A case of all style and no substance or something more?
In 2003, back when Ubisoft was more well liked by the gaming community at large, the publisher released something that was one-of-a-kind at the time, a wholly cel-shaded shooter for what was then current gen consoles. The game was XIII, and it followed the cel-shaded craze that occurred in the early 2000's. Armed with a combination of stealth and action gameplay, XIII delivers on more than just being a pretty face... er... game. See why with my review.
Found unconscious and injured on a beach, our protagonist Jason Fly suffers from a convenient bout of amnesia with little idea of who he is. All he has are flashes of memories that occur throughout the game and an accusation that he assassinated the President of the United States. What Fly enters into is a world of espionage, conspiracy, and killing in a story-driven first-person shooter that is based off a Belgian comic book series.
|Well, at least you won't need that Lasek procedure anymore.|
|Boom! I mean, Bam! Headshot!|
XIII has you going on a roller coaster of a ride in Jason Fly's journey to find out the truth behind the death of the U.S. President and the conspiracy behind it. It will take you through firefights on rooftops, isolated cabins in an arctic wilderness, around and inside a submarine, a battle on a dock, and inside the very heart of the conspirators' chambers.
As stated before in this review, XIII is a blend of action and stealth gameplay. Sometimes you'll be asked to pump lead through as many enemies as possible along the way, while others you'll be evading their sights and taking them out in a subduing fashion so innocents don't die. You can pick up objects like chairs and broomsticks and smash them over the head of enemies to knock them out. Avoiding detection is of the utmost importance sometimes, so you'll have to also carry bodies to areas of levels where no one will spot an unconscious sack of skin and organs, thus calling in reinforcements. Sometimes this will have you fail the mission if other enemies are alerted to your presence. Other times it just means A LOT more guns being aimed at you.
|Take hostages to make your foes think twice about|
taking some shots at you.
Other times the goal of levels is to just make your way from Point A to Point B. Levels can occasionally offer a multitude of ways to get past foes. One level early in XIII where you're taken to an FBI facility as a suspect to the shooting of the President of the United States has you with the ability to either take out FBI officers with a heavy hit from a chair or you can pass through the ventilation system to pass them by completely.
|XIII still manages to impress even 12 years later.|
Meanwhile, however, in XIII, Jason Fly's weaponry isn't much to talk about. There are your standard weapons like pistols, magnums, assault rifles, shotguns, among others that don't really leave a mark in one's memory-- at least not as much of a mark as their bullets leave in a foe's body. As seen in the multiplayer mode, most of these are unbalanced unfortunately, meaning that you'll generally want to stick with a few favorites than utilize the entire selection of weaponry.
|Okay, okay. The Bazooka is pretty fun to use.|
Then again, when ISN'T a bazooka fun to use?
|Get up to four humans together to frag one another.|
[SPC Says: B-]