Some games just don’t get the credit they deserve because of ticky-tacky technical issues or just a general disinterest by the public. This is very much the case with this game, simply titled XIII, or 13 for your Romans. I don’t know why this game did not get the chance it deserved. It had a lot of production value go into it and had more good things than bad things. I guess some games just don’t have the luck of some other ones, because this game really is the definition of a buried treasure.
I used to make my friend who never heard of it play it and instantly they became hooked. You play as XIII, I would go into his back-story and explain why he is in the situation he is but even he doesn’t know. XIII wakes up in Brooklyn on the beach. He is very badly hurt, has no memory of how he got there, and has a number XIII tattooed on him. I mean, I’ve woken up places before and not known how I got there but that was easily explained by my pounding headache and the empty bottle of tequila in my hand.
But before XIII can even start to figure out what is going on he is attacked by men with guns, and they don’t appear too friendly. The story continues from there as you try to piece together your past and figure out what is going on. It is a great story, with plenty of twists and turns. One of the big things that makes the game different than any other is the graphics. The game looks like you are playing a comic book. I don’t mean that it is cell shaded and that’s it because plenty of games that are cell shaded. This one takes it a step further. It really feels like a living comic book. When you shot at an enemy it will show they long Arrrrr that you see written in a comic books. You will notice these right from the beginning but as you play more you will find many little things that really add to the appeal. When you are playing the stealth missions you will see the tip tap words of footsteps are the enemies search for you. Or if you snipe someone, a series of comic panels will appear in the top of the scenes showing the sequence of your bullet meeting their head.
It is these little things that really take you into the game. The developers also added to the experience by going out and hiring some big time names to do the voice acting. The title character XIII is voiced by the one and only David Duchovny, who adds more awesomeness than anyone else could. But the cast also includes notables such as Eve and Adam West. This adds to the mystery of why this game isn’t in everyone’s collection. The only let down is the gameplay, and yes, I know that is a big part of a game.
It’s like a great work of art on tissue paper, as impressive and beautiful as it might look, it doesn’t really have that much depth. The shooting is not bad at all, it’s just very average which is disappointing considering how unique everything else in the game is. If you have never played this game, do yourself a favor and pick it up. You can get it on the cheap nowadays. It may not be the best first person shooter out there but it is solid and one of the most unique, which makes it a really makes this game a diamond in the rough.