The trouble with remakes is they sometimes lose the essence of what made the original game so special and unique.
Unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s happened with XIII. Mostly stripping out the game’s cel-shaded comic book style, Microids have replaced it with a … well, quite generic-looking FPS aesthetic.
The characters certainly look more life-like, the explosions are bigger and more vibrant, but the stylish brush strokes that really set the game apart back in 2003 are mostly gone.
Unfortunately, the issues don’t stop there. The guns don’t feel like they have much weight to them with the impact of shots feeling like you’re firing paper bullets. Not just that, but the performance – particularly on an Xbox One – is awful.
The frame rate is extremely choppy, the environment is continually clipping with objects falling through tables and bodies just…randomly disappear.
Fortunately, the game’s performance is much improved on Xbox Series X, with a smoother frame rate and improved textures. Though the game’s AI is consistently awful wherever you play, with enemies randomly huddling around corners – sometimes facing a wall. In other situations, I’ve shot and killed one man, when the other stood next to him didn’t react at all. It’s pretty dire.
The game’s story remains mostly in-tact. The remake hasn’t changed too much in terms of the game’s content. There’s still documents and statues to find, and the remake is still based around the same chapters of the graphic novel from the classic edition.
As we were preparing coverage, however, Microids and Playmagic released a letter to the community which basically acknowledges all of these problems, and that there are patches and fixes coming over the next few weeks to help.
While these fixes likely won’t alter some of the thoughts we have towards the game, since we hadn’t completed our coverage in time, we feel it only fair to wait until these fixes have been implemented before passing a final judgement.
For now, we’ll wait and see how these fixes affect the game over the next few weeks, but we’d strongly advise against playing XIII on current-gen hardware in this state, at least. Next-gen, the game is considerably better but there’s a lot that’s still not quite up to scratch.
We’d certainly advise waiting on this until at least the first update is live, but what we will say for sure is there’s other inherent problems here that go beyond re-balances and tweaks.
XIII is now available on PC, PS4, and XO
Code kindly provided by Microids