for yourself.

    Yes, Jason has a slew of powers. But each iteration of Jason (each one themed from a different movie) has pros and cons. One can run, but can’t sense counselors very far. Another can only walk quietly, but he’s perfect for waiting in ambush. You choose a Jason that compliments how you’d like to play. “This Jason walks too slow!” is a fair argument, but not when there’s others who can actually run.

    And you will get killed if you meet Jason. It’s so disappointing how unbalanced these encounters are, because the rest of the game has really got nothing going on.
    Sorry, but I’ve escaped a few times from a head-on encounter. Firecrackers stun Jason for long enough you can make a clean getaway (if you run a short distance and hide without making noise as opposed to running around like a fool and letting him know where you’ve gone). Sticking him in the neck with a pocket knife if he grabs you does the same thing. Bear traps can be used to stop him for a short time, as can the shotgun and flare gun. Hell, if you’re desperate enough, run past another counselor so he goes for them. You don’t have to outrun Jason, just your friend.

    Playing as Jason is fantastic. This article makes it sound like you can swing your axe and that’s it. Rubbish. I’ve smashed counselor’s heads in door frames, choked them to death, neutered them with an axe, torn their hearts out, chopped off both arms with a machete, crushed their heads in water pumps, torn arms off over trees, spiked them on jagged tree stumps, pressed faces into fireplaces with my boot, smashed a counselor hiding in a sleeping bag against a tree, drowned them and finished them with bear traps placed under windows.

    But the space in between murders is just a slog. You’re pretty much just walking around the map, looking for counsellors as you wait for your skills to unlock.
    You’re complaining that the seeking part of hide and seek is boring? Let’s face it, that’s what this game is. Hide and seek for adults. If you don’t enjoy hunting your terrified prey, you aren’t going to like this game. But again, maybe if you sit in skype and miss all the audio cues (counselors talking, opening windows, repairing the car, etc.) you won’t have a clue where people are. But that’s not the game’s fault, that’s your own.

    It’s basically to your advantage to abandon the other counsellors and just chill out on the far edges of the map while they all get killed.
    There’s seven counsellors, but it’s not clear if you’re supposed to be working together or not. Signs point to “no” because there’s no meaningful way to team up with each other or any goals that can be achieved as a team.
    Not true. Last night I found a fuel can and filled the car up. Someone else came up with a battery not 2 mins prior and someone else had found keys. Jason came for us because we’d made so much noise. Just as the car started he grabbed someone, but I threw firecrackers at his feet so he dropped them, we all jumped into the car and drove off. Jason teleported in front of the car, causing us to swerve out of the way (he stops the car dead if you hit him, allowing him an almost guaranteed kill) and almost hitting a tree. We made it. Last night I was Jason and a group of three people found the boat parts almost straight away. Two made it (I ended the third as they got into the boat). Working as a team works. But with limited voice, it’s not easy – nor is it meant to be.

    You want to hide at the edge of the map? Find a fuse, fix the phone and call the cops. You can escape earlier that way.

    Find the CB radio and you can call in Tommy Jarvis – the only character who can kill Jason.

    Choose a female counselor and find Jason’s cabin. Go in and you can pick up and put on his mother’s sweater giving you another escape option (it has the ability to stun Jason). Keep in mind, that entering Jason’s hut will cause his mother to call out to him, alerting him to your plans.

    What you end up doing is going to every cabin in the map and opening drawers while ignoring other players, or getting killed by Jason.
    *sigh*… If you were in Skype, you were the one ignoring everyone else. They were probably asking you if you’d found the keys because they’d found a battery and their friend had the fuel, but you have no clue because you’re in a chat channel with Jason, so you sit there eating paste in the corner complaining the game is too imbalanced. You’re isolating yourself from communicating with all the other players, then complaining there’s no way to cooperate.

    Is teh game perfect? Nope. I listed my quick impressions over here.

    This review is ridiculous. It’s actually got me questioning the rest of Kotaku’s reviews. The fact that the reviewer didn’t even give their full and proper attention to the game they were playing voids almost every criticism they have, yet no doubt the title of the article will influence people away from trying it out. I honestly feel like I’ve just finished watching a movie with my girlfriend who was playing on her phone the whole time and her review is “Yeah, that movie sucked. I didn’t know what was going on most of the time and it didn’t make sense”. No shit.

    • Excellent write-up, thank you! As a big Friday fan everything you’ve said has me really keen to try this out, cheers mate.

      • Something I forgot to mention in the above was during the event where we managed to drive off with Jason chasing us. We were all pretty panicked, just praying we’d make it out alive. We’d used all the tricks we had, so this was our final gambit.

        Just as we were about to get past the exit point with a car, a counselor who’d been hiding in the bushes ran out in the middle of the road in front of us. He ran out calling for help, but the car was full. The driver swerved so as not to kill him, but didn’t slow down. Just drove past him to safety. I was in the back seat watching the whole thing.

