There are video games that for some reason didn't get all the attention they should in the past. When we look back, we can see how certain games have been unfairly forgotten: an artificial intelligence like that of the mythical FEAR has not finished being all that it should be remembered, despite being one of the best in history, Blade: Edge of Darkness does not enjoy the same popularity as the Souls saga and XIII never received that second part that would have done so much justice.
My head, I don't remember anything ...
XIII's story is based on the comics created by Jean Van Hamme and Yves Sente in 1984. Using amnesia as a premise, we will uncover Steve Rowland's past and at the same time fight against an organized gang that plans to organize a new revolution in United States. Our character, with the only clue of a tattoo of number XIII and with a Winslow bank key, must reduce all the suspicions that incriminate him as the assassination of the President of the United States.
History has always been one of the most solid arguments of the video game to remain in the memory of all those who knew how to appreciate it in its day. A script masterfully carried out with a cinephile touch that is further enhanced with the new cinematics that are added to the game as a plus to fully enter the story. Betrayal, conspiracy, power struggle and madness in many cases, are some of the key points that the story of XIII keeps behind.
In the remake, the title continues to remain fresh in this sense, offering the player a much more immersive opportunity thanks to the finish that its mappeds have. Some, like the mythical sanctuary or the SPADS camp, are wonderful to see portrayed. They already had acceptable visual power in the 2003 video game, but now they earn much more.
The biggest misfortune that we find despite a considerably good mapping and a graphical finish that, beyond a few lighting problems, behaves wonderfully, is that the performance failures end up reducing the player's experience a bit. Such errors as the animations of the enemies when they die and their erratic behaviors when they face us, make the title detract from one of the great powers it had: the gameplay.
While this is something that will be fixed in principle with the launch patch, we cannot ignore that warning from the main problem we have encountered. On the other hand, there are errors such as the use of stairs when going down them or the lowering of frames at certain moments of the game. Accompanied by some popping and clipping problems, the title urgently requires that patch to keep up with the essence of the original title.
Despite everything named with the graphic aspect of the game at its performance level, XIII Remake is a considerable facelift within what the original title offered. There are characters that have an artistic style closer to that of the comics, such as Jones or Walter Sheridan. Others like the elusive Mongoose or Ben Carrington are still quite similar to the original models.
In that aspect of graphically recreating a comic style without losing the details that the original title had, the work is great. The weapons feel much more realistic and although some vignette details are lost - there is a specific moment at the end of the game where the vignette highlighted quite that part of the story that has been suppressed - they change slightly, there are others that remain: the nailed knives and the cartoon showing the face of our victim, a character falling off a cliff, the onomatopoeia of an exploding grenade, and so on.
Gunplay still feels great with exceptions when it comes to boss fights. Throughout the title we will have to face certain enemies that we will chase throughout the game. There are some other characters who do not behave as well as they should and while in the original title they were a challenge, here they remain as a mere anecdote that is hardly going to pose any problem. This point is a real blunder on the part of the company since one of the most beloved things on the part of the players of the original XIII was to face characters like number XI, which is one of those who can give more problems in this version.
One of the most attractive things XIII possessed and that even many players of the original title missed in its day, was the multiplayer mode. He was fun, dynamic, had a funny tone at all times, and death-hunting ways were just great.
We have found it a mistake that the title has opted for local multiplayer and, in addition, has wanted to add content to drops, being cited for later the way that we have named you above. With that potential that a game like XIII possesses and living in a time where multiplayer has relative weight within an FPS, opting for this presentation model is more of a mistake than a success.
On the other hand, it is to be applauded that they wanted to maintain the sound essence of the original game. The voices are exactly the same in both their English and Spanish versions, being dubbed directly with the lines of dialogue from the previous game. The Mongoose still has his old shrill voice, old Carrington his philosophical military tone and we have not forgotten our voice thanks to the effects of amnesia.
A success and a show of respect that could well have been skipped. On the other hand, one of the things that should improve that launch patch to which we have referenced is the lines of dialogue that sometimes stutter and even in some cutscenes are not heard. It doesn't happen very often, but sometimes it is annoying.
What I think of the game after playing
XIII has been one of the most original shooter of the last 20 years, implementing fun mechanics, fluid control and providing a very suggestive story. XIII Remake is a golden opportunity to finish tipping the balance on one side or the other. It has performance gaps that have to be improved to shine with the power it should, but it also still maintains that essence worthy of one of the most underrated titles in history.