While it's true that the survival horror genre probably isn't as big now as it was during the heyday of Resident Evil and Silent Hill, horror games - much like horror movies - still possess a rabidly loyal following. Oddly enough though, games based on iconic horror film franchises remain few and far between. Well, indie studio Gun Media is now seeking to change all that, via the just announced Friday the 13th: The Game.
Friday the 13th: The Game began life as an unlicensed Jason-esque horror project called Slasher Vol 1. Summer Camp, before Gun Media was able to secure the rights to the F13 license from franchise creator Sean S. Cunningham earlier this year. This will mark Jason's first venture into the gaming world since 1989's infamously difficult to beat Friday the 13th NES game.
Along with today's reveal of the F13 license and accompanying Kickstarter campaign, came a full trailer for the game, which can be viewed above. The trailer features an as yet unknown voice actress taking up Betsy Palmer's iconic role of Pamela Voorhees - who details the well-known origin story of her murderous son Jason - while atmospheric shots of Camp Crystal Lake recall the classic entries in the beloved slasher series.
In development for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One, the focus of Friday the 13th: The Game will be an asymmetrical (up to) 7 vs. 1 multiplayer experience. As you might imagine, 1 player will occupy the role of the hulking Jason, while the others will play as a group of scared camp counselors. The objectives are simple: the Jason player wants to kill everyone else in horrifically gory ways, while the others want to survive the night.
Unfortunately, those who prefer to game alone may end up being left out. A single-player experience featuring scenarios based on scenes from the F13 films is something Gun Media says it would very much like to do, but will only be able to create if the game's Kickstarter campaign over-performs. The goal needed to complete Friday the 13th's main multiplayer game mode is $700,000 - although considering the project has already raised over $150,000, it's not hard to believe that Jason might end up a millionaire before everything is said and done.
Making Friday the 13th: The Game even more appealing to fans is the participation of arguably the greatest Jason actor of all time, Kane Hodder. Debuting in Friday the 13th Part VII, Kane is the only person to ever play Jason more than once, having remained with the franchise through the space-set Jason X. Hodder will do all the motion capture for Jason's digital incarnation, and will be working with a team of stunt men to create kills worthy of such an enduring character. Also on board is legendary special effects creator Tom Savini, who designed the kills in the first and fourth F13 films.
With Friday the 13th: The Game already having raised nearly a quarter of its budget goal, it seems like the game's planned fall 2016 release isn't really in question. At this point, the main concern for Jason fans should be just how faithful F13: The Game will end up being to the films that inspired it, and whether a single-player experience is in the cards.
Also, on a broader level, one wonders whether Jason will lead the way to other horror icons heading to the digital realm. If this project does well, might we see a Freddy game featuring the voice and likeness of Robert Englund, or perhaps a game pitting the two villains against each other in a rematch from 2003's Freddy vs. Jason? Only time - and profits - will tell.
Friday the 13th: The Game is scheduled to hit PC, PS4, and Xbox One in fall 2016.