For those who have been living under a rock or doesn’t follow me on Twitter, in October 2015, Gun Media and Illfonic teamed up with Sean S. Cunningham to bring back Jason to the gaming world. The developer launched a Kickstarter campaign which was funded successfully. At that time, the game was tentatively scheduled to release this Fall.
Just to put you guys in context, Friday the 13th is set to be an asymmetrical multiplayer game where one player would play as Jason and 7 others would take control of counselors who would need to find a way to work together in order to escape certain death at the hands of Jason. The developers indicated that there would be a few ways to leave Crystal Lake, but all of them would require teamwork. While possible to escape single handedly, it would be near impossible. Gun Media also hinted at a possibility of taking Jason out, but obviously didn’t go into details.
One of the main gripes players had about Jason’s newest venture into the gaming universe was the lack of single player. The Kickstarter campaign had a Single player stretch goal which was unfortunately not met. While it was clear from the start that the game’s main focus would be 1 vs 7 multiplayer, gamers kept knocking on Gun Media’s door about it. While the idea of playing as Jason and hunting down your friends and strangers, Turtle Rock’s Evolve proved somewhat a failure if based solely on multiplayer. As time goes by, even with additional content, some players could grow tired and just move on leaving lobbies as empty as Crystal Lake after Jason gets his way with dumb teenagers.
A few weeks ago, Gun Media took to IGN to announce that the game would be delayed into 2017 to add single player content. While not a full story mode like experience, Friday the 13th will feature single player along with Tommy Jarvis, the same man that confronted Jason twice in the movies and survived!
Here’s what Wes Keltner of Gun Media had to say:
“The first thing people are going to read here is ‘delay. We want everyone to be assured that coming to our decision to delay was no easy matter, but we believe that the positives far outweigh the negatives. We’ve been reading day in and day out on our social media feeds that single player and Tommy Jarvis were in such a demand that we couldn’t ignore our fans. After securing funding, we’re here to tell you that it is a reality and we’re making this game even bigger. It sucks that there’s a delay, but the wait won’t be too long and it’s going to offer more for fans in the long-run!”
While like any gamer, I’m often times disappointed in delays, this time it’s different. Why? Because I’m happy and relieved that Gun Media and al. have listened to the fans and decided to work a way to include some sort of single player content. I won’t hide the fact that I plucked in over 300$ US in this game and I want to be able to fully enjoy it. Buying a multiplayer game only and not being able to play after a few months due to lack of players can be frustrating.
While admittedly, I’m a bit disappointed that single player won’t be available right off the bat, it goes to show that Gun Media has listened the franchise’s fanbase. Obviously, when handling a long running and well-known franchise with a dedicated fan base, it’s bound to get rough as fans will want the most truthful experience possible. Besides, I mean, how cool will be it be to play as Jason?
So why is it a good thing? Simple! It ensures some sort of longevity to the game. Sure, some might say multiplayer ensures a game’s longevity. While true in some cases (i.e. Call of Duty games), it can prove detrimental to a game (the aforementioned Evolve). Today’s gaming industry is all about that newest game. There’s a reason most niche games are single player experiences: they don’t have a big enough fanbase to warrant multiplayer content or multiplayer only experiences.
Before jumping into multiplayer, players will have a chance to experiment with the game’s controls and maps in order to better prepared when playing with other players. Having an idea as to what to do and where to go in a map will allow a team of seven players to play a bit more strategically. Sure, it beats the purpose of the movies where counselors randomly running left and right under stress, but then again, after a few hours online, players will know the maps by heart.
Another benefit of adding single player: Trolls. Whether it be Battlefield, Call of Duty, Gears of War or even Evolve, there will always be trolls that’ll jump into games to ruin other players’ fun. In this case, if someone ruins your fun, you’ll at least be able to enjoy the game solo.
So there you have it! While Friday the 13th the game was easily my most anticipated game of the year for 2016, I’m happy to confirm that it has become my 2017 most anticipated game. Since 1989, I, and many other gamers, waited for a more accurate Friday the 13th experience. We waited 27 years; what’s a few more months? See you guys at Camp Crystal Lake next Spring!