Wildcard Wednesday: XIII
Posted by Dave Letcavage
Not an unlucky number for everyone
Wildcard Wednesday is a new feature on Pure Xbox. We open up the floor to one of our writers to talk about any game that they have fond memories of, on any platform. From Pole Position on the Atari 2600, through to Journey on the PS3, no game is off the table. To kick us off, Dave Letcavage digs in to talk about a shooter that was released for Microsoft's first Xbox.
After being quite impressed by the footage of Titanfall that was shown off during Gamescom, I started thinking about all the fantastic multiplayer FPS experiences I’ve had in my life. Goldeneye on the Nintendo 64, Quake III Arena on the Dreamcast, Rainbow Six 3: Black Arrow on the original Xbox...and then I remembered an often forgotten game from Ubisoft that my friends and I used to have an absolute BLAST with…
That game was XIII.
To this day, I can’t tell you too much about the single-player offering. The most that comes to mind is that you’re some sort of espionage agent with amnesia, and you’ve been framed for the assassination of the president…something along those lines. Believe it or not, I did actually play the campaign to the end, and I remember enjoying it quite a bit; however, the multiplayer experiences must have pushed the details from my head. And it makes sense, because my friends and I played team deathmatch a lot– I mean, A LOT.
First off, it’s worth admitting that XIII is one of the first online shooters I recall playing outside of Rainbow Six 3. There were no dedicated servers, so the game often ran terrible – sometimes laggy to the point of being broken – though somehow it could still be enjoyable. But it wasn’t the online multiplayer either that held my attention for the long run. Instead, it was the dying trend of sitting on a couch with your best buds locally, sharing some high fives, and throwing around a little coarse language here and there, that we found to be extra special.
The thing is that we played this one differently than I imagine it was typically played. We would usually play Team Deathmatch on the New York map, four of us playing against four "Insane" difficulty bots. With no time limit, and a 500 max kill limit, a match of this nature generally lasted about two to three hours, because as opposed to a run-and-gun approach, we would take over a base and hold tight on all of its entryways. On the second floor of the building there is this perfect room for sniping, where you could stop majority of the traffic from even making its way to the doorstep. Hold this point, always win the match. It was a game of patience, but I’ll tell ya, we had so much fun with it.
Sometimes, after we’d slaughter a round of AI players that attempted to overrun our base, it would take them a while to find their way back after respawning. Instead of being annoyed by this lapse in play, we appreciated it, because it gave us time to take a swig from our beverages, or grab a handful of chips. XIII certainly isn’t the best game in the world, but it did happen to be a game that catered to our preferred style of play, and for that, it's earned a legendary status within my group of friends. I can confidently say this is a game I still see us revisiting it for years to come.
So what about you guys, have you spent time with XIII? If so, did you have any unconventional multiplayer excitement similar to mine, or did you play things in a traditional manner? We’d love to hear about your experiences with the game in the comments.