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    Your dooyooMiles Miles

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      20.01.2011 22:06
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      The Underdog of the FPS Genre

      I've always been a fan of the FPS genre - my first introduction to it was playing the Half Life Uplink demo on the PC back in 1999. God that was a long time ago! Since then the Halos have appeared, Call of Duty has become a household name and Half Life 2 and two expansion packs have appeared with a third in the works. There are others though that deserve credit for being a great addition to the genre, despite being overlooked or overshadows by other titles. System Shock on the PC in the early 90s is one of the earliest examples of the horror FPS genre that Doom and F.E.A.R managed to successfully adapt. XIII on the other hands utilised cel-shaded graphics for the whole game to give a graphic novel feel to proceedings. It sounded different on paper and it definitely looks different!

      You play as XIII, one member of the XX, a group that was responsible for assassinating the current Presdient of the USA. Just turns out that you fired the bullet that killed him but due to amensia you don't remember a thing! Assassins chase after you as you try and piece together the events of the past few months that have led to your current predicament and stop a potential hostile takeover of the U.S.A! The story is bsed on the Belgian comic XIII which started out in the late 80s, with this game adapting the first and most famous arc of storyline on the elusive XIII character. Parts of the story have been changed in order to fit closer to the FPS genre but is no less effective for it!

      I really have to talk about the cel-shaded look as it's one that appears every so often in a videogame and always turns heads. XIII was one of the first to do it, if not the first and has since been followed by Killer 7 and Borderlands. All of these are action titles but each has put it's own stamp on the label. XIII uses comic strip boxes whenever major events happen to highlight what is going on as well as give you important tips as to what to do. The best use of this though is when you use knives to kill an enemy in the head - a box appears showing the knife hitting along with a satisfying caption in a comic font that makes you feel like you've completed an achievement! The cel shaded look suits the game well and is able to convey the sinister undertones of several locations well, particulairly the New York rooftops and the Insane Asylum. It's a mature look rather than a cutesy approach which serves to be a strength of the game.

      Acting-wise, Ubisoft had a trump card up their sleeve with getting David Duchovny to play XIII. Star of The X Files, David gives a tremendous yet understated performence as XIII, giving him a mix of guilt, confusion and determination to his thoughts and emotions. Having said that, he is not the only star performence in this game: Eve gives a strong performence as XIII's ally Jones and Adam West nearly steals the show with his performence as General Carrington. Despite being an avid fan of Family Guy and Adam West, I never realized it was him until I checked the cast list. His performence is incredibly strong and gives the plot the important gritty edge it needs. The music of XIII is also very effective and conveys the experience that XIII is going through well to the player.

      The gameplay is incredibly fun and solid which makes everything so much sweeter! The controls are your standard FPS fare which does the game no harm. If it ain't broken don't fix it! There isn't anything particulairly new or innovative here but there isn't anything here that detracts from the experience in any way. There are a couple of handy gadgets that I found to be great to use and made me feel like a spy at heart. The best example if the whinch which allows you to grap onto hooks and scale up or down tall surfaces. If you don't feel like James Bond doing this then you never will! There are several game bosses throughout the missions, although it doesn't get really tough until you square off against The Mongoose in the game's climatic battle. The ability to take hostages is a helpful feature as it allows you to get by enemies without getting shot. I didn't tend to use it often though as I prefer a run and gun approach personally!

      Overall XIII is a great FPS that deserved more than what dished out for it. It's a great game that boasts one of the strongests plots for an FPS in the last decade easily. The fact that this game has yet to (and most likely won't) get a sequel is one of the crimes of videogames in my opinion. Copies can be found for a pound easily, making this game more than a worthwhile purchase for any PS2 owner!

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      20.05.2010 00:13
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      XIII for PS2

      An FPS based on the Belgian comic of the same name.

      [+] The game's comic style given by the cel-shaded graphics. Inset boxes showing what is going on in the surroundings, and being able to 'see' as well as hear sound effects.

      [+] Yet there are realistic touches, such as the way the image is distorted when underwater and temporary loss of hearing from deafening sounds.

      [-] Could have kept consistency of game's graphical style throughout as FMV sequences are without dialogue boxes (which would have helped the hard of hearing).

      [+/-] The graphic effect that shows kills close-up (this can be disabled) but it appears as if the shooting is either head shot or not - as such the game is about average for animation.

      [-] And the A.I. isn't great. Despite the enemy being decent shots, they have trouble dealing with doors.

