“ A man wakes up on a beach. He has no recollection of who he is. He sets off in search of his past. His only clues are the number 13 tattooed on his collarbone and the key to a safety-deposit box in one of New York's most prestigious banks. The passport he finds in the safe at the bank reveals his identity. His name is Steve Rowland and he's a captain in the United States army. Moments after making this discovery, he's arrested by colonel Amos, director of the FBI's anti-terrorist department and accused of the murder of William Sheridan, the 43rd president of the United States. In evidence, he's shown the enlargement of a snapshot in which he appears holding a sniper's rifle. The weapon is aimed at the presidential cortège. Despite this exhibit, in his heart of hearts he knows he's no murderer. All the same, when killers tried to eliminate him he was surprised to find he has the reflexes of an elite commando. Wanted by all the cops in New York State and hunted down by The Mongoose , the amnesiac seems doomed to a choice of death or prison. But XIII hasn't counted on the unexpected assistance of major Jones, a young female soldier who helps him flee through the city of New York. During their escape, this foxy lady reveals to XIII that he's a secret agent working for general Carrington. Carrington is a nonconformist officer who is conducting a counter-inquiry into the presidential assassination but he was arrested and confined in an isolated military base in the Appalachian Mountains. When XIII realizes that general Carrington is the only one who can shed light on his past, he sets off to find him with Jones. „
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XIII is a first-person shooter game released in 2003 by Ubisoft. It is based upon a Belgian comic series of the same name from the 1980s. The game centres on an unnamed man who wakes up face down on a beach with no memory of who or where he is. The only clues to his identity are a key to a bank vault and a tattoo of the Roman numeral for 13 - XIII - on his arm. You are found by a lifeguard, who shortly after is gunned down by a hail of bullets and you are forced to run for your life, not knowing who is out to kill you and why. In order to survive, you must discover your identity and your past, unravelling an enormous and disturbing conspiracy along the way.
The main attraction of the game XIII is its appearance. Rather than the realistic graphics most games strive for, XIII has gone for an intentionally cartoonish look, giving it the feel of a comic book. Cut scenes are done with split screen boxes and speech bubbles which further add to this image. It is a very effective technique, giving the game a unique appeal which you will not find with any other game. The storyline is also very engrossing with twists and turns throughout so you don't uncover the mystery of what is going on, and who XIII really is until towards the very end. Your character is voiced by David Duchovny of X-Files fame, which lends a certain integrity to the game. The range of different locations and weaponry is vast, with little repetiton throughout the game so with each level you are getting an entirely new experience. The controls are very much the same for PC that you would find for any other first person shooter game and the movement of the character fluid and easy to manoeuvre.
XIII is a game that I very much enjoyed and would recommend it to anyone who is a fan computer games. It is also available for the PS2 and the X-Box, and getting the game for these platforms has the added advantage of a multiplayer mode.
This is a very fun game as the gameplay is very well made like when you get a headshot with a knife it gives you three different angles appearing on the screen but are on the top of the screen leaving a large part still of your original view allowing you to play on without getting killed as you can't see what is happening. It does this with any weapon though but I found that the knife does it best as there is more visual effects. The games graphics are made extremely well to make it look like the comic it was based on and brings along the fun of the comic as there is no swearing young children can enjoy the game just like a comic. The only thing I had a problem with was that there was no continuation at the end of the game like it said there would be. For anyone who wants to see the rest of the story I recommend getting the movie XIII the conspiracy and the XIII series which follows on from the movie while the movie is slightly different from the game at the start it still is a very good movie but slow at times. The story behind the game is that you have been on a boat and got shot leading to you being washed up onto a beach were a local female lifeguard finds you while your face down in the dirt. The lifeguard then fixes you up and shortly after gets killed in a gunfight which starts the game off. You start trying to discover who you are and what happened to you which leads you on a long journey around most of America. Facing you off agaisnt corrupt polliticans, soldiers and hit men the only thing leading you on is the single thought who am I? The weapons in this game are very effective considering that in most game you have to use a specific gun most of the time. There is never a shortage of ammo in this game and for those that like a lot of body parts flying around a battlefield you will not find that here. To play this game you need at least:
Grapichs card with 32mb
120mb hard drive space
Broadband or dial up for online play
Windows 98 - XP (works on Windows 7 for me)
16 bit sound card
Based on a French comic, I was interested by the cartoony style graphics & gameplay and that made my buy XIII when it was brand new & just released.
