The President of the United States of America has been assassinated. You wake up on a desolate strip of New England beach. The near-fatal impact of a bullet has left your head pounding, and your memory erased.
What's more, the number "XIII" has been mysteriously tattooed on your chest, while your pocket holds a key to a New York City bank box. Head swimming in amnesia, you struggle to your feet only to encounter more assailants intent on finishing the job. To your shock, you handle the hitmen with the killing skills of a professional - before heading to the bank in search of any shred of information about your lost identity and your involvement in the President's murder.
What lies ahead is a deadly quest not only into your shadowy past, but America's darkest corridors of power.
From the incredible visual presentation to the frenetic action to the jaw-dropping effects and pulse-pounding music, XIII is where it's at.
Has a great story-driven sheen, but at it's core, it's weighed down by some occasional bewildering flaws, in addition to the lackluster weapons and simple combat we usually see in lesser productions.
If you love first person shooters, or stealth, or being able to break chairs over people's heads, and then swing away on a grappling hook, than this is for you.
Seeing the game from beginning to end reveals its true artistic merit: it never gets stale; every episode has been drawn with minute care and attention. It would have been an incredible achievement if the gameplay had matched the outstanding art direction. [Dec 2003, p.94]
A pretty easy game to let go and move on from.
While it definitely has a certain sense of style to it, the game itself misses its mark, and the total package isn't one that will hold the interest of most first-person shooter players.
It's one of those mixed-bag situations - flashes of genius and genuinely enjoyable moments of success, occasionally mired by unbalanced weapon damage, clumsy AI and the odd bit of unfair level design that requires astounding feats of memory. [Dec 2003, p.98]