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Lunabean's XIII Review

XIII
Buy XIII
Strategy Guide: LB Strategy Guide
Lunabean Rating: 8.5
Platforms: PS2*, GCN, Xbox, PC
Release Date: 11.18.03
ESRB Rating: M - Mature
Official Site: XIII
Purchase Game from Amazon.com: PS2, GCN, XBox, PC
LB's Ad-Free and Printer-Friendly "XIII" Walkthrough: Only $4.95 - Screenshot Version $5.95
Still Stuck?: Lunabean's Forums
Online Play: No


*Designates which platform we played in creating the guide

Review


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A wonderful surprise from a game that many reviewers have panned.

GameSpot gave it a 6.4. IGN calls it pretty, but lacking in gameplay. GameSpy gives it only three stars (out of five), again, stating the aesthetics of the game don't match up to the originality of gameplay. I say they're all wrong, and to pan such a great game because the gameplay "lacks originality" does a disservice to the video gaming industry.

"XIII" is based on the French comic of the same name, which I, admittedly, know nothing about. The cel-shading reflects the comic book feel, as do the many "BAM"s, "CRACK"s, and "TAP TAPS" displayed as enemies are killed, maimed or around the corner. However, I felt the power the comic book most strongly through the story. "XIII" dripped with enough conspiracy to ease all of my "X-Files" withdrawal symptoms (at least for the next year). Of course, the voice of the game's hero being David Duchovney's helped satisfy these needs, too.

The storyline is best described by those who created it, UbiSoft:

"You wake up on a desolate strip of a New England beach. The near-fatal impact of a bullet has left your head pounding, and your memory erased. Whats more, the number "XIII" has been mysteriously tattooed on your chest, while your pocket holds a key to a New York City bank box. Head swimming in amnesia, you struggle to your feet only to encounter more assailants intent on finishing the job. To your shock, you handle the hitmen with the killing skills of a professional - before heading to the bank in search of any shred of information about your lost identity and your involvement in the President's murder. Unravel a whirling conspiracy plot where your identity, the President's assassination, and the future of America are shrouded in mystery."

It's like playing "The Bourne Identity". It really is.

"XIII"'s gameplay is exactly what one would expect from a solid, but not ground breaking, first-person shooter. Levels are clearly broken into "Infiltrate", "Do What You Need to Do", and "Exit". Weapons range from Silenced 9mms to Sniper Rifles to Bazookas. The AI is isn't the greatest I've ever seen, but it does make the guys from the newest "Medal of Honor" game look even dumber.

UbiSoft's "XIII" is a fantastic first-person shooter driven by one of the best storylines I've come across in first-person shooter history. And, as you should be able to tell even from those who gave the game rather "meh" ratings, the cel-shaded graphics are beautiful and original. That's gameplay, story and graphics. What more do people need from a video game?

- Allison


**This page, along with all pages at Lunabean.com, is copyrighted. You may not reproduce any portion of this page anywhere without the express written consent of Lunabean, LLC.
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