Its a great game, you spend time trying to find out who you are and trying to uncover a conspiracy.
The game looks great, its easy to pick up & play and is very nice because every time you encounter a new weapon or gadget you normally get a little chance to test it before rushing off into battle.
Except you won't be doing a lot of rushing. It's mainly sneaking, hiding and trying to avoid detection from the super sensitive detection systems out to get you. It wasn't a game I was suited to and I had to completely revise my style of gaming because I like to rush in and kill everything in sight.
The checkpoint system is also very annoying as you can be millimetres away from completion then get caught and have to replay the entire level again.
There are lots of levels with different objectives, it is more like playing in a cartoon with the little pop-up windows. Very cool looking but sometimes extremely difficult to play.
Overall the game is very good and its as cheap as hell now, you can buy it on Ebay for under 2 quid! Well worth a cheeky punt if you like FPS games.
Players who liked Max Payne or No-One Lives Forever will enjoy this game.
When I first heard about XIII, I could have cared less. Oooh! Cel-shaded first person shooter! Stop the presses! I knew cel-shading was the new "Fruit Stripe" gimmick (Fruit Stripe gum has an intense flavor that completely vanishes within under a minute.) from the moment I saw it in Jet Grind Radio for the Dreamcast. It's made a couple really cool games, and a few really horrible ones. So XIII didn't really register on my radar.
After seeing how it was supposed to unfold comic-book style, XIII piqued my interest. With the nice 3-panel death sequences, and the visual sound effects, now it wasn't just striving to be a cel-shaded game. It was trying to become a great comic book styled game, of which I only know two: Max Payne, and the excellent Accolade Comics, featuring Private Spy Steve Keene.
So, with the long Thanksgiving weekend to put it through its paces, I decided to step in the world of Number XIII.
The President has just been assassinated. Nobody knows quite who did it, but there are investigations going on. How this all relates to you...
When everything first starts out all you know is that you were on a boat, and then you got shot and washed up on a beach. After you get carted to a lifeguard station, the lifeguard assisting you gets taken out in a hail of gunfire, and your combat instincts start coming back to you. You head to New York to open up a safe deposit box matching the key that was on your body, and start trying to piece together bits of your memory, and what exactly the hell's going on, and why everyone wants to kill you.
While the story is kind of run of the mill, I'll give credit to them for making the plot revolve around American terrorists on American soil, and for showing that by and large, politicians are either stupid, or completely evil. This may, however, just be because the game's based off of a French comic book.
Waking up one morning to find yourself face down on a beach with a bullet wound is not the best start to a day that anyone's ever had, but at the start of XIII, that's where you find yourself.
Who are you? How did you get there? These questions and more are completely unanswerable because, to add to your misery, you also have amnesia. Before you have time to think, the lifeguard who has rescued you has been gunned down and someone seems intent on making sure that your day gets worse (and let's face it, there's really only one way that can happen!) Once you've despatched your attackers, you realise that there are an awful lot of unanswered questions and your only clues are 'XIII' tattooed on your collarbone and a key that belongs to something at the Wilmslow Bank.
This is your introduction into the world of the XX Conspiracy. I really don't want to give away too much more because the fun is in trying to piece together each bit of the puzzle as it's delivered to you (although things are set in place for you anyway as time goes on.)
XIII is a first person shooter (FPS) based on a French comic that spanned fifteen issues. The game covers the plotline of the first five, so in theory, there's room for at least two sequels. The good thing though, is that the game ends in a way that leaves the story open and there's plenty of scope for a sequel or two.
