Video Game / Friday the 13th: The Game

Friday the 13th: The Game is a 2017 Survival Horror/Asymmetric Multiplayer game based on the original Friday the 13th film series, released by Gun Media. It was released on May 26th, 2017.

Up to seven players can work together as counselors at Camp Crystal Lake, who try to survive the night while being stalked and killed by the big man himself, Jason Voorhees. At the beginning of each match, the player characters are randomized and one person gets to become Jason, who has a variety of randomized and special abilities (including Villain Teleportation and heightened vision).

The remaining players must work to achieve one of several objectives, which include calling the cops, getting the parts necessary to fix a car and drive out of the area, calling a support character or (if the players are particularly coordinated or diligent) even killing Jason himself!

The game originally began development as a love letter to slasher films called Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp. After the producers received the rights to use the film license from Sean Cunningham (the original creator of the franchise), they raised more than $1.2 million from crowdfunding campaigns.

The game includes contributions from several key participants in the Friday the 13th franchise, including Cunningham, composer Harry Manfredini, effects legend Tom Savini, Tommy Jarvis' actor Thom Matthews and the big J himself, Kane Hodder.

This game has the examples of:

  • Adaptation Distillation: The game is one beautiful melting pot of all things Friday the 13th. The maps are Camp Crystal Lake (Part 1), Packanack Lodge (Part 2), and Higgins Haven (Parts 3 and 4), there's Parts 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 Jason, they're all mocapped by Kane Hodder himself, each counselor is modeled after a character or two from every film, the Jason's Shack and Pamela's Sweater elements from Part 2 are in full swing, the entire soundtrack is composed by Harry Manfredini, and there's Part 6 Tommy Jarvis played by Thom Mathews. Tommy also kills Jason the same way he did in Part 4.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The Pamela Tapes go deeper into Jason's origins, including the reveal that Jason was a Child by Rape, and that Elias Voorhees isn't his real father.
  • Adaptation Origin Connection: One of the Pamela Tapes has her talking to a Dr. Jarvis, and then the following tape reveals that he was planning on naming his first son "Thomas."
  • An Axe to Grind: A possible weapon for the counselors, and three of the Jason skins (Parts 3, 8 and 9) have varieties of it as their weapon. If everything is done correctly, it's one of the weapons that can be used by Tommy to kill Jason.
  • Ascended Fanfic: This was originally going to be an Expy homage to the game before they acquired the license.
  • Asymmetric Multiplayer: With a team of seven as the counselors and one as Jason. However, the creators have said they do intend for a single player mode eventually.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Killing Jason. It is by far the most difficult way to win the game as the counselors and requires an extremely well-coordinated team, but the satisfaction is incredible if it's successfully pulled off.
  • Batter Up!: One of the weapons the counselors can grab.
  • Bear Trap: These can be found and used to slow Jason down briefly, but any careless player can step on them by accident, injuring them and immobilizing them for a moment. Jason also has his own crudely made ones (each version of Jason has a different amount), which can only be used on outdoor ground areas, but they are covered with leaves to conceal them from view, and they hurt the counselors more than the traps counselors set, on top of taking them a bit longer to free themselves.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • In-Universe, this is Tommy Jarvis's reason for showing up: he hears the call for help on the radio and shows up with a shotgun. If all the steps are done correctly, he's capable of killing Jason.
    • Arguably the best time to actually use a weapon against Jason is for these situations. When he's got a victim in a Neck Lift he can't defend himself and a good hit will make him release his victim.
    • Characters such as Jenny or Chad who are physically weak but incredibly lucky with weapons means they have a chance to be an unlikely hero if rushing to save someone else.
  • Boring, but Practical:
    • Pocket knives. Compared to some of the weapons you can find, it doesn't seem like much, but if can be a life saver if Jason has you otherwise dead to rights. Not only can it get you out of what would otherwise be an ensured kill, it stuns Jason and can let you potentially get away. They can also be used to disable Jason's bear traps without activating them.
    • Jogging. It's not as fast or impressive looking as running, but it is often much more practical, due to not burning through stamina nearly as fast as running and being less noisy as well.
    • Firecrackers. Used mainly as a noise distraction for Jason that requires the counselor to quickly run away after activating them, but they have the ability to stun Jason if he's close enough when you use them.
    • On the Jason side of play, throwing knives - particularly for slower versions of him. It's not as impressive as the environmental kills around the map, but it circumvents having to actually catch the counsellors.
