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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Shooter

 

Publisher

Ubi Soft

 

Developer

Ubi Soft

 

ESRB

M (Mature)

 

Released

Q4 2003

 

 

- Good Voice Acting(David Duchovny and Adam West!)
- Feels like a comic
- Multiplayer modes are fun 
- Online Multiplayer
- Graphics
- Music fits with the action
- Variety of weapons†

 

 

- Stages and Environments are plain and simple
- AI is awful
- Head shots donít kill AI in one shot
- Grappling Hook locations difficult to find

 

 

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XIII

Score: 7.4 / 10

 

XIII is a cel-shaded first-person shooter based on a popular French comic book. During the videos, panels pop up and will turn pages like a comic book. This game has itís own unique style to it however, this may not be a game for all you first-person shooter players out there.

The game starts with XIII waking up on a quiet beach with a gunshot wound, where a woman will find you lying on the ground. She'll then ask you questions about who you are, however you will discover that he has amnesia after the President Kennedy assassination. The question is, who shot him? After meeting some people and going to a few places, a flashback will happen telling you in bits and pieces about XIIIís past.

 

xiii-1.jpg (21764 bytes)          xiii-2.jpg (22106 bytes)

Graphically, the game is really well done, especially the character models. The game looks just like a comic book. The stages in this game are not nearly as well done in the area of cel-shading as the character models are. Stages and environments are kind of plain and simple. The voice acting overall has been pretty well done. They have voices such as actors David Duchovny (XIII) and Adam West (General Carrington), as well as actress/musician Eve (Major Jones). The gunfire and explosions in this game are decent and the music fits nicely with the action.

 

The AI in this game is sometimes awful, for example, when you throw a knife at an enemy and you hardly miss them, they will continue walking without noticing a thing. Also if you happen to hit a guard with a throwing knife or a crossbow and another guard comes over to check out the situation, they wonít think much of it and it will give you a good chance to go sneak behind and kill him. The tutorial messages say that if you shoot an enemy in the head with a gun they will die in one shot however, this is not always accurate. A lot of times it will take 2 or 3 times even if theyíre not wearing a helmet.

 

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You'll start off empty handed but will soon receive some basic weapons such as a throwing knife and a handgun. If you are without a weapon at the time or just donít want a guard to hear you, you can use your fists to attack or you can search for something that you can pick up such as a chair, or an ashtray and hit the enemy over the head with it which will knock them out with just one hit. You are also able to take hostages, which will prevent enemies from attacking you. 

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However if you have a hostage the enemy will most likely try to trick you and come from behind so they donít shoot the hostage.

XIII also contains some decent multiplayer modes. There are 4 different types of modes, containing Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, and Power-Up. These modes can either be played online or offline with a buddy or buddies up to 4 players. These maps are not the greatest but are not that bad either. There are some health pickups and many weapons but every time you get in a battle you hardly have time or think about your health because each confrontation isnít too long before someone dies.

 

xiii-3.jpg (14037 bytes)         xiii-4.jpg (14151 bytes)

 

As far as the weapons situation goes, there are many types of weapons such as the single or double handgun(s), a crossbow, a sniper rifle, a magnum, a shotgun, an assault rifle, and a few other weapons as well. The sniper rifle is a very good long ranged weapon but the crossbow is preferable. The crossbow is a good long ranged, silent, and deadly weapon but if the enemy is to far out of reach then thatís when you use the sniper rifle. It is a very loud weapon however, and enemies could hear it and attack you. If the enemy is too far away for the magnum or assault rifle use the crossbow as you can aim and shoot the enemy and kill him in one shot. When you kill the enemies it will show a little comic strip on the top of your screen showing the weapon impaling the enemy depending where you shoot him. Some of the weapons take a long time to reload and it doesnít take long for the enemies to kill you. There are two inventory item screens, one for weapons and one for miscellaneous items such as your grappling hook, health packs, keys, and cards. Sometimes the grappling hook locations can be difficult to find and you'll remain stuck in the one spot for a while and it can get frustrating.

 

This was, overall, a well put together game but the AI is one of the things that could have been much better instead of the simple just standing around and shooting things. If you can overlook the few issues with the AI, then XIII is by and large a good game and recommended for fans of first-person shooters.

 

- Jay Tonello

(January 30, 2004)

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