Friday the 13th: The Game has made its way to the Nintendo Switch as a complete package release titled Friday the 13th: The Game - Ultimate Slasher Edition. This new version of the game combines all the game’s DLC and various bug fixes released since the base games launch in 2017. The best yet is that it can also be experienced from anywhere in your house! Jason’s transition to portable hardware is an interesting one, and it is that aspect I want to focus on most.
Play as horror’s most iconic villain, Jason Voorhees, as he must kill all those who are responsible for his mother's death. Set in iconic locations from the films, Jason must use all the power at his disposal to achieve victory. Can you track down all those who have caused you such pain, or will you disappoint mother?
When Friday the 13th: The Game first launched back in 2017, it was a mess. Numerous game glitches and bugs were present throughout every aspect of the game. Graphics and physics would inexplicably break and servers were run on a peer-to-peer model that resulted in terrible lag. The game was also severely lacking in playable content. Fast forward 2 years, and many of these problems have been remedied, or mostly remedied! Glitches and bugs, while still present, are nowhere near as blatant as before. Graphics have been refined and physics, well, they are still an interesting thing.
Thankfully servers have been upgraded, from the shoddy peer-to-peer model to dedicated, resulting in better gameplay experiences! Numerous outfits and more maps were added to the game. A single-player mode was also introduced, making the game feel more like a finished product comparatively. And this is the version of the game that Switch owners now have access to! Everything from the base game to all the additional DLC, minus Kickstarter exclusives, and single-player, are all here on a physical Nintendo Switch cartridge (with a bonus poster!) or through digital download.
Just as a refresher, Friday the 13th: The Game has Jason attempting to eliminate 7 camp counselors as they attempt to escape one of the movie-inspired maps. Each game can play out differently due to the randomness of item spawns, but the basics remain the same. As Jason, you can choose to play as one of his many movie incarnations, each with different powers and abilities to help you kill those counselors. As a counselor, you must escape the immortal killer by escaping the map. You can also work together to kill Jason. Counselors also have their own sets of perks and abilities to help keep them alive.
This basic experience makes the transition to the Nintendo Switch completely intact! Everything from max player count to full map size is all here, which is awesome considering the lack of games in this genre currently on the system! Loading up a multiplayer search has quickly gotten me into matches, where I have had the chance to play as both a counselor and Jason. Playing as Jason can still be pretty hit and miss due to the random selection process, but it is still such a fun experience. During my playtime with the game on Switch, I never really noticed anything different in the gameplay compared to the updated version of the game on Xbox One. Which, sadly, means controls can take some getting used to before they start feeling a little less clunky.
For players who might be new to the game, the challenge mode is a great way to learn the basics of playing as Jason. In total there are 10 challenge missions, each with a variety of objectives ranging from special kills to doing things as a specific iteration of Jason. Kills are still over the top gory, even on Nintendo’s platform. In addition to the challenge mode, a complete offline mode featuring bots is also available to really get you ready to tackle the online mode.
Online mode is where the real fun of the game is found. Gathering up some friends and seeing if you can survive, or kill, is a blast! I was worried at first about how well the game would perform with Nintendo Switch Online, but the dedicated servers didn’t let me down as I kept an average ping of 54 ms for all of my matches. This is a sharp contrast to my buffer matches in Smash Ultimate… Sorry, I had to say it, ‘cause we all know it’s true.
It was obviously going to require sacrifices to the overall visual quality in order to get the Unreal Engine 4 game running on Switch. The visual downgrade can be a bit jarring at first if you are used to playing one of the other versions available. Some of the atmosphere gets lost due to the decreased lighting, but largely remains intact. Textures are less defined and smoothed and the amount of foliage is also decreased. Once you get into it though, it isn’t so bad, and you get used to it quickly. These downgrades also allow the game to run at a consistent framerate. In all of my playtime I never noticed any major drops. A huge win for the Switch port if you ask me!
Unlike visuals, I was happy to see that there weren’t any noticeable sacrifices to the games audio. Voices, music, and sound effects sound great!
Since Friday the 13th: The Game utilizes a leveling system, it will take a long time to unlock every item in the game. Optional tapes can also be rewarded that have some really cool story elements for franchise lore lovers!
What It Could Have Done Better
As far as a port from more powerful systems to Switch goes, there is little to really complain about here.
Friday the 13th: The Game made the transition to Switch with grace, losing little in the process outside of some graphical features. Every core aspect of gameplay is here with solid performance to boot! Anyone looking at possibly picking the game up for Switch can rest assured they aren’t getting an inferior offering. Well, as long as you come to terms with the fact that it isn’t the prettiest version out there!