As stylish a game as you'll see, XIII is a virtual testament to why you can have both style and substance under the same roof. Adopting a comic-book style throughout, from the wonderfully compiled cut-scenes through to the cel-shaded in-game graphics, it follows the adventures of agent XIII, finding him initially stranded on a beach with no memory of what went before. As the game progresses, he keeps getting flashbacks to help fill in some of the blanks, no doubt part-inspired by the number of people interested in killing him. The gameplay itself takes the form of a first-person action-adventure, and a thumping good one at that. There's nothing particularly original about mixing in action, puzzle solving, exploration and stealth, but rarely has it all hung together as well as it does here. Put simply, XIII is a delight to play, with well-thought-through levels, generally fine enemy AI and, when the tempo is racked up, plenty of guns a-blazing and a healthy dose of tension to boot. On the visual side, we've seen cel-shading as graphical style in games before, more often than that leading to some bland visuals once the novelty has worn off. Not so here. The level of thought and care that has gone into the look and feel of XIII is there for all to see, and for it to be married up to such a compulsively addictive game is just the icing on a really rather delicious cake. Should you buy it? Most certainly, you should. If you don't, then the next time you lament the lack of care and adventure in your collection of games, then you really will have brought it all upon yourself. --Simon Brew
- The Ulimate Conspiracy: Unravel a whirling conspircy plot where your identity, the President's assassination, and the future of America are shrouded in mystery.
- Unique Visual Style: Graphic-novel presantation, flashback graphics, and pop-up windows create a groundbreaking entry into the genre.
- Groundbreaking Gameplay: To survive, you'll master techniques ranging from covert infiltration to heavy combat for a variety of gameplay that's unprecedented.
- A Deadly Arsenal of Weapons: Handle a dizzying array of weapons, ranging from silent crossbows to precision sniper rifles.