Jason Has Risen
The highly anticipated video game adaptation of Friday the 13th has arrived. After a very successful Kickstarter campaign and a lengthy development cycle, fans around the globe are now able to murder camp counselors as their favorite cinematic slasher. Or be brutally murdered by him.
The game’s launch hasn’t been without its issues; the biggest being players having a difficult time finding and staying in matches. The developers at Gun Media have been addressing these problems and seem to be making strides to improve the situation.
Despite these significant issues, fans do seem to be enjoying the game. It has captured the tone of the venerable series, and fans have already started looking to the future. As with any major video game release, the post-launch topic of conversation always becomes “what’s next?”, and Friday the 13th is no exception to that rule.
With a vast library (12 films worth) of characters, locations and instruments of death, the potential for downloadable content is huge. As a huge fan of both the film series and the game, I’ve selected some key additions that will make virtual trips to Crystal Lake even better.
Quick Note: The developers have stated outright that there are rights issues preventing them from using any content from Freddy vs. Jason or the 2009 reboot. Therefore, I’m keeping anything from those entries off of this list (although I wish we could have Trent).
Friday the 13th: The Game already includes some of the most iconic iterations of Jason Voorhees in the series history (and a brand new one), but a few key versions and alternative killers are currently missing.
Pamela Voorhees –
As the original slasher in the series, Pamela deserves a larger role than a voiceover and an end-of-match cameo (as a severed head, no less). However, including Pamela has its own unique set of issues. Essentially, she can’t play like any other killer in the game. Pamela would need to be stealth-based, as opposed to the brute-force approach of her undead son.
A re-jigging of maps/objectives and some serious changes to killer attributes is necessary to make Mrs. Voorhees a threat to all seven counselors. Removal of musical cues and her location on the map would assist in accomplishing this. Additionally, the amount defensive weapons per map would need to be decreased, as Pamela would take a great deal more damage from them. Even increasing the tasks necessary for escape could benefit these customized matches.
Weaponry-wise, Pamela comes equipped with her trusty bowie knife. Most of her action in the first film utilizes this iconic blade, as does the original theatrical poster. Despite some serious concerns about the feasibility of adding her as a character, Gun Media and Illfonic have teased the potential of adding her in the future (her addition was a stretch goal on Kickstarter).
Adding Pamela Voorhees is simply a no-brainer. She’s the original killer in the series and her inclusion would offer up a totally different gameplay experience.
Jason (Part IV) –
Friday the 13th Part IV: The Final Chapter is my personal favorite film in the series. This version of Jason’s inclusion on this list is a direct result of that. At first glance, this costume looks very similar to Part III, minus a wound or two. It would be understandable to skip this entry entirely due to these similarities, but he should definitely make the cut (no pun intended).
Here’s a plan for Part IV that changes everything. Instead of coming equipped with a set weapon at the start of the game, this Jason can use the various weapons scattered across the map. Anything he picks up turns into a method of murder.
The fourth entry in the series showed off Jason’s wide array of skills, never killing anyone the same way throughout the entire film. Let’s include this craftiness as an aspect of the character, allowing players added options when choosing their slasher.
This brand new Jason skill, combined with increased destruction and the ability to run would make Part IV a very formidable opponent.
Roy Burns –
Let’s be frank here, Roy Burns isn’t exactly beloved by most fans of the franchise. In fact, the fifth installment of the series was much-maligned upon its release, if purely for its lack of Jason Voorhees. In recent years, the film has been receiving a bit of a re-evaluation; garnering some new fans and working its way higher on the countless “Friday the 13th ranking” articles on the internet. This film deserves more love, and so does its maniacal paramedic/top notch Voorhees cosplayer.
Roy isn’t the unstoppable monster that Jason is, and his stats should be representative of that. He’s essentially a regular guy in a hockey mask. For that reason, Roy’s weaknesses include lower grip strength, lessened water speed and a lower destruction rate.
However, Roy is also a bit of a pioneer in regard to his killing methods (leather strap, garden shears, etc.) and he comes equipped with more traps, throwing knives and a more effective stalk power. He’s a sneaky fellow and more than makes up for his lack of superpowers with the handy tools at his disposal.
Speaking of those handy tools, Mr. Burns wields a meat cleaver like no killer before him. He used this deadly cutlery to great effect when he dispatched the ever obnoxious “Jr.” and his mother Ethel. Plus, it’s a weapon that’s different enough from those already in the game to offer up some interesting new kills.
Roy also brings a unique style. His blue-striped mask and jumpsuit combo set him apart from other killers visually. For all the aforementioned reasons (especially his keen fashion sense), Roy Burns deserves a DLC spot on the roster.
