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XIII Remake re-launches to a much warmer reception than before

The remake of the remake is here

In an unlucky world, it’s time to get lucky. Publisher Microids is celebrating the launch, and re-launch, of XIII, a remake of a remake of the classic 2003 first-person shooter that made a name for itself on PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube. Following a disastrous launch in 2020, this remake of the 2020 remake makes its debut on new systems, complete with an entire overhaul of work, form the graphics to the framerate.

The Nintendo Switch trailer for the re-launch of the XIII remake, available now

The launch trailer showcases what players will come to expect of XIII, form the combat to the stealth to the multiplayer. XIII is a full remake of the classic fps from Ubisoft, based on the 1984 graphic novel of the same name by Jean Van Hamm. The premise is familiar for those that are avid fans of the Bourne series. An agent finds himself washed up on the beach, with no recollection of who he is, other than a mysterious tattoo etched onto him, XIII. Suddenly, gunfire erupts, as elite assailants and FBI agents chase him. Wrongly framed for the murder of the President of The United States, XIII works to survive, clear his name, and end the conspiracy.

Fans remember the original 2003 title for its slick graphic novel-inspired visuals, which created a distinct aesthetic. This style also had a sort of nostalgic element as the blocky, chunky assets and rendering were reminiscent of the golden days of Goldeneye and Perfect Dark on the Nintendo 64. The game play featured a smooth 60fps, a lengthy, thrilling single-player campaign, and a robust multiplayer that supported both local split-screen and online competition. For the XIII remake, the artistic direction is a significantly sleeker and robust portrayal, with more realistically rendered weapons and levels, but still sporting a cell-shaded graphic novel style. The XIII remake also comes sporting local and online multiplayer as well.

XIII remake takes another shot

Previously, a XII remake launched to a horrible critical reception. Developer PlayMagic helmed the development team for the remake and released it in Fall 2020. However, XIII was completely and fundamentally broken. Graphical glitches, gameplay bugs, and a myriad of other problems plagued the game’s launch. Subsequent patches did little to alleviate the crime that was the XIII remake. I fondly remember trying to use a mounted machine gun, and between the screen tears, clipping, and the fact that I couldn’t even turn the machine gun in the direction I needed to turn it to, I dismissed the game entirely in disappointment Perhaps the only good the game accomplished was acting as a partial numbing to the launch of Cyberpunk 2077, which would feature its own set of problems at launch.

Critics quickly wrote off the XIII remake. However, an unexpected announcement revealed that a new studio, Tower Five, would overhaul the entire game of XIII. That new version of the XIII remake launched on September 20. So far, the reception has been far warmer and much more positive, those same feelings coming from myself as well. Having begun playing on the PlayStation 5, the game holds well at a steady 60 fps. Even the familiar graphic comic effects return, something that was absent with the 2020 release. Perhaps the only complaint I have is the A.I. However, so far, the action is satisfying, which is what I came to expect.

It is a remarkably rare occurrence for a publisher to be fully aware of catastrophic problems. Even rarer is for the team to then actively work to correct them. Microids employed an entirely new team to fix the errors of the 2020 launch.

XIII is now available on PlayStation 5. Xbox Series X/S, and Nintendo Switch.

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