Xiii

Okay, let’s start an official XIII thread.

Single-player demo just released. I’m downloading it currently, about 40% left, but good download speed.

http://www.gamershell.com/news_BXIIIBDemo.shtml

Gotta admit, I’m curious. Report back asap!!

I had the chance to play a beta of it a while back. It was pretty cool, good looking and with satisfying combat. I rather like the look. Not so good elements include boss fights of the “run around and grab the rocket launcher ammo, blast the boss, repeat” variety. But I hold out some hope for the final product.

Just played through the demo. I love the look and feel of the game, and they do a great job with the comic book style. I especially love the inset comic frames that pop up when you score a particularly good kill, or when something important happens. The weapons and items seem neat, in a NOLF sort of way. I love the grapple. Nothing like lowering yourself down into a room from above, taking out enemies with a crossbow as you go.

My impressions weren’t all good, though. The AI doesn’t seem particularly impressive. It has some technical issues–most notably the fact that it seems unplayable at resolutions higher than 1024x768. The framerate is fine, but the mouse control gets jerky and moves WAY too fast, even at the lowest mouse sensitivity setting. Moving the mouse a quarter of an inch made my character do two 360-degree spins (or as we like to say here at Qt3, “a 180”). At 1024x768, everything worked fine. Of course the game doesn’t look as good at low resolutions, though.

The interface is clunky. Even the menus are difficult to navigate, and the in-game interface feels clumsy too, especially if you’ve played NOLF. Why do I have to hit the “action” key twice to open a locked door (once to pull out the key, a second time to use it)? If I have the key in my inventory, just unlock the door when I click on it. I hate having seperate inventories for weapons and items. NOLF did away with that, and good riddance.

I hope those two “levels” didn’t represent two full levels from the game. The first one took all of five minutes to play through, the second one was a bit longer, but not by much. If those are representative of what’s in the game, then you’re probably looking at around five hours of total play time.

Worth checking out, though. I’d like to see more.

Does it still crash every 5 seconds like in the French demo?

For some reason the first open-area level ran flawlessly for me at any resolution, but the second level was unplayable due to spastic mouselook and crazily low framerate on a tunnel mission, so I assume it was some glitch not indicative of the final version.

I think the graphic novel approach is a slightly mixed bag - I think the zoomed death shots and the opening scene block windows worked well, but I wasn’t too fond of the characters and lighting. I’m not against cel shading, but it looked sort of chunky and messy to me. It was just a little too easy to tell that it was a cell-shaded game world, with 4 plane trees and rocks with blurry textures.

But then again I’m probably the only one who thinks the best NPR yet has been in the couple-years-old Runaway adventure game :)

it’s just like Max Payne in that it seems to put style over substance (or so it seems in this demo, obviously havent played the full version yet). Comic book stylizations aren’t enough to carry an entire game IMO. (then again most people thought Max Payne was good so what do I know…)

Kinda clunky, but it seems to have potential. I liked the music, but could see how it might be annoying for some people. Combat felt satisfying, even though the AI was pretty lame. Hard to tell though, the demo is pretty short. Are there in mission saves? Couldn’t find out how to save - that might be why the missions are so short.

I agree, but I was impressed by how they made them a usefule gameplay element and not just stylish window dressing. In addition to the killshots, the game also uses the comic frames to show you important events (sort of like a cutscene that doesn’t take the controls away from the player), or to highlight items that you should grab. Some of the killshots were also fun, like the one that follows the guy falling off the cliff.

The first demo level was pretty blah, but I thought the second level had some neat moments. I’ll be keeping an eye on this game.

For some reason, this reminds me heavily of a very obscure game called ZPC. Hopefully it will not suffer the same fate.

Yeah I can see that. It has the same sort of comic book art look, in a super simplistic way. I’m amazed someone else has played ZPC. What were you a huge KMFDM fan or what?

Anyone care to explain what is “Cel-shading”?

It’s a rendering technique that makes 3D objects look like cartoon animations. If you’ve ever played Jet Set Radio or watched Futurama, both of those employ the technique.

ZPC just gave me a headache. I have never, ever felt so sorry for a development team - having to stare at THAT all day long.

what do you do in the second level?

I take the elevator up one floor, some dood is killing soldiers, I run into a rectangular room and he escapes though a door behind unbreakable glass.

there is another door with a keylock but I cant find the key to open it… ideas?

edit: and I cant seem to pick the lock with my lockpick… if that is how you open the door how do you get the lockpick to work?!

Go through the window next to the door (jump on the crates). Then there’s a latter and stuff.

Futurama is made in 3d?

Futurama is made in 3d?[/quote]
Portions are. Like the spaceships. Can’t you tell?

Well, the spaceships and the cityscapes and such, sure, I figured they used computers to animate them. But I thought Ben was talking about the entire show being cel-shaded.

No in-game save, huh? Forget it.