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XIII is free on GOG (and it's the original, which does not suck)

XIII
(Image credit: Microids)
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The remake of cel-shaded FPS XIII launched to disastrous effect in November 2020. It has an "overwhelmingly negative" user review score on Steam, and while we didn't review it ourselves, its aggregate score on Metacritic is just 30 out of 100. It was bad enough that developer PlayMagic and publisher Microids issued a joint apology for the whole thing.

The list of all the ways the remake got it wrong is comprehensive: Bugs and poor performance were big issues, but the audio remix was also bad and for some reason the developers decided to go with more detailed, and distinctly less stylish, graphics. The botched redo was doubly disappointing because the original XIII, from 2003, is a lot of fun. 

And now you don't have to take my word for it: GOG is giving it away until 6 am PT/9 am ET on April 1. Just pop over the GOG front page, scroll down until you see the big green "claim the game" button, and then click on it. Just like that, it's yours.

While the new version of XIII is a stinker, the original on GOG has a 4.2/5 overall user rating: Not pure gold, but still very well liked. The comic book visual style, complete with onomatopoeic effects, is the big selling feature, but the celebrity voice acting is a hoot too: David Duchovny's somnolent lack of interest in the whole thing is especially amusing in hindsight, while Adam West delivers reliably in his usual over the top fashion.

The giveaway comes in the midst of GOG's ongoing Spring Sale, which features discounts of up to 92 percent on more than 3000 games including Disco Elysium: The Final Cut (20 percent off), Metro Exodus Gold Edition (70 percent off), Everspace 2 (10 percent off), and—to prove that the discounts actually do go that high—XCOM 2 (92 percent off).

Work on the XIII remake is continuing, by the way. The most recent patch, which rolled out last week, makes numerous changes to weapons, animation, gameplay, and the UI.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.