With the success of Friday the 13th: The Game, the idea of other horror franchises taking a stab at the video game medium have been spiraling rampantly. Here is a brief discussion of some of the most iconic slasher franchises and how they would not only work as video games, but what new and innovative takes they could stand to offer.
It has been just under three months since IllFonic and Gun Media unleashed the iconic Camp Crystal Lake slasher Jason Voorhees, in all of his contemporary horror and classic terror, to the modern gaming-sphere. It goes without saying that Friday the 13th: The Game is a massive success, rising from its humble origins. What started as a passion project entitled Slasher Vol. 1: Summer Camp, meant only to pay homage the genre, was quickly found to be downloaded world-wide with consistently filled game lobbies.
Given the massive triumph of Jason Voorhees’ return to video games, there is the ever-lurking question of what else could come. It is not uncommon for fans of a medium to dive into the new-and-shiny while almost immediately starting to question what else could be down the pipeline of a similar vein. With this, let’s take a look back at some of the other major slasher icons and how they could carve a place of their own in the world of video games.
First hitting screens in 1978, this classic follows the story of Michaels Myers returning to his home town on Halloween night fifteen years after murdering his family with the goal to finish his surviving sibling. Much like Jason, Michael is a large, imposing figure that stalks the teenagers that stand between him and his little sister, cutting them down with his iconic butcher knife as he goes. Following suit with Friday the 13th: The Game, Halloween could easily focus on the one player picking up the butcher knife and hunting a group of other players throughout various parts of Haddonfield. Unlike Friday the 13th, which relies on a fairly secluded setting, Halloween could incorporate populated areas as both a diversion tactic for the prey and a cloaking mechanism for the hunter.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET
A few years later, slashers took a bit of a pivot and brought us the terrifying Freddy Krueger. With a troubled and sickening past in-and-of itself, Freddy gained the postmortem ability to torment victims, once they have learned of him, through their dreams. With this premise, a game centered in this universe could make use of a timed preparation period. A team of players would essentially be given a head start to plan and set up before “falling asleep” and facing the Nightmare Man himself. Once in the dreamscape, Freddy would hunt the other players down as they do their best to survive the night. The most fun part would come from the variety of innovative, over the top kills the hunter could perform.
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
Following a group of young free spirits as they become tangled in the frenzied web of a cannibalistic family provided for by the iconic Leatherface, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is a founding father of the slasher genre. One of the most important facets of this game adaptation in particular would be the smaller scale of setting. Rather than a camp or town, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre would focus on a single home on a desolate farm. Taking a que from the success of Outlast and Resident Evil VII: Biohazard, this minimalistic approach to the scope of the setting can be extremely effective when implemented properly.
The risk of putting out an asymmetric multiplayer seemed daunting at first; especially given the list of unsuccessful games of this type we have received in recent years. But, to the joy of fans and the studios involved alike, Friday the 13th: The Game has overcome this with splattered colors. Due to this, it is not unrealistic to believe that additional horror intellectual properties may be chomping at the bit to capitalize on this newly rediscovered stream of licensing use. Though the slasher genre has a reputation for repeating similar tropes time and time again, there is enough variation to create some truly unique digital experiences. For now, we can only hope that the vintage 80s style horror continues to plague our gaming rigs in all its blood splattered glory.