      [-] Frequent use of flashbacks for story - not being able to skip these sequences on retry.

      [-] Stealth style stages - starting these sections several times, and the level loading times are a tad lengthy.

      [+] Being able to eavesdrop on conversations and hear folk singing!

      [-] X marks the spot? David Duchovny voices XIII (whom you control) - "you can trust no one" - but isn't really given a great deal of dialogue to sink his teeth into.

      [+/-] How challenging a level is can depend on the distance between checkpoints, and as this differs, XIII's difficulty can fluctuate. XIII has three difficulty levels but regardless it can be a challenging game, despite some of the hand-holding - what with the pointers and action button taking care of things.

      [+] Game is of decent duration - 34 single player levels, and the boss battles are no bad.

      [+] With the bots, the single player can access Multi-player Mode.

      [+] Being able to view documents found in Story may give slight replay value.

      [-] To be continued... game ends on a cliffhanger and although there was to be a sequel, apparently sales were not strong enough to warrant it (even if XIII qualified for Platinum status).

      [=] I completed this game on Normal. Although I had to retry some stages numerous times, the game was not too difficult. XIII has a unique graphical style and is a challenging title, but is an above average FPS. And the story is incomplete.

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      • More +
        12.09.2009 15:28
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        A real corker!

        XIII adds more fuel to the fire that videogames are in fact art - it's a strange, frustrating, beautiful game, that is adapted from the famed French graphic novel series of the same name. Thus, in this vein, the game employs cel-shaded visuals popularised in games such as Jet Set Radio and Zelda: The Wind Waker.

        The game's single player offering is fantastic - it presents nuanced gameplay and some very nice tricks that other FPS games could learn from. You play an amnesiac man who is trying to find out who he is and what is going on. Despite not being terribly original in this regard, what makes it worth playing is the rabbit hole it takes you down.

        Combat-wise, there are numerous lovely weapons to use to dispatch foes, from modest pistols to incendiary grenades and massive rocket launchers. The weapons are weighted so that each has a positive aspect and a drawback in any given situation. What I like most is the cartoon-style of violence in the game, such that when you blow up an enemy, you'll see a cloud that could very well have been handpicked from a Looney Tunes cartoon!

        The multiplayer offering, though, is the unqualified reason to buy the game - it allows you to connect with fifteen other players for some cartoon violence and mayhem! This is a very comprehensive outing as it allows numerous modes, from simple Deathmatches to Unreal Tournament-style Assault games that require you to team up to take the enemy down. My only real complaint is that it doesn't have a central hub like the Xbox Live does, meaning grabbing some friends to play isn't very easy at all!

        With cracking visuals, cartoony sound effects and a fun plot, this is an exciting game that offers a stellar multiplayer mode and a single player offering that's also rather fun!

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        15.08.2009 16:46
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        Good shooter.

        XIII or Thirteen is a shooter for the Playstation 2 developed by Ubisoft

        The game starts with the good old amnesia storyline, you wash up on beach with no clue as to who you are or what happened, you are then said to be the man who assassinated the President! The story is actually pretty interesting as you figure out who you really are, the game ties in with the comic of the same name so if you are a fan of that you will probably be into the games storyline even more.

        The shooter gameplay is actually quite good though the game forces you to be sneaky a little too often and the stealth portions of this game are rather rudimentary, the AI is stupid which makes it quite easy to get by and the only satisfying moments are when you can grab an object and takedown an enemy silently with it.

        The gunplay is far better and has its share of exciting shootouts with powerful feeling weapons, you get the stardard shooter tools of destruction from pistols, knives, assault rifles the comic book visuals aid the gun fights and at times I felt like I could actually be a comic book hero!

        The games visual style is the most unique thing about it, the game tries to capture a comic book look and half succeeds, at worst it just looks like they have taken a badly drawn object and put thick black outlines on it but where it looks good it really works, fire off a rocket and you are treated to a big cloud of dust with a BOOM! In it, firing guns will also create these on screen comic like cues this I thought was really neat and works well.

        This is quite a unique shooter with an interesting story and visuals, it has its flaws but it is definitely a fun experience.

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        13.04.2006 20:18
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        I differnet view on FPS, but not a game for everone.

