XIII Review thumbnail

XIII Review

A remade and freshly patched FPS

Mary Billington

Reviewed by playing a PS5 on 🔫

XIII is also available for PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch

XIII is rated Mature by the ESRB

The remake of 2003's XIII made its way to PlayStation 5 with a brand new iteration so let's see how this first-person shooter holds up.

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XIII screenshot 1
Now, that's one snazzy slipcase

I'll start by saying that I have never played the original XIII. Although I'd seen it in bargain bins years after its release, I never felt compelled to pick it up due to my limited enjoyment of first-person shooters in general. However, when I decided to give it a go via this remake, I was drawn to the comic book presentation and ended up having a good time. Thankfully, my first foray into XIII was with this fully patched version for PS5 so I missed the apparently very buggy initial remake from a couple years ago. v1d30chumz 35-172-230-154

In XIII, you play as an unidentified man with amnesia who slowly recalls his memory while dodging gunfire and meeting all manner of characters along the way. When the lifeguard who saves you is shot in cold blood, you know that the protagonist has a colourful story to unfold. As you progress, you'll explore a solid variety of scenarios such as navigating a large bank, military base, snowy mountains, an asylum, and a desert. Each location provides something different such as a submarine base that requires you to grapple across the top of shipping containers and a desert canyon where you'll find yourself winding up and down walkways and through tunnels.

XIII screenshot 2
Hey, would you guys happen to be related?

Some areas lend themselves more to stealth combat such as the military base where you'll have to act fast before an enemy triggers the alarm which immediately results in a game over. Other areas require a lot of firepower and you have quite the arsenal including a revolver, shotgun, grenades, sniper rifle, crossbow, and even a bazooka. I was pleasantly surprised by how simple the controls are given the number of weapons you'll come across and I got pleasure out of being able to quickly cycle between the different weapons depending on where enemies were situated. In this sense, there's a certain amount of strategy that you can utilize.

XIII screenshot 3
Reading signs is for dweebs

On top of the weapons, you also use a few tools to get around environments such as a lockpick, grappling hook, and zipline. Seeing as most stages are fairly linear, you'll find yourself simply picking the item you need to use at the right moment to make your way across a gap or through a locked door; exactly as the story intends. This is certainly one area where XIII could do better although if you're more interested in playing a linear shooter that has as much complexity as a typical arcade game then you may get more out of it.

XIII is a colourful first-person shooter with an interesting visual style that mimics a comic book in many regards. For example, when you make a headshot, you'll be treated to a quick comic panel showing the enemy getting shot and as you take out enemies, you'll see an "ahhh!" display above their head. You can even watch for the word "tap" that pops up where enemies are walking to help you get around stealthily. There are also some funny moments such as when enemies get lost in song and a joke about an entrapped developer that must be freed so he can release a patch. Obviously, XIII doesn't take itself too seriously which is a good thing because it's not a particularly strong game so it's nice to see it poke fun of itself and that actually goes well with the overall comic style.

XIII screenshot 4
What did that snowman ever do to you?

XIII is a linear first-person shooter with a neat graphical style that offers simple fun akin to a game that belongs in an arcade. However, FPS veterans may be put off due to its linearity and general lack of depth.

  • + Decent variety of weaponry and intuitive controls that anyone can enjoy
  • + Pleasing and colourful comic book style
  • + Over-the-top arcade shooting scenarios
  • - May be too simple for FPS veterans
  • - Levels are very linear for the most part
7.3 out of 10
Gameplay video for XIII thumbnail
Watch Mary play XIII
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