This week marks the 22nd annual Electronics Entertainment Expo, or E3 for short. For those of you who aren’t aware, the annual E3 conference is perhaps the most important event of the year for the video game industry. This is the convention where industry giants like Sony, Nintendo and Square-Enix reveal what they currently have in development. There are also usually numerous smaller demonstrations and booths lead by game designers who don’t have the same clout as the bigger names. It’s one of the latter that we’re going to be looking at in this column, because this year’s E3 brought with it the reveal of the first gameplay footage of the upcoming “Friday The 13th” video game, even if it’s only about four minutes of it.

A disclaimer before we get further into this article: the game is still in an early alpha development phase, so it’s still totally up in the air whether anything shown here will actually end up in the game once it’s done.

 

The most obvious thing about the game, as we see it in the footage that Gun Media showed off, is that the game is very dark. As in, it can be a little difficult to figure out what is going on because of how dark the graphics are. In the footage, the developers claim that this is just some sort of problem with the computer that the game is being demonstrated on, so hopefully that is the case. Other than that though, the game looks really good. It’s graphics aren’t the most impressive thing ever, but they certainly hold their own against most other titles of the current generation, especially for an independent game (since those tend not to put much of an emphasis on having up-to-date graphics).

The actual gameplay that they showed looks like it could be a lot of fun. Most of the footage shown focuses on what it’s like to play as Jason Voorhees. One of the Jason’s abilities shown off in this brief video demo is the ability to find where the camp counselors are through a sort of echolocation. This seems like a very good answer to the question of how Jason is actually supposed to find his prey in the middle of the woods at night. However, the skill isn’t perfect; for example, if a counselor player goes into a building, the building itself is highlighted and not the specific position. Also shown off were a few of the environmental kills, where Jason uses features of the environment to kill people. In the video what they showed was Jason using a rock to snap a counselor’s spine, and another kill where Jason smashes a counselor’s head against a wall until their skull caves in.

There wasn’t a whole lot shown off of what it’s like to play as the counselors, but here’s what we know. In response to Jason’s echolocation ability, counselors can do things to cause noise to distract Jason. One example shown in the video is that the player can turn on a radio and then escape out the window. Jason will still register the cabin with the radio as being inhabited because of the noise. The counselor players also apparently have some sort of ability to potentially escape when they’re grabbed by Jason. The mechanics behind this ability weren’t really explained, but it’s nice to know that if you’re playing as a counselor you still have a chance to escape.

So there you have it. We still don’t know a whole lot about the game. What we have seen, however, looks pretty darn good. I for one am still eagerly anticipating this game and any further information released about it.

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