There haven't been many Friday the 13th video games over the years and this one wasn't published by LJN so it must be good. Right?
Friday the 13th: The Game originally released a couple of years ago and it's finally available for Nintendo Switch via this nifty new Ultimate Slasher Edition. I haven't played the original but it looked fun despite its less than stellar reviews. Now that I've had a chance to check it out on Switch, I'm happy to say that I wasn't wrong as it is a lot of fun. Basically, you play in online matches where 1 player is Jason Voorhees and the rest are camp counselors. Obviously, Jason tries to murder the camp counselors while they try to escape or if the stars align, they may just be able to kill him after following a very specific series of events. Overall, it's a cheesy and violent dynamic that's a great deal of fun to play online whether you're Jason or a counselor and there is genuine tension no matter who you're playing as.
The online matches are even more enjoyable if you manage to get a good group of folks together. Once, the player who was Jason just wanted to hang out with everyone and whenever someone attacked him, he'd kill them. It made me laugh out loud; especially after I shot him in the face only for him to say "What was that for? That wasn't nice!" then he proceeded to violently murder me. What makes the gameplay even more fun is the fact that there are a lot of gameplay mechanics in play that allow for many different strategies. For example, you can call the police, fix a car to drive away, place bear traps for Jason, and utilize various items as weapons. Meanwhile, Jason has some interesting abilities that help him hunt the counselors which unlock as each match progresses.More Jason Voorhees - Friday the 13th: Killer Puzzle Review
All of that being said, the controls are very clunky and initially annoying to deal with. However, you do get used to them after a while and once you see others online struggle with moving their characters around, it stops feeling as frustrating because everyone's in the same boat. Controlling Jason is especially tricky because he has so many abilities that are oddly mapped to the controller so you really have to practice a lot as him if you want to figure out what he's capable of. Thankfully, the counselors play a lot more intuitively.
As you play, you'll level up and unlock additional content such as new camp counselors and Jason designs. You can even customize characters by applying perks, changing their clothes, and switching up their emotes. Jason can be customized, too, via equipping different grab kills, weapons, and skins. There are also in-game achievements known as Badges that you'll acquire as you accomplish challenges and you can collect Pamela and Tommy tapes as well which contain dialogue that helps flesh out some of the characters.
Finally, I'd like to discuss a couple more disappointing aspects. First, Friday the 13th: The Game's graphics are mostly tough to enjoy as there's severe texture pop-in, goofy-looking character models, and odd lighting issues. It looks like an average early PS3 game and this level of graphical quality frequently took me out of the experience. Last but not least, the whole formula of chasing camp counselors or running from Jason is highly enjoyable for a few rounds but it definitely gets repetitive so it's best enjoyed in short bursts.
If you're looking for an enjoyable online multiplayer game for Switch then you could do a lot worse than Friday the 13th: The Game Ultimate Slasher Edition. As long as you don't take the over-the-top violence too seriously, it can be a very fun game.
- + Tons of fun to play online, especially when you get a good group together
- + Lots of clever gameplay mechanics
- + Rewarding unlockables and achievements
- - Clunky controls take a lot of getting used to, primarily while controlling Jason
- - Subpar visuals make it less immersive
- - Formula gets repetitive after a while