Creators of the XIII remake apologize for technical issues after disastrous launch

XIII and Jones pose with guns
(Image credit: Microids)

The remastered version of XIII, a cult FPS from 2003, launched earlier this month, and the reception has not been glowing. Right now it's got an Overwhelmingly Negative rating on Steam, with only nine percent positive user reviews. Those reviews, as well as comments elsewhere on the internet, mention numerous issues with the AI, framerate, and audio, as well as non-functional multiplayer and general bugginess, but also focus on the art style. What was advertised as "A new artistic direction that respects the original work and its iconic cel-shading design" is instead being called "something that looks like Fortnite".

Developer PlayMagic and publisher Microids have issued a joint statement, saying, "expectations have not been met by the launch version and we hear loud and clear the legitimate criticism and disappointment". They apologize for the technical issues, going on to say, "In its present state, XIII does not meet our quality standards and we fully understand players' frustrations."

While fixes for many of XIII's problems were apparently planned to be part of the day-one patch, the statement blames the COVID-19 pandemic for their absence, saying, "The pandemic has impacted the game’s production on many levels."

A list of known issues to be addressed in upcoming patches includes problems with NPC AI, stability in certain areas, missing SFX and music, voice lines that end early, and plenty more. But the way the remastered visuals don't lean as hard into comic-book art as the original seems like a deliberate creative choice, and not something a patch is likely to fix.

The joint statement ends by informing players that a road map of new content, including multiplayer, is on the way: "Finally, know that we are working on a detailed road map highlighting the upcoming free additions to the game content like new levels, weapons, skins and modes for the local multiplayer."

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.