XIII - Xbox review

4 out of 5
£35

For

Looks great

Against

Slightly linear

No matter what age you are, you always have a soft spot for comic books; the classic storylines, the great graphics and the step away from reality allows us to take a break from the realism that games and life constantly throw our way.

In steps XIII, the latest first person shooter from Ubisoft that has been graphically styled to look and play just like the French comic book series on which the story is based.

The premise is simple. You play a special agent washed up on a beach having lost his memory. The ensuing levels and flashback see you slowly piece your memory back together, the mission you were on and the trouble you were in. Of course this game isn’t about you wandering around like a lost puppy and before you can say, “how’s your father” the bad guys are shooting at you, people are getting killed and you realise that its all part of a horrible government cover-up with you the final piece of the puzzle that needs to be silenced.

Gameplay is like any other first person shooter and the story unravels in a nice way with the action interlaced nicely with cutscenes that keep the story ticking over. While the storyline is strong and the gameplay pretty standard, this is not the reason you should be buying the game. The reason is to marvel at being in a interactive comic book. Characters are all 2D while the scenery is very much 3D. The little details make for an even nicer experience - throw your knife at someone and a comic strip will show the knife flying towards them before its deadly strike. Likewise, soldiers approaching make tap tap tap noises that are illustrated on screen with the words “tap tap tap”. In fact it’s these elements that actually make this game seem better than it actually is.

Four screen multiplayer can get a bit manic and our advice is do this only if you have a big television. With “BOOM!” written across the screen every time there is an explosion - and multiple action - the X-Box coped well, it’s just our television and eyes didn’t.

Verdict

Overall this is a good game that uses a very good graphical approach to make you think there is more here than you first thought. That is not to say this is a bad game, with a poor storyline - far from it, but when you actually delve into it further this is your standard first person shooter with a beautiful outside.