        Game Info

        Genre = FPS (First Person Shooter)
        Developer = UBI Soft
        Publisher = UBI Soft
        Players = 2 Player
        Online = Yes, Up To 6 Players
        Age = 12+
        Memory Usage = 89KB Minimum
        Released = November 2003


        STORY:
        The president of the United States, William Sheridan has just been assassinated in the same identical way that JFK got killed from up in a high window of a building with a sniper rifle. As the prime suspect hunted by cops, FBIs, CIA, and professional killers you must stay alive and try to prove your innocents, waking up on a beach with amnesia from where a bullet has left your head pounding, with the only clues are the number 13 tattooed on your collarbone and a safety-deposit key for a box in one of New York's banks. More clues from flashbacks and with help from old friends you must find the truth out and who really killed the president.


        GRAPHICS:
        The graphics is done in Cell-Shading which is a type of non photo realistic to make it appear to be hand-drawn like in a style of a comic book or cartoon. This style of graphics is mostly used in RPGs (Role-Playing-Games) like Dark Chronicles, Legend of Zelda and other genre like Dragon's Lair, Auto Modellista, Killer 7 and Dragonball Z but its the first time ever they have done a FPS (First Person Shooter) in Cell-Shading. The this is with Cell-Shaded games they don’t have the best amount of detail but have nice colorful graphics to them, which gives you the feeling its for the young kids but here it’s more of a comic style shooter for the adults with its blood and the close pop up boxes along the top of the screen of your knife or bullet hitting the targets head as if it was in slow motion. There’s also some nice explosions and words that appear with some sounds like you would see in the Batman comic style cartoons.


        SOUND/MUSIC:
        The music you will probably not notice it as it doesn’t stand out like in many other games. The guns all have there only unique sound when firing and reloading as well as any bullets hitting metal objects that’s makes a pinging noise. The characters have no thing special about them when it comes to the voices, the only funny and cool thing is that a few soldiers through the game that are on patrol some times start singing which is quite amusing and strange. There’s not much else to add in this section as it’s rather standard but nothing that stands out as appalling.

        CONTROLS:
        The layout of the buttons is setup suitable but can be tricky and awkward which makes the camera/character movement feeling unsmooth and jerky that leads to inaccurate shots. When this is not a problem or you get use to it, the buttons is fine with R1 for fire and R2 for an alternative fire on some. Triangle will do a quick heal if there’s a med kit in your inventory and weapons can be easily changed with O and Square buttons for forward/previous which also brings up a picture icon along the button right of the screen to let you choose quickly and shows if there’s ammo in them. You also have a button for jump and crouch with L1/L2 which leaves X to reload and do any other actions.


        GAMEPLAY:
        The gameplay is a bit more interesting than other FPS or should I say different as it follows a good storyline with a big conspiracy behind it which takes you to levels like a beach, bank, factory, mountains, a prison, an army base, Grand Canyons and much more through 34 levels. Stealth can be used at some parts with weapons like throwing knifes and a crossbow plus 8 other objects like a chair, ashtrays or a broom that can be cracked on someone’s head.

        People can be grabbed to be used as a human shield, as well as proper armor in the form of a bullet-proof vest and a helmet. There’s some nice weapons like the standard 9mm pistol, then the 44 special which is a very powerful revolver, 2 shotguns, crossbow, harpoon, Uzi, assault rifle, sniper and a few more totaling up to 15 and 8 everyday objects. You all so can carry med kits, keys, lockpick and a grapping hook which lets you go up or down once attached to metal objects but there never many about if at all.

        There are some missions where you are with a old friend or boss where you must defend them, also a neat thing is when you standing still or moving slow you can hear the other soldier footsteps which also shows with a tap, tap word that you can tell where they are even when behind walls


        REPLY-VALUE:
        There’s not real reply value for the single player main game as there’s no unlocks or anything like that. But in multiplayer which is only for 1-2 with CPU, there are 14 maps not the best designed but are still fun. Modes included are the normal 3 that are deathmatch, team deathmatch and capture the flag, plus power up which is a deathmatch but you must collect the boxes that randomly give you a weapon or armor plus there’s special power up ones that will give you things like super armor, regeneration, invisibility and much more. The final last mode is the hunt, an very original and excellent new mode I have enjoying on any multiplayer, where you must chase around after this target and shoot it, getting more points for higher damage. What I haven’t said that this person is like death it self, he is more of a child version of him, he’s smaller and as he runs he sings a song which is funny and weirdly interesting. As he is death, if he touches you, you will die and can be friting at times when he turns around a corner or does a 180 turn. Which you must quickly move out of the way. There’s also online feature but no one uses it anymore.

