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Electronic Gaming Monthly : Xbox : XIII
XIII (Xbox)
Also On: GC | PC | PS2
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Genre(s): Action > First-Person
ESRB Rating: Mature
Release Date: 11/24/2003 (USA)
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Slideshow | All Shots
Good: Great graphics and a fantastic lounge-style soundtrack

Bad: Enemies that rarely, if ever, #$%@ing miss!

You Don't Pronounce the Name: Ex-eye-eye-eye


Score:6.5 (out of 10)

You'd be hard-pressed to find a more visually stunning game than XIII, a gorgeous first-person shooter in which you play an amnesiac...who may or may not have assassinated the President. This stylish action title mixes an animated film aesthetic with presentation reminiscent of smart, '60s movie thrillers. And its comic-book look is functional, too. For instance, when patrolling guards approach around a corner, you'll see the "tap-tap-tap" of their footsteps on screen. And if a soldier finds the body of a fallen guard, a cartoon cell of the scene will appear, alerting you of the discovery.

If only the developers had spent half as much time fine-tuning the enemy A.I. as they did finessing the graphics, XIII would be incredible. It's been said that it's easy to develop foes whose bullets always hit you and hard to create those that realistically miss. You'll definitely have that in mind while playing XIII, because it's populated with soldiers who are complete dead-eye dicks. You get your ass shot off so often in XIII, you'll nearly spend more time reloading your last save than playing. It's ridiculous.

Numerous frustrations pile up to make XIII more chore than thrill. You begin most levels with the same amount of health you had from the last, it lacks a save function or working auto-aim feature, and the missions feel like watered-down versions of those in GoldenEye 007 (Nintendo 64). Even co-op and online (for PS2 and Xbox) play can't save a shooter that has such unappealing firefights. Take me in. I give up.


Score:6.5 (out of 10)

Arriving with more style than the majority of today's games, XIII has a fresh presentation that drops you smack-dab into a living, breathing comic book. But style can only take you so far, and it can't stop superhuman A.I. from tainting this first-person shooter. Its baddies are ridiculous crackshots, and no amount of skill can prevent you from suffering countless cheap deaths. Design hiccups also complicate matters—many levels have poorly placed checkpoints (or none at all), and the insufficient supply of health packs consistently puts you at a distinct disadvantage. What starts as a hip-looking shooter with a gripping story and varied missions ends in furious, fitful frustration. Keep this unlucky number in mind only when renting.


Score:6.5 (out of 10)

I was certainly looking forward to this game, if only to see something different being done with a first-person shooter. And XIII definitely has that going for it; its comic-book-themed storytelling integrates nicely into the game. But while the style, cut-scenes, and story are all great, the actual gameplay is pretty mundane.

The action is old hat for any shooter veteran, as are most of the missions objectives, including the requisite escort and key-gathering excursions. And once the graphical luster wears off, the whole thing actually looks pretty simplistic. But if all you need is a solid shooter fix, XIII will do just fine. It has no fatal flaws, and the conspiracy-laced story should keep you going.

All Reviews from Ziff Davis Publications SCORE
Electronic Gaming Monthly
There's no shaking it. It's an unlucky number.

scale: 1 - 10
Game Now
13's one lucky number after all.

scale A - F
Great story; great looks; not so great gameplay.

scale: 1 - 10
GMR Magazine
Killer visuals—but little else.

scale: 1 - 10
Release Date: 11/24/2003 (USA) More Info: Official Website
Players: 1-8 Multiplayer: Xbox Live

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