  • The Can Kicked Him:
    • It is entirely possible to get killed in a bathroom. You can also hide in an outhouse, and if Jason catches you in it he can instantly kill you by slamming his weapon through the door.
    • One environmental kill Jason can do is drowning a person in the toilet.
  • Canon Welding: According to the Jarvis Tapes, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, Hatchet, and Shocker all take place in the same universe as Friday the 13th.
  • Car Fu:
    • Subverted. Trying to employ this against Jason will wreck the car as Jason slams his fists against it forcing it to stop. Jason will be completely unharmed by such an attempt and the driver and passengers will be stunned briefly leaving them extremely vulnerable.
    • However, you can run over other counselors, though there is a Video Game Cruelty Punishment -1000 XP, making it certain that you'll earn either no or very little XP for the match.
  • The Cavalry Arrives Late: Played with, as one of the ways for counselors to survive is to call the police, wait for them to arrive and then make their way to where the police are. Of course, Jason can kill the counselors before the cops can get there or even as the counselors make their way to them.
    • The players also very well could call the police much too late in the game, and the match itself will run out of time before they would even have a chance to arrive.
    • There's also the possibility that Tommy Jarvis can arrive just as the final person dies.
  • Chiptune: Retro Jason's soundtrack to fit the game he's from.
  • Creepy Cemetery: The Higgins Haven map has one, which includes an axe, med-spray and Pamela Voorhees's tombstone. Also contains an H20Delirious headstone that says "Died laughing to Death" with a teddy bear placed next to it.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Many, and several of which are taken straight from the movies!
  • Cut Phone Lines: As the phones are needed to summon aid, Jason can destroy the phone lines.
  • Dead Person Impersonation: The female counselors can find Pamela's sweater in Jason's shack, and can use it to pretend to be her like Ginny in Part 2. Doing so will stun Jason in place for a few moments, but will only work once. This is one of the steps to kill Jason.
  • Death by Cameo: Rob Dier appears in the intro for every map... and promptly becomes his first victim.
  • Death-or-Glory Attack: Attacking Jason in any way tends to be this. If you connect and have hit him enough, you might knock him out long enough for you and others escape. However, Jason is much faster on the draw with a weapon and can just grab the counselors mid swing, so it's quite likely to backfire.
  • Death by Sex: Somewhat Defied. While some of the loading screens show this, the creators have explicitly said this wasn't part of the game for several reasons. One being the censors, but the other being they felt it'd be unrealistic for the characters to have sex due to knowing Jason is there by the time the game starts, although one loading screen features a couple on the bed impaled with Part 6 Jason's fence link.
  • Distress Call: Repairing the phone box and calling the police, allowing for an additional means of escape; or making a call on a CB radio, thus summoning Tommy Jarvis.
  • Don't Go Into the Woods: Downplayed. While being in the woods and off a path raises your fear level, you can stop it by turning on your flashlight.
  • Event Flag: One from the films is key to actually killing Jason: he can only be killed after his mask is knocked off. This is the case in every film except the ninth, where Jason's mask is removed at the climax.
  • Final Girl: Finish the game as the Sole Survivor while playing a female counselor, and you're it. Name-dropped in an achievement titled The (Unlikely) Final Girl, which you get for achieving the feat while playing as Tiffany.
    • Averted, however, if you want to actually kill Jason. The process requires at least two counselors, one of whom must be female and one who must be Tommy Jarvis, and realistically you'll need more than just those two.
  • Flare Gun: One of the available items. Not only can it be used as a weapon, it will also reveal Jason's location on the map display of every counselor if he's in the vicinity of the player who shot the flare gun.
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Another possible weapon.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: The Jasons from Parts 2, 3 and 4 are still human, as only Parts VI through IX are undead. While this is reflected in them being less durable than the undead Jasons, they're still very much capable of surviving just as much punishment as their zombie counterpart and they still hear Pamela's voice saying they can never die.
  • Generation Xerox: The tapes reveal Pamela Voorhees and Dr. Jarvis had a long, hostile discussion over Jason's death. Little did they know their children would become archenemies decades later.
  • Gorn: Many of Jason's myriad finishing moves are quite violent and gory, including (but not limited to): using a tree to rip off a victim's arms, tearing out a victim's jaw, punching a victim through the gut, hacking off a victim's arms with a machete, and good old fashioned decapitation.
