Disposable Teens: Friday The 13th – The Game

Voorhees A Jolly Good Fellow

The latest video for Friday The 13th: The Game [official site] is a montage of gruesome kills. You’ve got fireplace roasting, knife down the throat, limb-lopping bleed-outs, chopping and hacking, eye-popping, skull-crushing (multiple), pitchfork-puncturing (with prolonged eye contact up until the moment of death) and a pickaxe coming down hard on a plaid shirt. That’s not all and you can watch the whole thing below if it’s the kind of thing that might perk you up on a Monday morning.

Just in case the intro text wasn’t clear, this is a three minute video of people being murdered. There’s no context, other than the title, setting and characters, and there are bits of blood, brain and bone all over the show. I’d say the lack of any build-up makes the whole thing seem more grotesque than it might if you were playing the game. It’s a pinch of digital snuff, designed – I’m told – by special effects maestro Tom Savini.

It’s the sound effects that took some of these from gruesome to uncomfortably brutal for me. I winced. And yet, I was also disappointed that there isn’t a single decapitation because that seems like such an important part of the series’ staple diet. Maybe there’ll be a separate decapitation montage next month.

The game received crowdfunding via Kickstarter late last year and this is the first time we’ve commented on it since, so here’s a little pre-alpha footage to go along with the kills.

It’s a multiplayer game, in which you play either as a potential victim or as Jason.

The entire focus of Friday the 13th: The Game is multiplayer. Survival is entirely up to you, the player, as you either stealthily hide from Jason or work together as a team to escape or bring the fight to Jason. Playing as a counselor is all about risk and reward, giving players multiple means of triumph over Jason! Want to hide in the woods as you wait for the police? Perhaps you want to band together and try to take on Jason as a group? Maybe you and a friend decide to fix the boat on the lake and escape while leaving everyone else to their fate? There are endless opportunities to survive the night, but every choice has a consequence.

I can’t help but feel this was beaten to the punch (someone is actually decapitated by a punch in Friday The 13th Part VIII; his head lands in a dumpster) a little when Dead by Daylight came along. They’re similar in theme and setup, but Friday the 13th sounds more interesting, on paper at least, thanks to the various methods of escape and survival listed. Dead by Daylight, in my very limited experience of it, works with a very tight set of rules that the slasher theme hangs on loosely, whereas this might be a more chaotic simulation of lakeside slaughter.

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  1. Ross Angus says:

    That alt text. Superb.

  2. Shakes999 says:

    Yep. Those have Savini written all over em. If you gotta do death sceens, may as well do em right.

  3. Gwilym says:

    Not quite as embarrassing as Hatred, but close.

    • Ichi_1 says:

      Not really sure why you feel that way.

      It’s Friday the 13th; a franchise known for over the top gore. That is basically it’s sole appeal.

      Hatred was courting controversy, whereas this is just a fun slasher style game for people to laugh at whilst playing with their friends.

      • Gwilym says:

        The game itself is a great idea! But marketing it with three minutes of contextless murders just seems cringe, especially when they don’t really feel like the ones from the films.

        I may be wrong about that last point, since it turns out I’ve only seen a small fraction of the franchise, but the films I saw had a sense of humour and theatricality. These deaths are all played straight, and the camera just sits there and gawks.

        I’m not sure I’d even call them over-the-top – more “extreme,” in the vein of the Manhunts, Black Opses or Hatred. They want to disturb.

        I know the comparison to Hatred is a bit mean, but this stuff is honestly indistinguishable from the “most shocking executions in Hatred” video I glimpsed yesterday. Unlucky timing, but it’s impossible not to see the similarity. On the plus side, at least they don’t have Jason growling inept insults at his victims.

        • Archonsod says:

          The original film was pretty much straight up horror (though ironically doesn’t actually feature Jason as the killer). It’s only later in the franchise the comedic elements crept in (by which point the genre as a whole had become more focused on self referential parody than any elements of horror).

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            Vandelay says:

            The original, as is almost always the case, actually features very little gore.

            Same goes for The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, which still manages to be one of the nastiest and misanthropic films you can see, despite very rarely resorting to spraying tomato ketchup everywhere. They really don’t make horror like they used to.

