I’m not usually the biggest fan of remakes. I think they undermine originality, and they flood the market with dated material. However, occasionally, a game comes along that changes my mind. XIII was originally released in 2003. Roll on nearly 20 years, and this remake honours the original while utilising some modern development methods.
Developed by Play Magic and published by Microids, this is an action-adventure title. What’s more, it has a distinct comic book style, and it has a badass protagonist. Furthermore, its plot is reminiscent of a Jason Bourne movie. As such, it throws in plenty of twists and turns and keeps you on the edge of your seat. What I adored most, however, was its nod to the eponymous visual novel and the excellent, iconic cel-shading design.
XIII is exciting and captivating.
I’ve always loved the action-adventure genre. The clichéd concepts and cheesy one-liners are memorable. Moreover, the characters are colourful, brash, and obnoxious. If you then combine this with the brilliance of a comic book setting, you get an exciting and captivating experience. Thankfully, you get all this and more when you tackle XIII.
You control a special unnamed agent. He suffers from amnesia and his only identifying factor is his tattoo, XIII. Other than this, this unknown entity has no idea who or what he is. Yet, he quickly identifies that he has lightning reflexes and a killer instinct. On top of this, he is accused of killing President Sheridan! However, this monstrous conspiracy theory is about to erupt, and you need to get out in front of it. Accordingly, you fight anyone and anything that stands in your way.
Stealth, gunfights, and the occasional puzzle.
Where XIII excels is its multiple gameplay styles. Consequently, you can go balls to the wall and shoot everything in sight. Alternatively, you can sneak around, hide in the shadows, and assassinate anything that moves. Furthermore, you can combine the two approaches, if you so wish. The freedom to play as you like was phenomenal. What’s more, it adds to the longevity and replay value.
With over 30 levels and 15 weapons to master, you have plenty of scope for trial and error. Whether it was throwing knives, improvised weapons, machine guns, pistols, rocket launchers, or more, it was thoroughly entertaining. Alongside this, your enemies are tough and unruly. Subsequently, you must outsmart them at every opportunity. You’ll sneak around, take hostages, or smack them with a chair. However, if this doesn’t float your boat, simply pull out your gun and unleash hell.
The gunfights and stealth mechanics were great. Yet, there is another string to XIII’s bow. Alongside the brutality, you’ll have to solve minor problems and explore a labyrinthine world. Accordingly, you’ll crawl through air ducts, rappel down buildings and cliff faces, and swing like a chimp on a rope. This was excellent, as it made the linear structure a bit more open. On top of this, these simple objectives focus your attention, and that was fantastic.
XIII looks incredible.
Now, I loved the amazing story, the badass characters, the overpowered guns, and the exploration elements. However, these all pale in comparison when you consider the incredible artistry. Thanks to the amazing comic book approach, you feel like a superhero. Furthermore, the excellent bubble writing, the classic “Kapow”, and the brilliant cinematic grab your attention. The developers have done an awesome job of reworking the original while giving it a modern twist. On top of this, the gratuitous violence is nicely balanced, and the clips of every headshot are a thing of beauty.
The unbelievable visuals are complemented by the audio. With booming sound effects and shrill screams, it is utterly horrific. Furthermore, the aggressive soundtrack adds to the drama. However, my favourite element was the acting. It blends some hammy and corny one-liners with gruff and OTT monologues. Consequently, it was bloody ridiculous, and I cherished it.
So many reasons to return.
XIII excels in many areas. Yet, the controls aren’t its strongest point. Disappointingly, the shooting mechanic isn’t as fluid as it could be, and the aiming is a little wayward. Other than this, it’s pretty responsive and interacting with usable objects isn’t an issue. What’s more, the UI is fantastic and selecting each weapon is straightforward.
Thanks to its linear approach, I worried that XIII would lack longevity. However, there are so many levels to tackle, you’ll be playing for hours. On top of this, there are collectables to find and a multiplayer option to tackle. As such, there are many reasons to return and play.
XIII is a great remake.
One great experience won’t persuade me that I’m wrong. Still, XIII does a great job of proving I’m a fool. This exceptional title is captivating, exciting, and unbelievably good. Consequently, it is a great remake that will impress anyone that plays it. Therefore, unsurprisingly, I recommend that you buy it here! Can you prove your innocence and regain your memory? Explore a dangerous world and fight for the truth.