The graphical aspect of the game is quite unlike any other game of this genre as it uses a cel-shading look rather like an animated cartoon than taking the usual route of trying to look as realistic as possible. This makes it incredibly interesting to look at, and not just because it's derivative. The game also incorporates other elements from its comic roots such as little boxes that pop up around the screen to explain what's going on elsewhere, and the graphical style alone sets the game aside from every other FPS games currently on the market.
The comic book feel is also incorporated into the sound of the game. Sounds such as voices and guns are done normally as per any other game and are of decent quality, but there are elements of the sound which are non-existent or toned down in favour of the music. Background noises, for example, are not as present here as in other games. Your enemies' footsteps are marked onscreen as a series of fading "tap" which are bigger the closer your enemy is to you and get smaller as they move away until they disappear when they leave your awareness. These can be visible through walls etc. just as you can hear people on the other side of a wall or door and can move around the screen, depending on your positioning. They do a very good job of making you aware exactly where some people are in relation to your position and again add to the comic book feel without simply being there for the sake of design.
The gameplay is pretty standard FPS fayre, but done in a way that makes it enjoyable to play. Each time something new is incorporated into the game e.g. using keys to open doors etc. you are given instructions on how to accomplish this, and the instructions are always clear so you are in no doubt what to do. The game includes the usual aspects of finding switches to accomplish certain tasks and the odd item (usually a document of some kind) to collect. Where XIII differs from other FPSs is that you can actually see the documents that you've collected from the game menu. Unlike say, No-one Lives Forever, in which you also collected documents, XIII does allow you access to these so that you can read the evidence yourself. Not that this makes a great deal of difference to the game, mind you, but it's still a nice touch. As you progress through the game, then other things are available to you. The collection of documents is one, but there is also a mini comic book which gradually completes itself as you progress and a rogue's gallery of XX Conspiracy members who are identified as the game goes along.
Obviously, the important thing is the game itself and this plays very well indeed. The gameplay is varied with some all out shooting levels and some stealth levels keeping interest levels high. The game takes place in a number of different settings with a mountain army base, inside a bank, in the desert and others all featuring at some point. There are several levels of difficulty, so everyone should find a challenging level. One minor frustration could be the 'checkpoint' method for saving games where the game can only be saved each time you reach a certain part of the game (or, 'checkpoint') and so if you find a bit of the game that you're finding quite tough, the frustration could grow. To be fair, though, that only happened to me one or twice in the entire game and generally I made progress.
There are elements of adult language and blood (although this is done comic style as with the rest of the game) and is not over-used, although the difficulty of the game itself would probably mean it shouldn't be played by anyone younger than teenagers.
Ubisoft recommends that your PC has at least:
Processor: 700 MHz
Hard Disk space: 1.2GB
Graphics Card: Direct X 8.1 compatible
Memory: 128MB RAM
Operating System: Any OS from Windows 98 to Windows XP
My specification (where different):
Graphics Card: Direct X 9 compatible
The game performed really well on my system, which is unsurprising given that I exceed almost all recommendations. However, Ubisoft's recommended specifications seem to be quite adequate for the game. I wouldn't advise running the game with a slower processor than recommended, but the use of the comic book visuals rather than try for realistic graphics means that you don't need a super duper graphics card.
There are multiplayer elements for playing across the internet, but I've not tried this aspect of it as yet and cannot comment on gameplay or amount of online players.
Overall, I really liked this game. The use of the comic book ideas and graphical style does make XIII stand out for that reason alone, but the variation in level types and scenery also helps matters a lot. The weapons are your usual FPS types, but the other little touches such as being instructed not to kill civilians, being able to take hostages (i.e. use people as human shields) or even the grappling hook which enables you to swing from one place to another a la Tarzan all set this game apart from the others on the market.
Today, XIII is nearing two years old, but it still looks fresh and sadly, no sequels have been announced or released. You can probably pick this game up now for around fifteen quid, and at that price, it's a great buy especially if you like the FPS genre and you're looking for something that looks a bit different.