        If you are a big fan of cell-shaded games then you should be able to get it cheap second hand or even new, if not a fan but you like FPS give it a try but possibly rent it
        ---------------------------------------------------------------
        SCORE

        Graphics - 7/10
        Sound/Music - 8/10
        Controls - 8/10
        Gameplay - 6/10
        Replay Value - 5/10

        FINAL RATING - 6.8/10

        (Platinum)
        Amazon.co.uk = £17
        Play.com = £8
        I Paid = £18 (Play.com) January 2004
        ---------------------------------------------------------------
        Thanks for Reading.

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          06.01.2006 14:16
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          A flawed but highly enjoyable FPS. Looks lovely!

          First Person Shooters (FPS) are a very popular genre. With the likes of Medal of Honour becoming very well known and Halo just around the corner things were never looking so good! But FPS's tend to be very similar in the style and story (Mainly World War II). For those of you not aware of what an FPS is, it is a game played from the eyes of the character that uses guns and other weapons. So this means that you can only see the gun in the characters hand.
          Ubisoft decided to be a bit more original and create a FPS based on a comic book, XIII (13). And to be even more original they even decided to make it look and feel like the comic!

          Plot
          -----------------------------
          The game starts with a rather attractive animated comic strip showing the assassination of the President. He was shot in the same way as JFK; in an open-topped limo driving down a parade.
          You wake up on a beach with amnesia. The only clues you have to your identity are a key to a bank vault and a strange tattoo reading "XIII". A life guard spots you and takes you back to her cabin. Almost straight away the cabin is ambushed and the life guard killed. You must escape before more back-up arrives....

          After escaping you go to the bank that the key belongs to. The bank clerk recognises you instantly and leads you to your safety deposit box where a bomb is armed once opened. At the same time the bank is taken under attack and once again you must escape...

          You are then arrested and taken to an FBI building. Your name is "Steve Rowlands" and the FBI has in their possession photographic evidence of you shooting the President!!!

          Why did you assassinate the President? Who are these men after you? And why are they so eager to have you and your associates killed???

          Gameplay
          ------------------------------
          The game is set in around 30 levels, some of which include snowy mountains and laboratories. Basically you have to get from one end of the level to the other completing certain tasks and eliminating any enemy obstructing your path. Some missions require you to travel to the next destination, while others involve escaping from buildings. On your travels there are hidden documents that tell a small part about the conspiracy. These can be viewed on the main menu page. As you progress through the game, Steve Rowlands remembers how to use his trained skills which will help your quest immensely. These skills include Sniper Skill (A steady aim when sniping), Silent Walk (Sneak up on enemies easier) and Sixth Sense (The most helpful, see below).
          Use of stealth is very important if you are to stay alive as the enemy come packing! Creep up behind a guard and press the fire button to knock them out. Or use the crossbow to stealthily shoot your opponents in the head from a distance. Once you learn the ability to silent walk, sneaking up on your enemies is even easier!
          There is a hell of a lot of action to be played in this game. Lots of baddies and lots of guns and some great music to go with it! If there are no enemies around then the music is quiet and calm. But disturb a guard and the music kicks in making it much tenser and letting you know that you have been spotted.
          To help you out slightly, XIII lets you know of hidden guards or key points by bringing up little pictures that show enemies up ahead or round corners.
          The guards themselves have some pretty good AI. Shoot at them and they will duck and hide. They will also pick up a gun from the floor from one of their dead colleagues if they need it. They can see as far as you can (no Metal Gear "I can't see my own two feet" Solid on here!) so be extra careful on stealth missions not to be in the open.

