Tuesday, March 04, 2008

XIII (2003)

Picked up XIII from gogamer for about $5 with some other games I wanted. It got really mixed reviews where some people liked it and some just thought it was OK. The main thing going for it is its cell shaded/comic book style. I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would.

The game had decent levels with a good mix of indoor and outdoor settings. Outdoor went from the tops of buildings, a military base, hunting cabin, etc. Inside was different military bases and other facilities you had to infiltrate. It had the usual mix of weapons but you also had some gadgets like a grappling hook. You could also do hand to hand combat or grab nearby chairs/bottles for non-lethal stealth take downs.

I felt the first half of the game was the best part. I initially stalled on the 3rd or so level as it was an escort mission which are normally bad in games. It was actually easier than I though as I never lost the person I was escorting in any of the few times where this was the mission. Normally, if I failed the escort, it was because I was taken down and not the person I was covering. They definitely did better than most other games in this aspect.

The story was decent and most of the voice acting was good (Adam West = Good; Duchovney = Bad). I liked the comic book style mini pictures that would appear now and then to explain the story or after a headshot. There were also the boom/pows of comic books and other visual clues about the sounds you hear. AI was nothing great but it wasn't horrible.

The main bad points of the game were the save system and the last half of it nvolved way to many levels of not being detected by the enemy. The save system was not save anywhere, it only allowed saves at the first of the level or at midpoint saves. This led to using the F2 healme cheat after my X play through of a level, especially after multiple end level deaths during boss fights. While I don't mind a few sneak levels, it seemed the last half of the game was filled with them. Only good thing was that you had the chance to take out the guard before they set off the alarm if you were detected, sometimes you could use lethal force but a lot of the last levels required hand to hand nonlethal take downs.

For the cheap price I paid it was worth the play through even with its few nagging faults. Not sure how I would feel about it at full price, but that is why I prefer bargain bin gaming.

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