Uber Jason (Jason X) –
Jason in space! This imposing version of the masked killer would make a great addition to the already excellent roster. He has a great look, including a slick chrome mask and metal appendages. He’s a little larger than your average, earth-bound Jason; giving him a hugely imposing presence. He even has a badass looking space-machete!
Major strength and sense upgrades are be a must, with reduced traps and morph being drawbacks. Getting melee attacked by this guy should be a near instant kill. If you hear him nearby, death is soon to follow.
Though he should be available to play on any map, Uber Jason could use the Grendel spaceship map (see below for more details) to create movie-accurate kills. The team behind the game even included some of the kills from the film as stretch goals during the Kickstarter campaign (liquid nitrogen, please).
Jason (NES Version) –
Springing out of the “classic” LJN video game, this glow-in-the-dark Jason may not make for the stealthiest choice, but he’d make up for it with nostalgia filled charm and some great stats.
There has been some fan controversy surrounding the Kickstarter-exclusive “Tom Savini Jason”. Originally labeled as a downloadable skin, it turned out that this Jason variant actually has unique stats and perks. Some fans have cried afoul, stating they would have purchased the character if they realized just how different he played.
In an effort to appease these fans while also maintaining the exclusivity of the Kickstarter-only skin, why not make NES Jason a carbon copy of “Savini Jason” from a stat perspective? Plus, selecting the pitchfork as his weapon of choice would be a fun touch, as this was (in) famously the most powerful weapon in the original NES video game.
As a final touch, have the musical cues lifted directly from the 8-bit era. Imagine running from Jason in fear as the NES theme blasts through your speakers. That may actually be creepier somehow.
Maps are always an integral part of any online multiplayer experience. Variety is key in keeping games like Friday the 13th fresh while maintaining a strong player base through the games life cycle. Luckily, the series has plenty of great locations to utilize.
The Grendel –
The Grendel from Jason X is a large, multi-level spaceship, and the perfect setting for a unique match that would break up the usual woodsy settings of the series. The ship houses a number of interesting environments, including a holodeck, a nanomite healing chamber and a creepy engine room.
Environmental kills could include airlocks, liquid nitrogen baths and more electronic panels than you can shake a machete at. If that isn’t enough reason to get excited for the potential of a space-themed map, imagine the twists on escape options.
You could hail the “space police” led by the quintessential badass, Sgt. Brodski; to pick you up for rescue. Alternatively, lifeboats could be available and function similar to cars on existing maps. And as an added bonus, instead of calling in Tommy Jarvis; you could recruit Kay-Em 14, the ship’s trusty android.
This was yet another Kickstarter stretch goal teased by the creative team. Here’s hoping it shows up.
Pinehurst Halfway House –
This map may not seem like much at first, but it has serious potential. Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning shows us a lot of the campus and surrounding areas, and the variety that the developers could make use of is quite impressive.
You could take a trip over to Ethel’s farm, and potentially hide out in the chicken coop. Or take a ride over to the local diner, where useful items may be found behind the counter. Best yet, you could take a trip to Demon’s trailer park, where you could bob and weave in between trailers to avoid Roy’s attacks.
The first of two maps based on Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan. This map would encapsulate a handful of locations inspired by The Big Apple.
Players could navigate through a dock/port area, where a boat could be taken for escape. Or take a visit to an underground subway terminal, where key items could be found within its cars. Throw in a handful of alleyways and Manhattan would make for an interesting and unique location.
The Jarvis House –
This iconic location from Part IV would make a great, multi-storied environment for looting, hiding out or dispatching your victims. Coupled with a secondary house next door (dancing Crispin Glover not included) as well as the local beach, this is a map that would stray away from the camp setting, while maintaining the rural feel the series is known for.
As an added bonus, revisiting memorable locations like Tommy’s special effects workshop and the dirt road where a certain banana eating hitchhiker met her demise would be a lot of fun for longtime fans of the series.
Maybe Gordon, the Jarvis’ faithful dog, could make a cameo. Picture yourself playing the map, when suddenly Gordon just dives out of a random window and takes off through the night (he really was the smartest character in that film).
The Lazarus –
The graduating class of Crystal Lake High took their final voyage on this sprawling cruise ship. The Lazarus’ tight corridors, vast engine rooms and wide open outdoor areas would add even more variety to map selection.
Escape methods would include taking a lifeboat to safety or calling the Coast Guard. The latter option would work nearly identical to calling the police at the various campground maps.
The water bound setting would also make for great environmental kill options (man overboard, anyone?).
The counselors currently available in the game provide a fun mix of the classic archetypes found throughout the films. Though wholly original creations, many of the kids reference classic characters from the movies.
DLC skins for the existing counselors that directly represent these characters would be great additions for diehard fans. Existing stats are kept, but voices are modified to use the original actors from the films.
- Violet (Part V) – AJ Mason
Her dance skills are only rivaled by Crispin Glover.