          Some Nice Touches
          ------------------------------
          There are some excellent little touches to XIII that make it more original and true to the comic theme.
          As most of you probably know comics use onomatopoeia to express the noise and effects in the pictures. Well XIII uses this method also, and it works much better than you might think. A good example is the rocket launcher. A big curvy "Whoosh!" follows the rocket as it flies across the screen, the words getting smaller the further away it is. On impact the word "BAOOM!" appears in big bold letters. It gives the action scenes so much more character and is very appealing to the eye.
          Sixth Sense: If an enemy is behind a wall or object, you can see the word "Tap" with every footstep that he takes. The writing follows footsteps so that you can see where each enemy is before you go into a room, for example. And so that you know roughly how far away your foe is, the "Taps" are smaller the further away they are. This is probably the best feature of the game! It makes ambushing rooms simpler and tactical.
          During Steve Rowlands journey to find out his true identity he goes through a series of flashbacks. These flashbacks are in a dark world with all objects and people giving off a blue-white light. This is a nice effect taken from flash backs in, wait for it... comics!
          Another comic addition is the three-screen-shots that show sniper bullets, darts or knives ripping through the enemies head! A very gruesome feature that makes it that much more pleasing to get the men in the head!
          One of the best little touches to XIII is the noise in your ears after a close explosion. If you fire a grenade and it goes off too close to your character you get a dull sound in your ears, like if you were to go in a swimming pool. This means that you can't hear approaching troops or gun fire, as well as just being a great touch that I have not seen in a game before this.
          If you kill a foe, the amount of ammo gained is equivalent to how much they have fired, so if you are in desperate need for some sniper rifle ammo make sure you eliminate him before he can get any shots off!
          There are loads of weapons in XIII to keep you interested! One of my favourites is the throwing knives. Sneak up behind an enemy and aim the knife at his head (you get a proximity bracket so you don't have to be too accurate) and let it fly! If you get the head shot the three-screens will appear at the top of the screen showing you your achievement. Cool!
          Other weapons include dual handguns, machine guns and a rocket launcher, as well as grenades and your fists!

          Graphics
          -----------------------------
          When I first heard that XIII was going to use cel-shading (the cartoon effect used throughout) I was a bit unsure about how the game was going to look and feel. This is supposed to be a first person shooter, it will look rubbish and childish surely.
          Wrong! XIII actually looks superb! While some people may not appreciate it, Ubisoft have done a fantastic job!
          The problem with a comic book is that it is only 2D as it is a series of cartoon drawings. Using cel-shading techniques and some onomatopoeic effects, Ubisoft have managed to capture all the visual properties of the comics, as well as make an attractive 3D world.
          The intro of XIII is a prime example of how Ubisoft have incorporated the comics into the game. The first thing shown is the President riding in his limo with crowds either side. The camera pans out showing that it is a moving picture in a comic. Now all the other pictures can be seen and they move in time to when you look at them. It is very impressive and works very well!

          Sound
          -------------------------------
          There are some excellent, up-beat music scores in XIII. All will be silent when nobody is around, but be spotted and the music will up the pace until the entire enemy is neutralised.
          Gunfire and explosions and big and impressive and add perfectly to the atmosphere of the game.

          Difficulty
          -----------------------------
          There are three modes of difficulty: Easy, Normal and Professional. Fairly self-explanatory, but really it should read: Hard, Professional and Oh-My-God-This-Is-So-Hard!!!!! Yes, XIII is exceedingly difficult. Easy isn't too bad I suppose, but Professional is near impossible! It takes a lot of patience to learn where the enemy is situated and how to avoid the RPGs, because get hit by one of those babies and you're toast! Professional Mode is for hardcore gamers only!

          Multiplayer
          -----------------------------
          XIII allows up to 4 players play head to head in split screen. There are 5 modes to have a go at, the best being deathmatch. You can play on your own by adding some computer bots, which you can adjust to your level of skill. There are some nice levels but it does suffer from slow down, especially in 4 player mode.
          Suggestion: Get 5 or 6 mates, a couple of packs of Stella, some Pringles and a take-away pizza and add this to your games to be played (winner stays on works well)

          Online
          -----------------------------
          XIII can be played online on your PS2! Yey! I personally have not played it as I don't have the connection or resources. But apparently you can play up to 3 other people just like you would on multiplayer, but this way it's with complete strangers! If you have the online ability then this is an added bonus!

          Flaws
          ------------------------------
          Despite the very enjoyable game play, there are some rather annoying flaws. The most annoying has to be the seemingly random checkpoints in the levels. A good example would be on one of the levels where the checkpoint is at the start of the air vent before the boss. So when you die on the boss you have to go through the whole vent every time!!! Grrr! Why couldn’t the checkpoint be at the end of the vent? There are other times when there is a particularly hard scene that doesn't have a checkpoint at the start like you would think, meaning that you have to go back and do the previous bits again and again until you get past the difficult scene!
          Unfortunately there is a trial and error feel to the game. You have to learn where the enemy is situated and then how to get past. A good example are the men wielding RPGs. Get killed by one, learn where he is, get past and then get killed by another....
          Professional mode is tediously difficult and for experts only! If you are shot sometimes you can lose almost half your health!!!
          Rockets can kill instantly on harder difficulties, which is very frustrating because half the time you didn't even see the bloke!
          To get past the rocket launchers, you end up edging round corners with the sniper rifle until you can just see their head. This is done very often throughout the game and it can become a chore....

