๐Ÿ’ฅ XIII Remastered | Review | PS5 | 3/10 | "A Very Unlucky Number" ๐Ÿ’ฅ

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XIII was a game I had never played but it has always been on my radar. It’s a game I that I could see a screenshot of and instantly identify but never dipped my toes in, so when I saw it recently on sale, I thought - after 18 years, let’s finally give it a try and I picked up the remastered version.

Well, I was hoping for an action-packed, highly stylistic thrill ride… That is not what I got. This remastered version just feels soulless. It has a real emptiness and everything about it feels hollow. 

The art direction is the first notable difference. From seeing screenshots of the original, you can see that the game has distanced itself from its cel-shaded comic book aesthetic, which to me is astonishing as it’s one of the game's biggest assets. It's clearly an early misstep. 

The story is that you play as XIII, a man who has amnesia and is accused of murdering the President of America and is now wanted by the FBI. You spend the game trying to piece your memory back together whilst trying to prove your innocence and find out who actually committed the murder. 

The story is taken from an ‘80s Belgian comic and the game does feel that way as you do seem to go from situation to situation and location to location very quickly. Although I did feel at times like it wasn’t very well explained - why I was in this location and for what purpose? The story is decent enough and I was intrigued as to uncover XIII’s past and unravel the murder mystery.

The biggest flaw in this game - other than changing the art style - is 100 per cent the enemy AI. It. Is. Thick, and I mean really thick. How can you outwit them? Well, just run around a corner and they will completely forget you existed and will likely go and just stare at a wall.

Three men couldn't see me because I ran about twenty feet away - in broad daylight – and, with nothing in between us, they just stopped shooting and stood perfectly still. The AI just presents very little threat as enemies are too stupid to outwit you and are badly in need of visiting an optician.

What they should have replaced from the original is the voice acting, except obviously Adam West is his over-the-top, brilliant self. David Duchovny on the other hand has clearly had all his personality and emotions recently sucked out, bottled, and is keeping them for a bigger project - which clearly wasn’t The X-files: Resist or Serve videogame a year later, where he is still clutching that bottle hoping something better will come along and be worth his time.

The guns in all fairness don’t feel too bad. Shotguns and Magnums feel impactful, machineguns do their job of mowing people down and the enemies aren't bullet sponges, so the gunplay is actually ok.

The sound of weapons can drop out and delay though, which is never good. The explosion sounds are oddly quiet and just lack impact, which is very disappointing as it’s a first-person shooter and so every enemy is leaning on a bright-red, flammable barrel.

From a technical standpoint, this game has a lot of the nasty flaws you don’t want to see in video games; screen tearing, frame-rate drops, lighting flickers inconsistently etc. it’s a mess. It all adds up to be a game you can clearly see needed more time in development. 

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