        • spaced says:

          This. I’m kind of surprised Adam didn’t mention that a trailer full of brutal (if wonkily animated) kills doesn’t exactly bode well when the idea is to sell people on how much fun they can have playing your game. I get it; it’s Jason doing what he does, and those movies are/were popular with gore hounds, but I found the movies to be more compelling when the characters were given more than just one dimension. Part 2 and Part 4 are probably the best examples of this. But as for “look how fun our game is!” goes, this doesn’t work for me. The pre-alpha video didn’t inspire a lot of confidence in me, but maybe it will get better. At least the graphics are improving a bit, though those animations…oof. Do something interesting with the camera, or cut to multiple shots/angles as if you were watching one of the movies. At least give us some animation of the teens’ faces so we can see the fear/shock/dread in their eyes. Give them something resembling humanity so that the kills have some kind of emotional weight or…oh, multiplayer only is it? Oh well, nevermind…

  4. Spacewalk says:

    This looks totally awesome! I also hope that there will decapitation but I am more hopeful that there will be double killing promiscuous teens in tents.

    • KingSnorky says:

      My god, can you imagine the gameplay mechanics there? You and a… uh… friend have to start the “makin’ woohoo” activity which, if successful, gives you some kind of bonus (extra health?), but also alerts Jason to your presence. You need to finish before he shows up for a double kill.

      • klops says:

        You could introduce Track n’ Field style controls there.

      • Neurotic says:

        I was wondering if there would be any kind of ‘sex attracts death’ element when I saw the video yesterday, but reading now that it’s primarily multiplayer has answered that question for me quite definitively. :D

  5. DutchLaw says:

    I didn’t like that at all… just too much. I can appreciate the whole horror thing, but the witness vs participant thing has a line and what I watched then goes too far.

    Maybe it brings back memories of how @#$%-scared I was watching Friday the 13th etc way back in 198X at the tender age of about 11 or 12.

    What struck me as strange is that watching the countless war-based games, I don’t recall ever having quite the same reaction. I suppose on that note, the designers hit the mark: I definitely had the horror vibe from the pre-Alpha vid and the grossness of the PAX 2mins clip.

    • Freud says:

      Friday the 13th always was so over the top when it came to kills. This seems a bit more nihilistic and violence pornographic.

      But it’s early Alpha and they have plenty of development to do and hopefully will find the right tone. Slasher movies/games should be over the top gory but if there isn’t a knowing wink to the audience it can easily just feel uncomfortable.

  6. Freud says:

    I bet they’re a bit sad that Dead by Daylight beat them to the punch/stab/decapitation.

  7. Plank says:

    “It’s a multiplayer game, in which you play either as a potential victim or as Jason.”

    So hide-and-seek?

  8. ChiefOfBeef says:

    Nice to see damn millennials take a deserved beating.

    “It’s set in the 80s, these teens aren’t millennials; there were no millennials back then”

    That’s right- because Jason killed ’em all.

  9. rubmon says:

    Well, the good thing about these games is that grow old really fast and tend to fall into oblivion a few weeks after release, without really amount to anything other than eye rolling material to anyone interested in decent game design.

  10. iMad says:

    I’m digging the idea. Still having a blast playing as killers in DbD and would love to see a different take on this asymetrical splater house genre.

  11. Tiax says:

    Those animations are impressively bad.

  12. tonicer says:

    Eh the whole running away from a crazy dude got boring after amnesia … why not add the option to fight the crazy dude? It should be very difficult but possible … it looks like the victims aren’t even trying to fight back. Normally a person would kick and scream and flail at the attacker.

    • Archonsod says:

      Given it mentions ‘take the fight to Jason’ as one of the potential means of survival I’d assume fighting him is indeed an option.

  13. Michael Fogg says:

    The headline made me spit porridge on my screen

  14. Moonracer says:

    That generation of horror movies was almost all a showcase of top quality gore effects thinly woven with plot, T&A. But the deaths in these videos are at best on par with okay games. I was not wowed.

    But if the actual game is fun for those who end up playing it then whatever.

  15. NailBombed says:

    I’d be much more interested in a game of this type with the licence of A Nightmare On Elm Street – provided it stuck to the Nancy trilogy, One Three and Seven(New Nightmare). Also there’s more scope to do more stuff in a dream/nightmare world which could change from what seemed to be reality to creeping dreamlike tension with Freddy stalking you.

    • spaced says:

      I had a similar notion as well. So much could be done with that, but I think it would be much better suited for single player. Perhaps some survival elements of trying to find No-Doze pills or coffee to stay awake, but only staving off sleep for a limited time, because you have to fall asleep eventually. I’m sure Robert Englund would be happy to do the voice over.

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