When Gun Media and IllFonic first announced the inclusion of Friday the 13th Small Maps, to give players a smaller variation of each map, none was more skeptical than I. After loving the slow-paced normal maps of Friday the 13th: The Game and noting how the game is already skewed toward Jason’s victory, it seemed that the distance at which Jason had to travel was the one hope counselors had for successful escape.
On the other hand, new players and those without the patience to really get into and learn the intricacies of the game, can easily be turned off by the their first few matches. Since you only have a 1/8 chance of being Jason at any given time, you will likely spend your time as a counselor. And, if you don’t know the proper counselor strategies involving stealth and Fear, you’ll probably spend the game walking around a giant map for five minutes finding nothing, get killed and have to wait another 10-15 minutes for the game to end so you can get your experience.
This and the litany of launch bugs and server crashes led to lukewarm reception and many players dropping the game as soon as the picked it up, while those with the patience to really get into the game created its now-bustling and dedicated community. But Small Maps, which are 40% smaller than normal maps, may finally be the answer that brings those two sides together, and, honestly, this should be the default style map, and all maps made after this should be created in this style.
At first, I was worried that small maps would be only for the most hardcore players, because Jason would be close to everyone and counselors would have little space to run, but, with several hours into these Friday the 13th small maps, it looks like I got it backwards. With Jason’s abilities, he was always insanely mobile and ever-present (almost omnipresent), so the distance between objectives really didn’t matter to Jason. So, moving everything closer together, including the objectives and the parts to complete those objectives, really only helps the Counselors.
So many strategies are more effective. Before you could distract Jason for 3-5 minutes by yourself only to die and find out that your fellow counselors weren’t able to complete any objectives because the maps were so large that the objective parts (battery, gas, phone fuse, etcetera) couldn’t reasonably be found in that time. So now, even if you die, this is going to help your experience as a counselor, because the game will end sooner by either a Jason all-kill or a counselor escape.
The best part is that none of this removes the ability for hardcore players to show off their skills as either a counselor or as Jason. Jason is still so insanely powerful that good Jasons should still be able to kill most or even all counselors in a small map. Meanwhile, good counselors will be able to quickly spot the hot locations to target the objectives, memorize possible locations for each map and use their advanced kiting skills to make it a hard time for Jason while the fellow counselors mount an escape plan. It’s a win-win. All Friday the 13th: The Game needs is a solid sale to bring in scores of new players and actually keep them there.
These small maps are a revelation, and they are really the only way to play Friday the 13th: The Game.