XIII remake to get major overhaul via free update on September 13, Switch port launches same day

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In November of 2020, Microids released a remake of their 2003 cult classic shooter XIII. The remake received overwhelmingly negative reviews, to the point that developer PlayMagic and publisher Microids issued a joint apology blaming the COVID-19 pandemic. Reviews criticized the game's poor technical performance and several changes to the game design, including a weapon limit and a worse A.I. Chief among the complaints, however, was the altered art style. XIII is based on a Belgian graphic novel and its cel-shaded art was meant to emulate the comic book look, but the remake went with a more standard look. (This Tweet that circulated around the time of the game's release provides a good image comparison.)

Now, Microids has entrusted French developer Tower Five (Lornsword: Winter Chronicle) to completely overhaul XIII. The update has been in the works for over a year now and Microids claims that "the development studio reworked the entire game from the Art Direction to the AI and added numerous technical improvements." Some of the promised improvements include a "refined art style," better A.I. and sound design, new HUD, 60fps on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S, and a new online multiplayer mode. This update will be free to owners of the game on PlayStation, Xbox and PC and will release on September 13.

XIII was originally supposed to receive a Switch port, but that version was continually delayed. Now, the Switch version is expected to launch on September 13 alongside the free update. While Microids did not show any screenshots or footage of the update running on PC or other consoles, the new Switch version did get an announcement trailer which shows off some of the improvements.

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Marc_LFD

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I disagree, obviously broken games on launch are undesirable, but when they do happen I’d rather see another No Man’s Sky than another Anthem.
That's different. NMS is an original game with potential and support.

This was an uninspired remake, like the awful reskins of GTA Trilogy DE. Heck, even after all this time GTA Trilogy DE still sucks. 😕
 

pedro702

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The real redpill is realizing XIII always sucked as a game and only had its art style to stand it out from other generic shooters like Black.
XIII was preety damn fun it had a bit of everything the only bad thing about the game was the ending, such a bad cliffhanger ending ... and we never got a sequel to follow up.
 

relauby

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I thought this was gonna be a remake of a remake.

The damage is done. Accept it.
I don't see why they should just leave it, the people who paid for it deserve to get a functioning game.

I think the switching of developer is very telling. I didn't include it in the original article because I wasn't sure it was totally relevant, but there's some accusations around PlayMagic that could indicate that the failure of the original release was because of a lot more than just COVID. The CEO and creative director, Giuseppe Crugliano, would apparently overpromise to publishers about what they could do while hiring inexperienced programmers to develop their games. The publisher would only pay if certain milestones were hit every month, which necessitated a lot of crunch, and even then a lot of employees were unable to pay bills because they would either get paid late or not at all. This is something Crugliano has admitted. There's also been anonymous allegations that a toxic work culture severely reduced morale.

More anonymous allegations give more of an idea of what might have happened to XIII. Apparently the original plan was to just remaster the game with Unity plug-ins, but then they realized they didn't have access to the assets. They tried to pull them from the original game, but couldn't, so they had to pivot to a full remake, which set them back considerably (not even counting the wasted time trying to make a remaster work) and trying to do a full remake so quickly led to stuff like the art style being botched. They also had a hard time getting staff in to do stuff like remake animations and cutscenes and levels and all that. Crugliano claims it was hard to get them to move to Malta, but the anonymous ex-employees say he was blacklisted from recruitment agencies. Apparently there was also no QA department and programmers were expected to test things themselves. Overall, it just sounds like a mess, if you believe the allegations. (All these anonymous allegations come from an article in fanbyte last September. Crugliano apparently threatened legal action against fanbyte if they published the article after they contacted him for comment.)

So I feel like Microids probably feels like they got screwed around by partnering with an (allegedly) unscrupulous developer and they're trying to set things right with a new team to preserve their reputation and make fans happy.
 

RedoLane

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Well that's quite a relief. I had a lot of fun with the original, and hearing that the remake sucked, very disappointed me.
Hopefully their 2nd take would be way better.
 

pedro702

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That's different. NMS is an original game with potential and support.

