Remember when you would have that discussion with your friends over how long you would last in a horror movie? Or you would sit and watch a good horror and point to the screen and yell something like ‘Why are you doing that?’ Or ‘don’t go in there, you idiot!’ Or another favourite, ‘Why would you split up? That’s just asking for trouble!’ Does any of that sound familiar? It’s certainly something I have done in the past, and I always smugly thought I’d survive a serial killer because I’m not a moron.
How wrong I was.
For the last few hours I’ve been playing Friday the 13th: The Game from Gun Media. It’s a project that has long been in development. It started off as a survival horror homage and then snowballed into the company acquiring the licence for the actual franchise they were paying tribute to. Crowd-funded across Backerkit and Kickstarter, the game became something of an enigma as to when it would ever be realeased as the promised ‘early 2017’ stumbled into almost midway through the year. Even Gun Media themselves joined in on the fun. A game was coming… we just had to be patient.
Well, I can safely say the game has been worth the wait. After countless delays, I got my code for the PS4 on Friday and despite some little network niggles that soon ironed themselves out, I sat down with my teenage son on one console, and me on the other console (we have two PS4s, don’t judge) and we set out to see just how well we would do surviving a horror movie.
The answer is: terribly.
I’ve had my head crushed in Jason’s bare hands. I’ve had my head and neck smashed into a log cabin. I’ve been split in two by an axe, and had a metal rod shoved through my pelvis. All in the name of good fun. The idea behind the game is players from around the globe each take the role of a counsellor, and one as Jason, and the hunted have to do a series of tasks to escape the supernatural psychopath, whilst the playing portraying Jason does their best to hunt down those who have dared wander into Crystal Lake.
I found myself hiding under the bed and holding my breath (big mistake). I hid in a cupboard, hoping he wouldn’t see me (again, killed). I did this a second time then made a run for it when Jason got his foot caught in my beartrap only to find myself grabbed by the throat. When my son and I eventually found each other we stuck together – this seemed the logical step to do, safety in numbers, but it was only a strange urge to protect my offspring that I found myself charging at Jason with a baseball bat, only to find my partner had left me out to dry and legged it.
It’s an addictive experience. Each time a new game starts up I have these grand plans for surviving. Whether it’s call the cops, repair the car, or fix the boat, unfortunately they all go out of the window as soon as I’m deposited at the campsite. I want to just run and panic as much as the next person. And that’s the fun of this game – you feel like you’re actually in a horror movie. Even after I’ve been killed countless times I find myself watching the other players and yelling at my television. ‘Don’t go that way!’ or ‘he’s right behind you!’ The genuine fear of being stalked is disturbing and thrilling at the same time. It’s even better if you’re playing with people you know. I even had the misfortune to be on the receiving end of my son’s demonic turn as the killer – he showed no mercy.
So next time I feel like telling people exactly how I would survive such a situation I might just learn to shut my big fat mouth.
Time for one more round…