  • Harder Than Hard: While there are no difficulties in the multiplayer, actually trying to kill Jason is this compared to the normal goal of escaping him. This is appropriate, as Jason in the movies is a nearly impossible to kill juggernaut, and thus he wouldn't be Jason if it was easy to kill him. The process requires immense coordination, is easy to derail, hard to pull off, and Jason will know exactly what you're up to. It often is only achievable when the player controlling Jason lets them do it. For those who want to know:
    1. Tommy Jarvis must be called, and a counselor must die or escape and return as Tommy.
    2. Jason must be unmasked (which takes several direct hits with a bladed weapon, happens randomly, and is no small feat in and of itself).
    3. A counselor must enter Jason's cabin (which instantly alerts Jason to their presence unless they have the mask in their inventory) and take Pamela's sweater. If a male counselor got the sweater, they must drop it so a female counselor can equip the sweater.
    4. Tommy must be armed with an axe or machete.
    5. To deliver the killing blow, the female counselor has to use the sweater while close to Jason. She will pretend to be Pamela, which stuns Jason. Before Jason breaks the stun, another counselor must land a direct hit on Jason, driving him to his knees. When Jason is on his knees, Tommy will gain a special interaction with Jason. Activating it will deliver the deathblow and all surviving counselors immediately win.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: A calendar in-game proves that it is indeed a Friday the 13th.
  • Improvised Weapon: The counselors can use just about anything they pick up as a weapon against Jason, though some are better than others. Jason himself can use various objects for kill moves, though only for kill moves. Part VI Jason uses the piece of fence as a spear he did at first in his film as his Weapon of Choice.
  • Infinite Flashlight: All counselors start off with a flashlight that works for the whole round. While having it turned on can be dangerous due to Jason possibly spotting a counselor trying to sneak through the woods or inside a dark building with no power, having the flashlight on in the outdoors and dark buildings helps reduce a counselor's fear, which makes it harder for Jason to find them with his Sense.
  • Jump Scare: Jason's Stalk ability allows him to mute the music that activates when he appears for a max of three minutes if he stands still, but burns through from movement and using his other abilities. Since the music and its intensity is how players judge their proximity to Jason, denying it to them is a powerful tool, and creates great scares when Jason either appears out of nowhere without any warning or the ability wears off and the soundtrack suddenly goes from silent to "HE'S RIGHT NEXT TO YOU" shrieking violins. According to Word of God, the franchise's usage of this trope was the inspiration for this ability and how it works.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The game's mechanics do this. The player knows how close Jason is because they can hear the music. The killer can weaponize many classic horror tropes, such as Offscreen Teleportation, Joker Immunity, and even the Jump Scare. Even the game's limitations are sometimes suspiciously apropos - when was the last time you saw a horror movie character able to defeat an Insurmountable Waist-High Fence?
  • The Many Deaths of You: There are a wide array of ways Jason can kill people, including (but not limited to): hacking off their limbs before burying his machete into their skull, tossing them through windows, crushing their heads against walls, impaling them on pitchforks, and tossing them into fireplaces and holding their heads in until they're roasted like a marshmallow.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • All of Jason's playable forms are given period-appropriate weapons; Jason Parts 2, 3 and don't have Jason's trademark machete, but instead a pickaxe, a plain ax and a meat cleaver. Part 6 uses a piece of fence as a spear, as he did in his movie. Part 8 has a fire ax, which while not onscreen, he did use to kill a deckhand.
    • Jason's teleportation takes the form of him becoming a mist, similar to how it was portrayed in Mortal Kombat X.
    • One of the ways Jason can dispatch counselors is by yanking them off of a canoe and into the lake, similar to how the decomposing corpse of Jason killed Alice in a dream in the first movie, or how the corpse of Pamela Voorhees killed Chris in another dream in Part 3.
    • How to kill Jason in the final game borrows from a several movies. A female counselor (it won't work with a male) using Pamela's sweater to pretend to be Pamela to stun Jason and then hitting him while he's stunned is from Part 2. Tommy returning to help the counselors is from Part 6, while his kill of Jason is from Part 4. Jason being unmasked before he's killed happens in nearly every movie.
    • Numerous props from the films (like the the teddy bear from The Final Chapter and the occult books from Jason Lives!) can be found in the cabins, along with cork board notices containing things like Sheriff Garris's number.
    • As of the October 13th 2017 (Friday The 13th for realszies) update, which adds both a Part 4 Jason Skin, a new counselor, and a new map based on the Jarvis family property, you can find young Tommy's bedroom, complete with all of his homemade masks hanging out on his desk.