- Shelly (Part III) – Eric Lachappa
The nerd who gave Jason his hockey mask.
- Chris Higgins (Part III) – Jenny Myers
Part III’s final girl, probably a little insane.
- Julius (Part VIII) – Brandon Wilson
- Steven (Part XI) – Chad Kensington
The man who watched Jason go to hell.
- Rob (Part IV) – Kenny Reidell
A mysterious tracker searching for his sister.
- Ginny (Part II) – Vanessa Jones
Part II’s final girl, wore Pamela’s sweater first.
- Ali (Part III) – Adam Palomino
Badass biker with a heart.
- Terry (Part II) – Tiffany Cox
The classic “naughty girl”.
- Rennie (Part VIII) – Deborah Kim
Part VIII’s final girl, though not a great swimmer.
Tommy Jarvis is currently the only call-able support in the game. Adding a few more legendary characters from the series history and randomizing who shows up would throw another element of surprise in the mix.
Tommy comes stacked with a health spray, a map, a radio and full level 10 stats on all of his perks. His superpower is essentially coming prepared. For the heroes below, I’d like to add some more distinct attributes/powers.
The telekinetic heroine of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood would make a great addition as a support character. She’s a fan favorite with a bevy of options for gameplay.
Tina would be able to use her telekinesis to pick up items and weapons from a distance and give them to other players. Her powers would also be put to good use when repairing cars, boats or fuse boxes. Within a certain radius, she could repair these key components from the safety of a cabin.
Tina would also have the ability to open and fortify doors/windows with her mind. Maps would need to be updated with certain moveable objects, which could be used to attack Jason from a safer distance.
Reggie the Reckless –
Known for his keen fashion sense (red tracksuit is GOAT) and his high pitched scream, Reggie is another memorable character that could offer up some interesting twists on the gameplay formula.
Reggie wouldn’t be killable (doesn’t count for or against Jason) and uses the scream mentioned above to help players locate Jason. When Reggie unleashes that shrill, ear-numbing sound near Jason, the killer appears on other player’s mini-maps.
Being within a set area near Reggie also gives players an instant stealth boost. Reggie was a crafty little guy in Part V, and he can use this to great effect as a support character.
Creighton Duke –
Jason Goes to Hell’s eccentric bounty hunter arrives to back up our hapless counselors. Duke was a very memorable character in an otherwise maligned film. He’s an expert on Jason and a skilled tracker, hunter and fighter.
In addition to coming with the standard rifle, Creighton uses his insane ramblings to the benefit of other players. Similarly to how counselors can currently use Pamela’s sweater to stun Jason for a short time, Duke has his own stun mechanic.
Using his famous “hot dog through a donut” line, Duke confuses Jason. Duke is able to use this three times per match, allowing ample time for others to put some distance between themselves and Jason.
Kay-Em 14 –
Exclusive to the Grendel map, everyone’s favorite Jason X android kicked Jason’s ass all over space. Sure, she got her block knocked off by Uber Jason later in the film, but she more than packed a punch.
Key-Em arrives on site with her space-uzis. These guns may not pack as much of an individual wallop as the current rifle does, but they could stun Jason briefly, and have significantly more ammo.
She also boosts all nearby counselors stats by two. Just knowing they have a powerhouse on their side gives the kids a little morale boost, bumping up their stats and giving them more of a fighting chance.
Standard matches are great, but they could become tiresome after a while. Even the heartiest of players will eventually feel fatigued, but some of these added game modes may offer up some much needed pallet cleansers.
Counselors are dropped on the map, much like any other game. However, there are no means of escape. The only way to successfully survive the night is to ride out the storm. A countdown timer signifies the path to freedom, and teams will need to work together to survive.
Jason Tag –
The classic game of tag, with a Friday the 13th twist! Seven counselors, one Jason. Every time Jason kills a counselor, that player becomes the killer next. Whoever controls Jason at the end of match is considered the loser. Bonus points for never being killed during the match.
Hidden Killer –
No Jason needed. This match type has eight counselors working together to escape, with one working to take the rest out. Only the killer player knows who they are, and must work to trick fellow counselors into trusting them before taking them out.
Hardcore Mode –
Upping the ante to the traditional match, Hardcore Mode makes survival all the more difficult. No mini-map for counselors, no musical cues for Jason and heavier damage taken when wounded. This one is not for the faint of heart.
All-You-Can-Slash Mode –
Randomly dropped into a map as Jason, the player must take out as many counselors as possible within the time limit. Counselors continue to spawn in after killed, giving Jason more opportunities for murder.
Regardless of what Gun Media and Illfonic decide to add to Friday the 13th: The Game, fans will certainly be looking forward to the future. With the right amount of variety, this game could have a long lifespan and a dedicated player base behind it.