          Summary
          ------------------------------
          To summarise, XIII is a good FPS with superb sound and graphical effects. It is by no means outstanding, by it is still very enjoyable thanks to the lovely looking graphics, original effects and features and the size of the game. The main game itself will take the average player around 15 hours to complete on medium difficulty setting, with the multiplayer options adding hours of play, whether it's by yourself online or with a group of mates and some beers. It is very difficult at times, and the trial and error style lets it down slightly, but it is very playable and looks gorgeous! Original games are often a let down, but XIII proves that originality, when used properly with attention to every detail, can produce a great game!

          Overall
          ------------------------------
          My final thoughts of XIII are mostly positive. It is lovely to look at and has very good physics. The range of weapons stops it from being too repetitive and the conspiracy-rich plot ensures twists and confusion. I really enjoyed playing the whole game, and the multiplayer is great fun for a couple of hours. The difficulty is an acceptable flaw, but the checkpoints get very tedious at times, especially when you are really stuck on a boss. But the great look and feel of the game makes up for it all!
          I would recommend XIII to all fans of the genre, but it may not appeal to everyone else.

          You can pick this up for about £10 from most places! Definite bargain!

          I hope I have helped your insight to XIII, please feel free to leave me a comment! : D - Paul

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            17.06.2005 16:30
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            When i found this game for £10 in GAME one day, I thought I got myself a great deal and a bargain game here. How wrong was I when i first played it.

            What I found the game was the most crap storyline and the most awful gameplay ever found.

            The story was OK but after a while it got repetitive into what you have to do, and at times, takes a bit of the missions of Spinter Cell but in first person. The stealth ones are virtually impossible to do and that's what has let the game down.

            The selling point of XIII is the cel-shaded graphics to look like the actual comic books of XIII (if anyone did actually bother to read them).

            The single player mode was boring and started to get me off the game. However, when I moved onto online play, it was slightly better. You can play modes such as Deathmatch, Capture The Flag and Power-Up. However, if you play offline with a friend, then the only mode you get will be Deathmatch. It is a real shame to see no Cpature The Flag or Power-Up modes to be included as offline multi-player modes.

            In terms of weapons, none of them are exciting enough to keep gamers playing the game. There is the usual handgun, shotgun, machine gun and sniper rifle. Ubi Soft could have developed some imaginary weapons which some may not have been used in any other FPS or other shooting games around on the PS2.

            Offline multi-player aint that good either. If you want to play with a CPU bot, it is virtually impossible to win against the bot. This is one of my most disappointing bits of the game.

            For anyone who is thinking about getting the game, forget it and avoid at all costs. Go buy a better FPS game or wait till the best comes out later this year in the likes of Killzone and/or Timesplitters: Future Perfect. Anyone looking for a FPS shooter right now should get either Timesplitters 2 or Quake III Revolution.

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            • More +
              03.06.2005 10:30
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              Hi,
              this review is for the PC version of XIII, but DooYoo does not have it, so it is actually in the PS2 section.

              XIII is a game that my friend first told me about, and has been one of my faves ever since.

              It is a very unique game, due to the fact that it is the game of a French comic strip of the same name (this is why you may well see quite a few French players in the online mode) and so uses comic-style, cel-shaded graphics. Although many people may at first think this is a disadvantage it actually increases the fun, and also means that people with less powerful computers can play it without problems, widely increasing the amount of compatible computers across the world.

              The initial single-player game mode is great fun, and should definately be completed before you attempt the online game-mode, as it creates a good basis of skills to work on. You start off lying on a beach, and you can't remember anything about what happened before you woke up. The story continues, following the amnesiac (named XIII because of the strange tattoo on his arm) through various levels as he struggles to find out who he is. The storyline is enthralling, and is worth playing the entire single-player mode by itself! As you progress through the game, however, you will (if you buy the PC CD-rom version) have to switch discs a few times, as you need all four to play the game right the way through. This is rather annoying, especially as when you install the game it gives you a choice where you can choose to install the entire game onto your hard-drive, so you would think that you wouldn't need to use the discs.

