17 years after the original, XIII has now received a remake. The original, a game adaptation of the Belgian comic of the same name, is celebrated by fans to this day. The story of the first-person story shooter revolves around the eponymous protagonist XIII, who lost his memory and is apparently responsible for the murder of the president. Since he cannot remember it, XIII tries to prove his innocence and takes us on a journey full of action and flying bullets.
XIII is doing everything possible to let people know that you are in a comic book game. Almost all cut scenes are divided into pictures, just like in a comic book. In addition, everything is very strong Stylized cel shading, which further emphasizes the comic look. This stylistic device has been scaled back a little in the remake for some inexplicable reason, which makes it look less like a comic.
Source: PC Games
Before you wake up on a beach, classically without memory, you are presented with a sequence that shows you that the President of the United States was shot. And apparently you are to blame. Unfortunately, the first bug occurs here, because the audio track and video are completely time-shifted. Unfortunately, that stops the immersion promptly and makes you smile at the asynchronicity of the scene. Bugs run through the entire game: Sometimes the sound comes too late, sometimes too early and now and then it doesn't even exist or it just stutters immensely. Although the story is written really interesting, nicely presented in the comic style and comes along with some unexpected twists to the end, you can hardly take it seriously, because the many different bugs tear you out again and again. For example, one of the most important sequences in the game simply couldn't be heard at all.
With comic strip overlays, XIII has a unique style of conveying the story. You feel like you're in an American agent movie throughout. It's a shame that even the overlays don't always work correctly, because a few times you can only see characters in the excerpts while the background does not load. That has the charm of a green screen, only without subsequent editing.
The gameplay consists of action-packed passages full of shooting and stealth sections. And mistakes. Everyone. Quantity. Mistakes. Before anything is explained, it should be said that even if nothing happens and you just look around, there are frame rate drops. The title of the game is probably very apt for this, because once more than one simple path is loaded into the picture, you will see nothing more than an "XIII" FPS slide show. You can imagine what it looks like in battle.
Source: PC Games
The action sections could actually be very fun. However, you quickly notice that the "I" in KI doesn't quite fit here. Enemies behave so illogically and stupidly that you don't have the feeling that you are fighting against people, but against shooting gallery figures with sharp weapons. The bosses top it all. Most big bads try to run away a lot of the time to target you from afar. So as long as you simply chase after them, you can put as many loads of lead in the face (or rather the back of the head) as you want – completely without resistance. And the K "I" of the remaining cronies can usually be tricked quickly and easily.
In addition, the gunplay is a complete disaster. Animations when reloading or firing are reminiscent of shooters from the early 90s. Hit feedback is only available in the form of a lettering above the opponent. You urgently need the latter, because the opponents don't fall over until a good second after the final hit. The process is always the same: the enemy shouts "ARGH!", Then the weapon magically flies out of his hands and he falls over like a stiff wooden figure. To make things really fun, the sound regularly cuts out during fights. One time the guns are silent, the other time the surroundings remain silent and sometimes the entire sound is missing.
The stealth actions are reasonably varied and partly creatively designed. So you sneak after enemies and have to silently switch them off, or you can shimmy through security systems or over abysses with the help of a grappling hook. But here, too, there are technical problems. The physics of the hook is from the last decade and is more reminiscent of Worms than action shooters. With a little skill you can reach an incredible speed and fly over half the map, which of course leads to ugly glitches. Despite their creativity, the espionage tasks are not particularly exciting. At most they are a nice change from the firefights. Even things like the classic "crawling through ventilation shafts" are perhaps still exciting the first time, but at the latest when they are used for the fifth time they are only boring and time-consuming.
Source: PC Games
When it comes to secretly eliminating opponents, you can sneak up on them from behind to knock them out with one blow. Or you just take it easy and shoot them in the head. The second option is more advisable. Because of the constant stuttering, your attacks like to go nowhere. Enemies that respond to your attacks before you've even touched them are not uncommon.
In addition, you can never be sure when you will be seen. Sometimes you can stand five meters in front of someone without them being alerted. In other places you will be spotted over 20 meters away and several meters in height difference. Optionally through several walls. Therefore: just shoot! Even with groups of soldiers lurking in front of you, you can usually take out one at a time. If one of them dies, the others stop and look around in surprise, almost as if they wanted to receive the following headshots.
Fortunately, thanks to the remake, there are regular save points that didn't exist back then. The game hangs briefly on each of these points, but it would be worse to have to play an entire level again.
What in XIII (buy now ) works, is the soundtrack. This has not changed from the original, but it can be seen or rather heard. No matter if you overhear someone, break into a base or find yourself in a shootout, the soundtrack always perfectly underlines the mood that is currently prevailing.
What is wrong with the soundscape, however, is the mix. Sometimes you hear characters 30 meters away clearly and clearly. Other times, characters standing right in front of you will sound like they're hidden behind two walls. Or you hear heavy rain that doesn't even exist and it often happens that sound effects or music completely drown out important dialogues.
In addition, the voice output is very inconsistent. Some characters are perfectly set to music, while others could hardly sound more inappropriate. Opposing units all have the same voices and only two or three different exclamations until the end of the game. How often the cry "ALARM!" is heard, to which usually nobody reacts anyway, can hardly be counted anymore.
Source: PC Games
The remake of XIII is an insult to fans of the original. The actually nice story of the comic book is disturbed by constant bugs in gameplay and even story sequences. Mechanics that have been adapted in a remake, such as the AI or the physics of the grappling hook, have remained unchanged. In addition, the animations are incredibly stiff and loading times of half a minute and more are not uncommon. By the way, the bugs listed were by no means all that we encountered. This "remake" is a downgrade compared to the original! There were neither constant frame rate drops nor false audio tracks. So if you're interested in the game, you'd better be helped by buying the original for € 6 on Steam.
At best, the title "Remastered" would be appropriate for XIII Remake. Because from a remake you actually expect a major overhaul, which you can see at Demon's Souls at the moment. However, the word "remastered" would also be a gross exaggeration.
For everyone who was looking forward to the remake, there should be improvement in the future. Developer Microids has already apologized for the faulty game and promises improvement. That is to be seen, however, because as you can see there is a lot to be fixed. You have to know for yourself whether you want to support such cheek. However, if there are significant improvements in upcoming patches, then maybe we will take another look.
The remake of XII is available on PC, Playstation 4 (played by us), Xbox One and Switch (not until 2021).
Bugsnax is more likely to have fewer bugs than XIII
Testing XIII was entertaining. I laughed a lot, but never for reasons the game wanted. You could consider buying it for 5 euros from the crawling table: for an evening with friends and an unreasonable amount of alcohol. "Every bug, a shot" and after an hour you will certainly be well served.
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