The XIII remake, when it was released in 2020, was a disaster. Players complained of poor AI, bugs, missing multiplayer and an art style that abandoned the iconic, cel-shaded look of the original. After almost two years of further work by a different developer, the remake of the XIII remake is now live.
Here’s a trailer of the new version:
Offered as a free update to the remake, this latest version aims to address each of the complaints and effectively represents a do-over. For starters, the art style now more closely resembles the thick-lined comic book style of old, as seen in the trailer above. Given the art style was just about the only notable thing about the original XIII, which was released in 2003, it makes sense to maintain the look even while making everything more detailed and higher resolution.
The update also re-introduces online multiplayer for 2-13 players, a feature of the original game but not the remake. The news post on Steam also promises that the update enhances the AI, reworks the HUD and revamps the sound design of the remake.
Watching the trailer above, the remake does look better than it did before, although I’m still surprised that so much effort has been put into revising a remake to a game that was just-okay when it was released nearly twenty years ago.
XIII, if you’ve never encountered it, is based on a 1980’s Belgian comic series about an amnesiac with the skills of a government agent attempting to discover their identity and in turn uncovering their involvement in a conspiracy to assassinate the US President. The original game was developed by Ubisoft, the same year they also released Prince Of Persia: Sands Of Time, Splinter Cell, and Beyond Good & Evil. A different time.
The remake released in 2020 was published by Microids and developed by PlayMagic, and the reception was so bad that both companies made an official apology after release. This do-over is developed by a new studio, Tower Five. Whether it can reverse the “overwhelmingly negative” Steam reviews remains to be seen.