At the PAX South convention, Gun Media hosted a panel about their upcoming videogame “Friday The 13th.” The game is still in a fairly early stage of development, so there weren’t a whole lot of specific details revealed. However, between what was talked about on the panel and the bits and pieces that Gun Media has shown in YouTube videos, there’s a lot to be excited about.
“Friday the 13th” is in development as a multiplayer only game. One of the stretch goals of their crowdfunding campaign is a set of single player chalenges, but it does not look as though they are going to reach the level of funding required for that. Normally, this would be a huge red flag for me. I much prefer single player games, and a horror atmosphere is hard to maintain when you’ve got seven other people messing around in the same area. However, what Gun Media is attempting with this game seems very appealing to me. One player plays as classic slasher Jason Voorhees while the other seven play as the camp counselors. Jason tries to kill the counselors while the counselors try to avoid Jason and escape from Crystal Lake. This seems simple enough, but there is a little trick to it. The counselors don’t all need to escape together; each one is strictly out to make sure that they survive regardless of what happens to the others. The developers have repeatedly stressed that it is not 1 vs 7 so much as it is 1 vs 1 vs 1 vs 1 vs 1, etc. So while there will be advantages to working together, your teammates will not necessarily have your back if Jason shows up. This unique combination of team play and free for all holds a lot of promise.
The folks at Gun Media seem to have a deep love of the franchise that promises that “Friday the 13th” will be everything a fan could hope for. As previously announced a lot of the film series’ talent is returning for the game. Kane Hodder is reprising his role as Jason Voorhees, effects wizard Tom Savini is returning to help design the game’s brutal kills, and Harry Manfredini is once again composing the music. Gun Media has posted one track from Manfredini’s soundtrack to their YouTube page and it is readily apparent that he has not lost his touch for composing perfect slasher flick music. At their PAX panel, the development team showed just a few highlights of the motion capture sessions with Hodder and his co-stars acting out some of the kill animations, all of which look very promising. Players will even be able to reenact the classic scene from “Friday The 13th Part VII” where Jason grabs someone in a sleeping bag and repeatedly smacks their body against a tree until they’re dead. However, where the creators’ love for the franchise really shines is in the details. At the PAX panel, they discussed the amount of effort that went into recreating Jason’s iconic hockey mask, getting all the little cracks and asymmetries of the original accurately recreated. They also revealed that playing as “different” Jasons, from different films, will allow for slightly different gameplay based on how Jason acted in that film. Even in this early stage there are many little touches that seem to assure that Gun Media are handling “Friday the 13th” with the care that is needed to make a truly great game out of it.
In such an early stage of development, it’s hard to say anything for sure about “Friday the 13th ”, however what has been shown is very promising. The proposed multiplayer system sounds both truly unique and like it would be a lot of fun to play. The development team clearly loves the franchise and knows what makes it tick. It may be a bit premature, but I am very excited for “Friday the 13th,” coming out this October.