  • My Car Hates Me: There are two cars (a two seater and a four seater) on the grounds that can be used to escape in... but of course both are in no shape to drive and actively have to be repaired. There is also a boat in similar conditions, needing gas and a propeller to work.
  • Oh, Crap!: Each match begins with Jason popping out of the woods and killing a victim as the rest of the counselors huddle around a campfire. Cue Chad looking back and panicking in terror before everyone immediately scatters.
  • Police Are Useless: Subverted. While they can't kill Jason, calling the cops is one of the only ways the counselors are making it out alive. If Jason approaches the pick up point, they'll also shoot him and knock him down, though they can't kill him.
  • Precision F-Strike: On the tapes, the moment Pamela drops her grieving, motherly persona with an f-bomb marks her Sanity Slippage.
  • Psycho Strings: When Jason is close to a counselor, these begin to play, and increase in frenzy and volume as he gets closer and closer.
  • Sanity Meter: The fear mechanic works in this way. The more frightened the counselors are, the more the game messes with you. The counselor's vision becomes impaired in a blurry, "tunnel vision" kind of way, and they stumble more often while trying to run. At maximum fear, your HUD disappears and it becomes much easier for Jason to find you. Your counselor will also pant, whimper, mutter comments to themselves, or scream — all of which Jason can hear.
  • Scare Chord: Counselors who stumble onto something scary (like one of Jason's victims) when not being pursued by Jason get one of these to go along with a sharp increase to their fear.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Basically the only realistic way for counselors to win, either by repairing one of the two cars or the boat and then using the vehicle to exit the map (saves anywhere from 1 to 4 players, depending on the seats available/the driver's willingness to stop to let others get in) or calling the cops and having them cover your escape as you run away.
    • It is possible for players to dive through windows in and out of buildings to escape Jason. However, depending on whether or not the window is open, and what story it's on, this can end very badly. It may be the best option available anyway.
  • Shout-Out: Nothing in-game, but several achievements reference other franchises.
  • Soft Glass: Averted. Going through a window will hurt - it's even one of Jason's kill moves.
  • Sticks to the Back: Grab a gun, and it will seemingly hover behind your character.
  • Summer Campy: It's Friday the 13th, duh.
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: Most prominently seen in Higgins Haven, but scattered in the smaller cabins.
  • Too Dumb to Live: If a counselor attempts to hide and Jason is nearby, the counselor will sometimes say something along the lines of "Please don't come here..." loud enough for Jason to hear them. You can prevent this by holding your breath, but it only lasts a few seconds and when you stop you exhale loudly enough for Jason to hear that. It's an Anti-Frustration Feature for Jason, who can't pinpoint counselor locations beyond "is in this cabin" (and some cabins have a lot of potential hiding places), but really, counselor — shut up!
  • Truer to the Text: The game is much more faithful to the feel of the Friday the 13th movies than previous efforts; the camp counselors are trying to escape Jason rather than trying to find him or get rid of him (although they can kill him with some effort), Jason can commit the creative murders he's known for, and the game's visual filters intentionally try to recreate how one would view a movie or video in the 1980s to make the experience that much closer to the aesthetic of the movies. Also, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 Jason don't use his trademark machete, which he hadn't adopted as his Weapon of Choice in those films yet. Instead they use a pickaxe, an axe and a meat cleaver respectively, weapons that Jason more accurately wielded during those movies. Part VI uses the piece of fence he used for the first part of his film as his main weapon, though his machete is still ON him.
  • Video Game Cruelty Punishment: The game subtracts 1000 XP for 'Betrayal' in any match in which you murder your fellow counselors. That's more than most matches award, total, and XP is used for purchasing new counselor perks and Jason kills and unlocking more Jasons, so it's a harsh penalty.
  • Villain-Beating Artifact: Pamela's sweater is absolutely necessary to defeat Jason and has no real use apart from that (technically you can use it just to stun Jason, but that's a terrible idea because you can't move while using it and the sweater can only be used once per game).
  • Walking Swimsuit Scene: The "Spring Break" costume DLC gives most of the counselors some variety of swimsuit.
  • We Need a Distraction:
    • Turning on radios and lighting firecrackers will set off Jason's Sense, providing a distraction. The drawback is you can't do it from a distance, so you have to set them off and then run.
    • Some groups will have one member distract Jason while the others try to get a way to escape running. How well it works depends on how smart Jason is. Can crossover with Heroic Sacrifice if the distracting player gets killed in the process.
  • Youth Is Wasted on the Dumb: One of the loading screen images shows a good example of this, as well as Death by Sex.