        What really made it hit home? It was my dad. As in, my real life dad. He helped Kickstart the game with me and so we’ve been playing online together.

        I had no choice, there was no room left in the car and the driver wouldn’t (couldn’t) slow down.

        So I left him to get slaughtered by a homicidal maniac.

        It really felt like being in a scene from a movie, but instead of thinking “Oh man, that sucks… what could they do though? They couldn’t save him” I kinda went through a short period of survivor’s guilt. I’m generally a bit better at these games than he is. Should I have told the driver to stop, gotten out and let him take my place? I could have hidden more effectively than he could. Maybe we both could have made it. But we didn’t, because I was a coward and watched from the back seat as we drove right past him, his pleas for help ignored.

        I just realised I still feel a little bad about letting him die like that.

        These are the moments that the game really offers. Play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and think about what the moments in the game actually mean. Yes, the graphics aren’t the best and the animations need a little tuning up. But that desperate plea for help coming from someone where you’re unable (or too scared?) to help? That’s real.

        • Ripping story, not that I want to take away from it but by that point couldn’t anybody have ventured past that point to ‘Escape’? Or because there was one other potential victim for the Jason player, the game still wouldn’t then end?

          • You can escape the map in three ways:
            – By car – driving the car down the road off the edge of the map through a checkpoint
            – By boat – driving a boat through some marked buoys (you can’t just go anywhere, there’s a specific boat “escape spot”)
            – By foot – to get away on foot you have to find a fuse somewhere on the map, repair the phone (which makes noise and alerts Jason), call the police on the phone (which makes noise and alerts Jason), wait 5 minutes for the police to arrive (you’re best off using this time to get to the escape point), THEN you can escape on foot.

          • Can’t you also run the timer out too? Survive for like 20 mins or something?

          • There are other win conditions (survive the full 20 mins and kill Jason) but the ways I mentioned are the only ways to actually “escape”.

          • I love the sense of dread in this game…
            hiding in the woods after someone had called the cops, feels like the longest 5 mins of your life. I could almost hear my heart pounding…

    • Dang all these comments were missing when I made mine. This is a great review. Good to see the opposing viewpoint. Sounds like a lot of fun. Out of curiosity did you play and enjoy Alien: Isolation?

        • No worries, I was just curious whether you enjoyed the slower, run and hide from the bad guy gameplay that characterized it. Since it sounds somewhat similar to Friday.

  • Man, i want this to be good. Maybe after a couple patches & server upgrades ill jump in.

  • Terrible one sided review. Sounds like you didn’t even play the game and that you were more focused on skyping your boyfriend rather than playing the game. No one listen to this person, just watch a stream of the game and if you like watching it you will like playing it even more. :*

      • Yeh. I did it in the beta.
        I’ve never exited a car as fast in my life. Lucky I wasn’t alone, alas the other guy was not so lucky… But Jason chose him instead of me.
        I ran from the car yelling – “sorry i crashed the car!, thankyou for your sacrifice!”

  • I’ve gotta be honest what you call flaws are basically “facts” from the movies. He kinda plods around but then miraculously pops up when you least expect it. And yep he’s a brutal killing machine and 9 out of 10 counselors just get turned into sushi. None of these “flaws” should come as a surprise. As for the teaming up, I kinda see teaming up the same way as small fish swim in schools – hopefully the shark (Jason) eats one of the others and you can get away.

    I am curious whether you can ever find weapons as a counselor? If so I’d imagine the best they can do is slow him down.

    • Yep there are weapons. They can stun him or even knock him over but of course he gets back up.

    • There are a few weapons in every building in the game. Metal pipes, monkey-wrenches, saucepans , machetes, baseball bats, etc. Hell, at the camp sites you’ll even be able to pick up a stick to swing. But Jason has an axe/machete/kung fu grip. Best you can hope for is to stun him for a short period before he gets right back up. You’re honestly better off running as far as you can, hoping that you either guide him to someone else to kill instead or that he starts feeling sorry for you because you’re a grown man crying into the microphone and he “plays this game to have fun, seriously dude what the hell?”.

    • You’re not wrong. Anyone with even a slight bit of familiarity with Jason wouldn’t be complaining about the fact he doesn’t run around like a crazy.

  • Terrible review of an imperfect yet wonderful game.

    As a kid who grew up in the 80s watching Frdiay 13th VHS tapes at my friend’s house on the holidays, this game lives up to and surpasses any expectations I ever had for a Jason game.

    I think the reviewer had no love for the genre, no real connection to the films, and had no threshold for early failure. You push through and it’s a tone of fun. Jason is a tone of fun. Being murdered is a ton of fun, and escaping is oh so rewarding.

    I enjoy the level up and customisation elements also.

    Get the game, ow or on sale. Just don’t let this review put you off.

  • its a kickstarter game considering that it way abouve what people expected.

  • Not a good game? Seriously? Sounds like someone just couldn’t play it well. The game is incredibly fun and addicting. Its a must have for all gamers!

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