Monday, January 19, 2015

The War of Survival Horror: Friday the 13th vs Last Year.

I'll just be sitting here, waiting for my sequel....

It's been almost 26 years since the last Friday The 13th game had made the rounds, and let's face it. the NES version was spectacular in it's crappiness. To be honest, during that time there had been nothing really there to take advantage of the robust history of the series, save for a few fan-made games here and there. Then last year we were hit with an amazing game that showed a lot of promise. This game was called, ironically; The Last year.  

Last year featured a Predator/Prey system where four five people play as the archetypal student characters like the Jock (melee type) The Popular girl (The scout character), and the Nerd (Tech). The fifth player assumes the role as the predator and has a choice of multiple murderous avatars that stalk the five players and can spawn anywhere in proximity of the victims, as long as he stays out of their sights long enough to do so. Needless to say, this is a brilliant system, and it's a wonder why people never came up with the idea in the first place.


Flash forward to a few days ago, when Crystal Lake Entertainment came forward with this EGM exclusive stating that they're working on a  Friday the 13th game lead by the director of the original film (Sean S. Cunningham) that actually features the same similar predator/prey mechanic and a October 2015 release date. Here's the blurb from that.

"Friday the 13th, the genre-defining blockbuster horror franchise, is set to thrill and terrify a whole new generation of digital fans as the incomparable, unstoppable Jason Voorhees returns to videogames for his first solo outing in over 25 years, EGM has exclusively learned.Currently in development, Friday the 13th will reportedly be an asymmetrical, co-operative and competitive multiplayer predator/prey horror experience that pits a small group of resourceful survivors against a single player in control of the immortal, relentless slasher icon.This will be the first official Friday the 13th licensed game to feature the hockey mask–wearing, machete-wielding psychopath since players last faced off against the infamous Jason on the NES back in 1989.

The new game, tentatively titled Friday the 13th, is in development for multiple platforms for an October 2015 release. The game’s lore will not only reference elements from the classic film franchise, but also incorporate content and themes from the upcoming Friday the 13th television series.“With a new television series on the horizon and plans announced for the thirteenth installment of the film franchise, we felt the timing was right to finally explore Jason, Camp Crystal Lake, and the rest of the Friday the 13th story in interactive form,” explains Sean S.

Cunningham, creator of the original film that is credited by many as the genesis of the slasher/horror genre.  “We have some exciting new ideas for a game that supplies plenty of replay value, while delivering the kinds of thrills and scares that fans of the franchise have come to expect.”Cunningham hints that an experienced game studio has taken the reins of the title’s development and will be announced in the coming weeks."

After checking the comments, I noticed something odd. One of the commenters mentions that the Kickstarter for Last Year was taken down. I went to Last Year's page and this is what I found.


So what's the deal, here?  Is Crystal Lake Entertainment so intrigued with Last Year's successful Kickstarter run that they decided to take their property for themselves? Due to the likeness of the prominent killer character bearing a close resemblance to Jason Voorhees, and Camp Silver Lake being too close in name to Camp Crystal Lake, This is a likely possibility. Though, with that being said,  No one really has a trademark on masked Killers, and Let's be brutally honest, Friday the 13th was made to capitalize on the success

of John Carpenter's Halloween, so despite one or two similar elements, that's kind of nit-picking to say the least.  The thing that makes this sound so petty is that there's a distinct possibility that if Last Year released and was successful, and Friday released and failed, this would put Crystal Lake in a bad spot, and do very little to push the hype of the upcoming horror movie reboot and television series. So they have a lot riding on the property, this time around.

Also who is this "Experienced developer" that Cunningham is hinting towards? I'm betting that most of the Gamers out there are hoping that it's Turtle Rock, but they're fighting the clock on trying to get Evolve out the door for a February 10th release so that's on the bottom of the "possibilities" pile.  Personally, It's a hopeful possibility that Crystal Lake Entertainment is actually working with the development team that's working on Last Year to cosmetically enhance the content into an official Friday the 13th game, and are using the "IP dispute" as building a wave of hype as momentum. Well at least that's the best case scenario for this ordeal.

Unfortunately, with all this unpleasant business, it just leaves a sour taste in one's mouth; I hope that CLE and the devs of Last Year can come to some sort of agreement that works out in every one's best interest. Most of all, I hope that CLE tries to be civil enough to not let the nature of Hollywood business ruin an opportunity to put out a decent game that will overcome the notoriety of LJN's NES tragedy, which despite it's failings is a cult classic.

But as we've always known from other endeavors. Time will likely tell..

Game On!

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