              On the other hand, you could buy the DVD-rom version (if you have a compatible disc drive) ,although it costs slightly more, and save yourself the trouble, as the game is contained on just one disc.

              During the game, you have a choice of weapons at your disposal, that range from pistols to bazookas and from grenades to AK-47s, which each have their own pros and cons. This adds a bit of thought into the game, as you will often find yourself contemplating which gun to use in various situations during the game.

              Now for the online mode. This is what will really attract a lot of buyers, as you can also play fairly enough with just a normal dial-up connection! I still had a dial-up connection when i bought the game, and apart from some occasional lag, I still had great fun. The other players online will really push you to increase your skills, and this is why I recommend that you finish the single-player mode first, as you will then already know how the guns work and understand the controls. There are 6 online gamemodes, and different ones will appeal to different users, as each requires different levels of teamwork. Most of the weapons are available, and there are a selection of locations to choose from, originating from places in the single-player mode. Overall the online mode is a fantastic incentive to buy the game, although unfortunately there are no chat-rooms or other options in the main lobby, so you have to talk during matches.

              It is easy to learn how to play, and you will notice a considerable skill increase in just a few weeks!

              The sound is adequate for what it needs to do, although nothing special.The right sounds happen at the right time, but I can't say much more than that.

              The entire game is well thought out and very good fun, and is certainly worth buying, especially as you can buy it for only £5!!

              This is written by scorpio818, because I totally screwed my last account so I'm going to really work on this one. Thanks, Sam

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              • More +
                17.01.2005 00:04
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                • "looooooong loading"

                As every games company that ever existed attempts to have something cel-shaded in their line-up it is the now critically acclaimed publisher Ubi-Soft that come with the first cel-shaded FPS. But lets face it, when the game was announced over many months ago critics dismissed it as yet another shoddy game jumping on the cel-shaded bandwagon in a pathetic attempt to sell, I will shamefully admit I was one of those people.

                How wrong we were.

                When the game was unleashed in playable form at E3 2003 it easily stole the show, now it is available for all to buy and trust me, it is fantastic. The game is heavily storyline driven, you’ve awoken on a beach, you can’t remember a thing and all you have is a key and a tattoo of XIII (thirteen) on your chest. After being attacked at a bank you get arrested for the murder of the president. It is all very doom and gloom but as your memory comes back in a series of interactive flash backs (very nice) it truly sucks you in to this world of conspiracy and stolen identities.

                The storyline is fantastic and getting proper actors to voice the characters (David Duchovny voices the lead) creates this feeling of an interactive movie. This is the first game that manages to re-create that special movie feeling from Goldeneye you couldn’t quite put your finger on and that alone makes it a must buy. The feel of the game is amazing, the weapons actually feel like weapons and not crappy pea-shooters and you cannot imagine how satisfying smashing an unsuspecting baddie round the head with a chair is. The control system itself does seem to take a step back from recent FPS’, which is a small pity but it is still easy to pick up and play and that is the important thing.

                The cel-shading adds the entire comic book feel to the game, the game is based on the Belgium comic with the same name and Ubi-soft have included text within the game such as “boom” and “nooo” in an attempt to re-create that comic book feel. The cel-shading works wonders on the character modelsand the blur effects are gorgeous but the surrounding scenery does lack detail and in the wake of Zelda this is somewhat of a disappointment. But this does not hinder some fantastic level designs that includes the wonderful Asylum level (complete with crazy software engineer) and the garden in which you have to sneak your way through by sniping off guards and hiding their bodies in the shrubbery.

                Sadly the game has some annoying faults. The loading is way to long and there is no auto save making you sit through that loading screen too often. The multiplayer is awful and you are forced into playing Timesplitters 2 instead and the AI is plain dumb.

                But these are faults that are easily forgotten when you lodge a piece of broken glass into someone’s head or mow down an army of prison guards. Clever ideas including taking hostages and picking up part of the scenery is all vital to the gameplay and good fun to boot. XIII will not let you down.

                It is just a shame we'll probably never see a sequel to what was in fact a gripping tale.

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              • More +
                15.03.2004 00:08

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                Good - Advantages: Perfect Cartoon graphics, Good gameplay, 27 levels. Good voice acting. - Disadvantages: A Bit Repetitive

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            • Product Details

              XIII You wake up on a desolate beach, your memory erased and XIII tattooed on your chest. What lies ahead is a deadly quest into your shadowy past and America's darkest corridors of power.