Does Friday The 13th: The Game Update Fix Jason? Surviving Pinehurst Night One

Fewer Pocket Knives and Med Sprays Empower Roy Burns and Jason Voorhees
  • Playstation 4
  • Windows
  • Xbox One
  • Action
  • Survival
Beyond balance changes, the new Friday the 13th: The Game update adds Roy Burns from Part V: A New Beginning.
Beyond balance changes, the new Friday the 13th: The Game update adds Roy Burns from Part V: A New Beginning. GUN MEDIA

The best thing I can say about the new update to Friday the 13th: The Game is that Jason Voorhees appeared in my dreams that night after playing. Though I end most nights with a round or two of Friday the 13th: The Game, this was the first time in weeks, maybe months, I can recall Jason pulling a Freddy on me. It wasn’t exactly a nightmare — the specific circumstances are hazy — but I evaded him by the skin of my teeth several times. I think he tore apart my RV.

Jason Voorhees had been made too weak, an emerging consensus said before the update:

“They repeadetly nerfed jason just because some 12 year olds in their mom's basement can't figure out how to play a game correctly. They need to fix this now, it's gotten out of hand. This game is unplayable. Also, before some stupid trolly people say in the comments that I'm bad or something, I'm not. Im actually really good at jason and get a lot of clean sweeps. [sic]

With all the pocket knives now there is actually and literally no reason to grab anymore. Even with only slashing I seem to have more trouble than I used to, with the being hit through doors and stupid shit like that. Also who are these fuckers who run around with 3 med sprays and the double heal perk??? Jesus lol.”

This new update addressed the problem head-on (here’s the full patch notes).

  • Each Jason will gain a small speed increase - this is not so fast as to make it impossible for counselors to escape from a Jason player, but it is enough to make Jason feel more relentless.
  • Each Jason will start with two additional throwing knives.
  • Jason’s grab reach and radius have been reworked - this should help alleviate the issues players are reporting of counselors slipping through Jason’s fingers, while still retaining a fair grab range for counselor players.

Now the update is out in the wild. So… did it work? Is Jason scarier now? Maybe my dreams weren’t enough to convince you. Yes… yes, the update improves the Jason play experience significantly.

The reduction in pocket knives map-wide was the most obvious change. Playing as a counselor, you’ll immediately notice the increase in empty drawers. My Jason play style changed instantly. While I still ran into a pocket knife or two (usually only once per round!), they were no longer common enough to justify an all-slashing kill strategy. Before the update, the majority of my kills would be from repeated melee blows. I’d only ever risk a grab kill if my prey was already heavily injured. But by the end of my very first round as Roy Burns, the Jason copycat killer from Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, I was grabbing with impunity, willing to take the reduced odds of getting stabbed in the neck.

The increased grab reach and radius was the other immediately obvious change when playing as Jason. It’s not as outlandish as it was when Friday the 13th: The Game launched — no lunging forward to grab a counselor behind you — but it is more menacing and does a good job of deterring counselors from dancing too close.

Other changes didn’t feel quite as impactful. More throwing knives are useful, if that’s your bag. The increased running speed was subtle enough that I couldn’t tell much of a difference.

Players might find themselves just as frustrated with what didn’t change. Stunning or knocking down Jason seemed to happen at about the same rate, though that may have only been the case with Roy Burns, who has weakened defense and stun resistance compared to other Jasons.

Beyond the tweaks, the Jan. 30 update adds to Friday the 13th: The Game both Roy Burns and a new map from his movie: Pinehurst Youth Development Center. After only a few rounds, I don’t yet have the ins and outs of Pinehurst, but with only one car and a boat, it felt noticeably smaller and suited to quicker sessions than more sprawling maps, comparable to the Jarvis House map pulled from Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter.

Welcome to Pinehurst.
Welcome to Pinehurst. Gun Media

Overall, the updates to Friday the 13th: The Game substantially realign play in Jason’s favor. Still, it was never entirely about game balance. Before the update, it was entirely possible to slaughter a camp full of counselors. Instead, the frustration was more about the Jason experience. It was frustrating playing as an unstoppable killer and constantly getting stopped. It felt off. The update reduces stop-start annoyances, especially pocket knives, but doesn’t eliminate them. There will still be times Jason gets smashed in the face and has to watch those horrible counselors run off as he struggles to stand. But if killing teens was easy, Jason Voorhees wouldn’t have that machete gutter in his face.

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