XIII

released on Nov 10, 2020

A remake of the XIII game from 2003. The game is a first-person shooter where you play as Thirteen, a talented soldier who lost his memory and has been accused of killing the President of the United States. You first wake up injured and amnesic on Brighton Beach with the only clue being a small key and a mysterious tattoo XIII next to your clavicle. It’s now your job to search for answers through a 34 levels solo campaign. Don’t worry, you will find the appropriate weapon arsenal along the way. With questions not missing, neither are the bullets!


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I can't attest to the state the game is currently in. But speaking as someone who got fleeced out of 40 bucks when this came out, XIII may very well represent the worst that this industry's fetishization of remakes has to offer. The original XIII is a rare case where I honestly believe a sequel would have been a better opportunity to improve the original. The original XIII is far from a perfect game; if you want an excellent example of style over substance, it's ripe fruit for picking. Underneath its stylistic sheen and comic book influences are... another generic shooter. Once you step outside of the story sections that drag on, the actual meat and potatoes of XIII are paced pretty damn well for a game that came out in 2003. There's a solid understanding of level-based gimmicks that never feel bombastic enough to make for set pieces, but never feel thrown aside enough to be the left-over bullet points on a mid-2010s Call of Duty announcement video. Trying to do it all over again misses the point that, while the good parts of XIII certainly aren't going anywhere, they're stagnant without proper iteration.
XIII, as the remake I knew it as, showed little interest in upping the ante. Ignore the broken shooting, awful sound design, terrible AI, and busted visuals this game shipped with originally. They remade almost all of the cutscenes, but the first one? That's just a video that you watch by osmosis. Yeah, an unnamed guard sits down and puts it on, and you never find out who this motherfucker is or if you gotta shoot him in the face or whatnot. Man's just sitting there, dozing off to the opening of a conspiracy thriller, because...? There was also the matter of characters not following your movements during conversation scenes, a basic visual feature that shipped with the game being remade here.
Again, this is not me commenting on the state of the game as it is. The general consensus I've heard on that is that it's okayyyyyyyyyyy? Like, not great. Not by a country mile. But it's better, at least. Honestly, the fact that this title was able to make any sort of recovery at all is a miracle. To call its development tumultuous is putting it pretty fucking mildly. Underpaid and untrained staff forced to work unreasonable hours under piss-poor management that divided the already small workforce into minuscule chunks, lies to desperately cling to projects for clients that the development staff was not adequate enough to handle with any sort of finesse, the whole nine yards. If you want a good-old-fashioned FUBAR development story, XIII is probably one of the more baffling ones in recent memory. I sincerely wish the new development team good luck, although I don't care to see if any of their work is worth playing or not.

Aun ignorando todos los defectos, no llego a entender la razón de ser de este remake. No he jugado el original, pero por lo que se deja ver, me da la sensación de que lo único que han "actualizado" han sido los gráficos y poco más; los fps son inestables por momentos; la imagen se ve borrosa; las texturas son super vagas, muy poco definidas y sin detalle; los controles y movimientos son muy lentos, torpes y poco precisos; los subtítulos no están bien sincronizados y no salen en las cinemáticas... Hay partes de la interfaz y los menús donde el texto se ve pequeñísimo y no se lee un carajo; me he topado con bugs que me impedían avanzar y me obligaban a cerrar y a abrir otra vez el juego... La único bonito que podría tener el juego es el estilo cell shading, pero ni eso. El juego entero me parece malo y feo. No sé si algo de esto se solucionará tiempo después del lanzamiento.

This is horrible.Just play the 2003 one,more enjoyable.

Buggy game; sounds are buggy animations are buggy, shooting is buggy, felt like early 2000's games :)

I was hoping the 2022 re-remake would have its own page on this site but it does not— This looks and plays ever so slightly better than the 2020 version, I don’t think this is the worst thing I’ve ever played and I actually think its a little fun. Its got some janky animation and facial animations, and some movement options that are a little whacky too, but otherwise I think this is a mediocre remake. Again this is a review for the 2022 version, and I’ve not played the original and only watched footage of the 2020 remake.