Advent Calendar - December 13th.

by PaulEMoz in , , , , ,


I've tried not to make obvious picks where possible... but, fair enough, I've failed this time. No matter... XIII is a game I almost played once, so I've quite fancied giving it another go sometime, and this is the ideal opportunity.

How did I almost play it, you might wonder? Well, I had it when I lived in America. I can't remember if I rented it or bought it, but I got about five minutes in only to find the disc was scratched, and I couldn't get any further. Don't you hate it when that happens?

Thankfully, nowadays you can pick up most old games for a couple of quid, so here we go again...

Oh, that's a bit of a shame...

XIII is based on an Eighties comic book, which I haven't read... probably because it's Belgian. The only Belgian thing I usually have anything to do with is chocolate. Mmmmm... chocolate... what? Oh, the game. Yeah.

Well, it's a first-person shooter. Oh joy. It's a conspiracy-laden affair which finds you waking up, injured and with no memory, in the wake of the assassination of the American President. In true Jason Bourne style, you must set about finding what was your part in proceedings, if any, and get to the bottom of the devious goings-on.

Up a bit... left a bit...

Well, I say true Jason Bourne style... that's not entirely true. Jason Bourne is a bit on the hard side, with some awesome fighting and martial arts abilities. You, as XIII, are voiced by dull sex addict Hollywood legend David Duchovny. You have an arsenal of weaponry at your disposal... all of which is a bit shit.

It's a funny beast, XIII. It's one of the most stylish FPS games you'll find... astonishing in its time, it still stands out today. It's not just the cel-shaded graphics (and it was one of the first games to employ that style)... it's the way it stays true to its origins with comic-book panels and cutouts... especially effective when it shows the viewpoint of the person you've just shot, so you get your view and his view on the same screen.

It's a long way down. So let's look at it twice!

But on the other hand, the action is generic and, dare I say it... dull. It's all very well having the looks, but if there's nothing going on under there, people get bored pretty quickly. XIII isn't awful by any means, but when the gameplay is so by-the-numbers it's pretty difficult to play through to the end, no matter what the graphics or storyline are like.