VIDEO GAME REVIEW: FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE GAME

Friday the 13th: The Game
Friday the 13th: The Game

By Nick Durham

After what felt like an eternity of waiting, the eagerly anticipated Friday the 13th: The Game has finally been unleashed upon the masses. Developed by Illfonic and published by Gun Media, Friday the 13th: The Game was originally being developed as an independent title called Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp before Gun Media managed to acquire the Friday the 13th license and have a successful Kickstarter campaign as well. After seeing numerous screenshots, test footage, and hearing tons upon tons of hype; does the game deliver the goods and manage to be as entertaining and visceral as we’ve all collectively hoped it would be? Well quite frankly, yes and no. 

Played through a third person perspective, Friday the 13th: The Game is a survival horror, multiplayer scramble to hide, survive, and escape Camp Crystal Lake from our favorite hockey-mask wearing slasher. If playing as one of the camp counselors, it’s up to you to run and hide, and be resourceful as well. This ranges from setting traps for Jason, finding weapons to combat him (and run), repair the cabin phone to call the police, as well as repair a car and boat in order to escape. If you play as Jason however, your sole mission is to kill all the horny, dope smoking teenagers you come across. Jason has special abilities, including stalking, shifting (AKA, managing to appear out of nowhere), and sensing out where the counselors are hiding. 

I will say first and foremost that after being able to spend enough time playing as both the various counselors (who thus far all seem to control and play the same) and as Jason Voorhees, I can honestly say that I’ve had more fun playing as the counselors believe it or not. Surviving and managing your resources is much more enjoyable than playing as Jason, which is a major disappointment. The first few times I played as him, I realized how much of an absolute fucking chore it can be in terms of the way Jason controls and stalks around. Maybe I need some more time with him to fully grasp it, but after a variety of sessions playing as him, I can safely say I’m not impressed.

Now as for the rest of Friday the 13th: The Game, it manages to be both pretty fun and insanely frustrating. I downloaded it at launch for my PS4, and saying it took forever to actually be able to get on to the servers and play a match is saying it lightly. This wasn’t much of a surprise considering video games are meant to be defective at launch it seems these days, but the fact that this continued for a while afterwards is almost inexcusable. Not to mention the fact the game itself is loaded with glitches, bugs, and lag time across the board. Although there is plenty of fan service thrown into this game (the various Jason looks, Thom Matthews as Tommy Jarvis, Kane Hodder providing motion capture work), too much of this game just feels flat out incomplete to justify laying down 40 fucking dollars for it.

Apparently eventually there is going to be a single player mode of Friday the 13th: The Game to be released at some point, which would be nice considering that the multiplayer-only aspect of the game thus far only has so much lasting appeal, and like I said, it isn’t really worth laying down 40 bucks for that alone. With that being said, maybe when that mode gets added, and maybe if some other aspects get tuned up, this game could be something really, really special. Until then, it sadly isn’t. Still, it has enough fun elements to be worth checking out, just don’t expect anything spectacular out of it.

Rating: 3/5

VIDEO GAME REVIEW: DOOM (PC, PS4, XBOX ONE)

doom132

By Nick Durham

I don’t play many first person shooters. I know they’ve been all the rage for the past decade or so, but it’s a genre I grew out of as I left my teenage years behind. In my youth, I played the shit out of classic FPS games like Wolfenstein 3D, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, and of course, Doom. Doom more than any FPS franchise holds a special place in my heart, mostly because it was the first game of its type that I actually played to completion. I thought it was so awesome back then; the moody graphics and music, the demonic enemies, and the fact that you were literally descending into Hell itself. What was there not to love about it?

 

As the years (and decades) followed, we’d get some sequels and expansions here and there, all of which were quite enjoyable in their own right. But now here we are in 2016, and that big mother fucker of FPS games is back. The new Doom is a wonderful experience, and that’s saying it lightly. Mixing original Doom elements with some rebooted aspects, the story of Doom revolves around the standard research facility on Mars being overrun by demons from Hell. Our nameless hero (always referred to by gamers as Doomguy, but here’s he’s the Doom Slayer…that’s metal as fuck) is put back in action to combat them, and holy fucking hell does he. The combat and shooting elements are so chaotic and nerve-wracking I can’t really put it into words. Mowing down the denizens of Hell is so fun and satisfying, and combined with the rollicking heavy metal soundtrack, you’re going to have a great time.

 

Graphically speaking the game looks amazing. The level of detail on the grotesque beasts you’ll face is a work of art. The game controls tight and the classic weapons you remember have received various upgrades and are an extreme delight to use. The game’s environments are dark and combined with the monstrous enemies can be downright terrifying to navigate through. There’s a healthy amount of upgrades as well, so the gameplay always feels rewarding as you keep moving on through the game.

 

If there’s any drawbacks to Doom, it’s that the game’s multiplayer modes leave a little bit to be desired. Now like I said, I don’t play FPS games too much these days, but these kind of games rely on their multiplayer for replayability. While there is a decent selection of modes and such, it doesn’t feel quite as impactful as the game’s single-player campaign. That being said, some of the single-player’s mission objectives get repetitive. That isn’t really that much of a drawback, considering in every Doom game to come out before you were always pulling switches and finding keys for locked doors, etc. One really cool thing featured here is a Snap Map, which is pretty much a tool to edit and create your own maps to play and share with other players. This adds a lot to the overall package.

 

To wrap things up, Doom is truly a great time. It isn’t perfect and you may not love it as much as I do, but then again, I’m a Doom guy through and through. It’s available now for PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox One; and it deserves your time and attention. Now stop reading this, pick this up, and go straight to Hell.

 

Rating: 4.5/5