XIII for GameCube
A man wakes up on a beach during the final moments of a sunset, his mind utterly empty. Who is he? What is he doing here? Why can't he remember anything? All valid questions, but none of which are immediately answered- instead, he finds himself accosted by a bevy of suited agents, apparently with orders to execute him on sight for a crime he does not remember committing.
This is how XIII, a first person shooter title based on a Belgian graphic novel, opens up. It's not exactly uncommon ground as far as storytelling goes, to put it mildly. What was less common at the time- and honestly still is today- is the game's visual presentation; bold, high contrast colours, cell shaded graphics that ride the line between semi-realistic and cartoony, even little pop-in comic panel graphics when certain actions are performed, such as managing to score a head-shot on an enemy. XIII is not simply an adaptation of a graphic novel; it is an adaptation that seeks to apply the aesthetics and sensibilities of the media that it is adapting, within reason, to the video game medium, and that is something to be commended. The game still looks incredible in the modern day thanks to this stylistic choice. A soundtrack that blends noir nostalgia, funk flair, eclectic beats and modern modes makes the game as much an audial treat as a visual one. The game plays reasonably well, in addition, if a bit simply, although the ability to grab enemies to use as human sheilds and the "sixth sense" mechanic help the game stand out somewhat.