It’s a shame that Illfonic and Gun Media can’t do too much new content with Friday the 13th: The Game anymore due to that stupid lawsuit that went through. But, fortunately, there’s more than enough meat on these bones to still get a worthy multiplayer experience out of it. And now Nintendo Switch owners can enjoy said experience, as the teams have delivered it to the platform with most of its bloody goodness intact. Of course, you get the most mileage out of it if you’re playing as the legendary killer himself, Jason Voorhees…
The game is built on a multiplayer system, with others playing as hapless counselors trying to keep out of the supernatural grip of the unstoppable killer, using whatever they can get their hands on to stay alive just a little bit longer. Jason has a number of abilities he can use to his advantage, such as warping all over the map and even using signature kills to finish off his opponents in style. Meanwhile, the kids simply need to scramble to survive, or use occasional weapons to throw off the merciless Voorhees long enough to maybe live for another day. And that’s a big fat maybe. They can also set traps or use fireworks to distract long enough, but, eventually, he rolls around for more mayhem. Because mother told him so!
The game is best with multiplayer, if only because going up against friends and slaughtering them simply cannot be beat. Fortunately, Friday the 13th holds up significantly well on the Switch. Granted, it depends on the speed of your connection, but if you have a good one, you’ll find that Gun Media’s game connects with very little failure; and it takes no time at all to find a good match. Again, it’s best if you’re in the role of the killer, as being a counselor isn’t nearly as exciting. But running away from Jason does have its moments.
The game also has an offline mode, which is a great addition to the Friday the 13th formula. That allows you to take the game on the road against “bots,” though they aren’t quite as sharp as human players. And when you go up against a robo-Jason, it’s not quite the same. That said, though, it’s still kind of fun, and certainly beats not having the experience at all. And who knows, it may just outshine the upcoming port of Dead By Daylight, depending on what it has in store. (We haven’t tried it yet, so we’ll see pretty soon.)
As for the game’s presentation, it’s not bad. The game looks pretty good on the portable screen, running at a solid frame rate and showing off a good sense of detail, particularly with Jason’s gory kills. The sound design is all right too, especially with the screaming kids and atmospheric effects. However, a word of warning – the game does look kind of fuzzy playing on a television. That’s not to say it’s bad, but it’s definitely a bit on the lower resolution side. If it’s a big-screen affair you’re after, you may be better off with the Xbox One version.
The game plays just fine, but it takes a little bit of getting used to – especially on the counselor side. The kids play awkwardly when it comes to climbing through windows and trying to escape Jason on occasion, at least at first. But after a couple of sessions, you’ll get used to the survival skills and find that it’s a blast to play. However, as Jason, there’s nothing like Friday the 13th. Using his special techniques is a total kick-ass affair, and finally capturing the kids and making them into a bloody mess is something else. Not that we’re psychotic or anything. (We’re not, I swear. Well, Travis is, I’m not.)
Friday the 13th: The Game – Ultimate Slasher Edition also comes with all of its downloadable content on the cartridge (or download), so you don’t have to worry about paying for anything else. It’s a nice variety of stuff, including outfits and characters, though there’s not much else besides that. Still, it’s loaded with horror goodness, if that’s what you’re into. There’s significant value here, particularly for fans of the series.
Kudos to Gun Media and Illfonic for giving Nintendo Switch owners some flavor to savor with Friday the 13th. The multiplayer goodness shines through here, with lots of blood to spill and good matches to get in. And the offline feature isn’t bad either, provided you don’t mind a few sessions as a mostly useless counselor. It’ll hopefully pave the way for a port of Illfonic’s next project, Predator, sometime next year. In the meantime, invite Jason into your game library and let the Crystal Lake party begin. 4/5 Sexual En-counselers.