This was an uninspired remake, like the awful reskins of GTA Trilogy DE. Heck, even after all this time GTA Trilogy DE still sucks. 😕
that si why they handled the game to another studio and they spent an entire years patching it and even changing the art design...

So your motto is:

if a game is broken don't bother to fix it...

Nice one, that will do you well in life.
 
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LightBeam

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I don't see why they should just leave it, the people who paid for it deserve to get a functioning game.

I think the switching of developer is very telling. I didn't include it in the original article because I wasn't sure it was totally relevant, but there's some accusations around PlayMagic that could indicate that the failure of the original release was because of a lot more than just COVID. The CEO and creative director, Giuseppe Crugliano, would apparently overpromise to publishers about what they could do while hiring inexperienced programmers to develop their games. The publisher would only pay if certain milestones were hit every month, which necessitated a lot of crunch, and even then a lot of employees were unable to pay bills because they would either get paid late or not at all. This is something Crugliano has admitted. There's also been anonymous allegations that a toxic work culture severely reduced morale.

More anonymous allegations give more of an idea of what might have happened to XIII. Apparently the original plan was to just remaster the game with Unity plug-ins, but then they realized they didn't have access to the assets. They tried to pull them from the original game, but couldn't, so they had to pivot to a full remake, which set them back considerably (not even counting the wasted time trying to make a remaster work) and trying to do a full remake so quickly led to stuff like the art style being botched. They also had a hard time getting staff in to do stuff like remake animations and cutscenes and levels and all that. Crugliano claims it was hard to get them to move to Malta, but the anonymous ex-employees say he was blacklisted from recruitment agencies. Apparently there was also no QA department and programmers were expected to test things themselves. Overall, it just sounds like a mess, if you believe the allegations. (All these anonymous allegations come from an article in fanbyte last September. Crugliano apparently threatened legal action against fanbyte if they published the article after they contacted him for comment.)

So I feel like Microids probably feels like they got screwed around by partnering with an (allegedly) unscrupulous developer and they're trying to set things right with a new team to preserve their reputation and make fans happy.
Microids is weird but they're based. I don't think they are very known in France, at least not by the average consumer, but they're cool. Tho they can produce garbage games like the latest Koh Lanta game (famous TV game show in France) or random educational stuff, but they can do stuff that looks great (I'm not into point&click games but I've heard great stuff about the Syberia franchise https://store.steampowered.com/app/1410640/Syberia_The_World_Before/)

They really weren't forced to do XIII fine this time, but I hope they do, we'll see. I've never even heard about the game before it's awful remake, I've heard about it the first time in What happen.
I'm sure they'll do their best


I'm looking around their website and they also seem to publish indie games, kinda like a french Devolver. « Basé »
 

Marc_LFD

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that si why they handled the game to another studio and they spent an entire years patching it and even changing the art design...

So your motto is:

if a game is broken don't bother to fix it...

Nice one, that will do you well in life.
No, they fucked up and like GTA Trilogy DE it's beyond rescue. Know when it's too far gone.
 

xdarkx

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I thought this was gonna be a remake of a remake.

The damage is done. Accept it.
Both the dev and publisher did accept how bad the game is even with all the patches, and the publisher found a different dev team to rework the entire game. Don't see any problems with this news as the update is free for all owners unless you invested a lot money into the company only for them to waste it on putting out a free update to this game.
 

lordofcombo

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The real redpill is realizing XIII always sucked as a game and only had its art style to stand it out from other generic shooters like Black.
Black is a generic shooter?
Best FPS of it's generation a generic shooter? You're probably one of kingdom hearts or smash players.
 

codezer0

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I thought this was gonna be a remake of a remake.

The damage is done. Accept it.
With that attitude, Lootbox 2 would still want a minimum of $2100 per player to unlock the mulitplayer skins.

Seeing what this remake did to bastardize the original was seriously disheartening... especially because the original release on computers, and its Mac port, really made the PowerMac G5's of the day look damned good. I didn't even now it was on pc until stumbling across the demo of it in the Apple store that day. :wtf:

That said, game is amazing and the cliff-hanger at the end always made me pine for more. Between Ubisoft's management, and SquareEnix's Final Hallway 13 though, I doubt we'll ever see it. :cry:
 
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