Warning - long post.
As discussed in some Twilight: 2000 forums many months ago, the background history is good but in some places feels contrived. Some assumptions have been made about various countries & how they fared in WW3 that indicate little knowledge about the places involved. The lack of knowledge of some areas is really shown when referring to the 'Northern Territories' in Australia, there are no Northern 'Territories', there is only one. Any look at a map of Australia would have shown that.
There is a reliance on the fallacious 'Nuclear Winter' theory to cause bad weather in Europe so as to further the decline of civilization that probably wasn't really needed (things were bad enough already).
Another irritating aspect is the constant switch between metric & imperial measurements so we have statements like this "The winter of 2012 blankets England and Ireland in over 10 ft of snow and temperatures below the 0° C mark..."
There is the inference that only the USA is involved in War on Terror in Afghanistan & Iraq, little mention is made of the (sizeable) British force in those regions let alone the other nations like Germany, Poland or Mongolia. There are just a few brief comments about 'coalition forces'.
There seems to be little understanding of the "British" Royal Family (refered to as the English Royal Family, perhaps the authors are unaware that the United Kingdom AKA Britain, comprises four countries, England & Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales).
This is further compound the comments on the Pope taking shelter in 'Ireland'. He commandeers St Patrick's Cathedral in Armagh. Ireland is comprised of two seperate countries, the Republic of Ireland AKA Eire and Northern Ireland. So where was the Pope exactly when the war started? In the Roman Catholic Republic or in the mixed Protestant & Catholic country of Northern Ireland? Armagh is in Northern Ireland so he is obviously in Northern Ireland but that isn't made clear by refering to the whole land mass as Ireland. They also seem to be unaware that Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom & they fail to make any mention of that country when giving background information on the UK.
There is a reference to the USA being the last Superpower on Earth which hides the fact that China is still very much a Superpower even if it hasn't been as overt on the world stage as the US. Background conditions in Korea after 2013 get given more coverage than those in China, even though China has invaded South-East Asia and is one of the nations attacking the USA.
Their research on Australia was threadbare as already noted in their reference to the Northern 'Territories' but highlighted by their reference to a British warship sinking off the coast near Garden Island. There are two places in Australia called Garden Island, one is an actual island less than 5000m off the coast of Western Australia. Most of the island is a Royal Australian Navy base. The second Garden Island is also a base for the RAN, it used to be an island within Sydney Harbour in New South Wales (the other side of the country) but land reclamation has seen it joined to the mainland. Seeing how this base is within Sydney Harbour and not on the coast, you could safely assume that Twilight: 2013 is refering to Garden Island in Western Australia... but only if you know something about Australia geography or bothered to check a map.
Their statement that Australia uses the Leopard 2 tank surprises me greatly. The decision to purchase the Abrams tank for the Australian Army was a well known fact in 2006.
Another minor irritation is that the world background gives details on how South Africa survived & how it has become a major manufacturer of weapons yet we see none of these weapons mentioned in the equipment lists.
For a gaming company that has access to potential Players/buyers from around the world via the internet, the focus still seems to be on Players from the USA with more background devoted to the conditions of post-WW3 USA than any other nation.
And this statement still irritates me greatly, "Fans of Twilight: 2000 will notice that Twilight: 2013 has evolved into a rich character-based role-playing experience, set against a military backdrop, with both military and civilian paths from which to choose." The original game was exactly that in the first place, 2013 hasn't evolved the game (only the timeline and equipment lists), it has simply continued it. Granted, more rules are available to offer guidelines for PC interaction in some situations not considered in earlier versions of the game but 'evolved into a rich character-based role-playing experience is a stretching the idea a bit too much.
However, this statement from one of the authors makes me truly angry, "The targeted audience (yours truly included) of the earlier editions was mostly wargaming grognards..." This statement has little basis in fact, it has been surmised from the contributions of a small group of fans on various forums who in general, weren't able to get a face-to-face game happening (for many different reasons) and instead spent their time further developing the gameworld and detailing the various Orders of Battle. The majority of Twilight fans were RPG players from the start and any discussion with them about their games reveals a very "...rich character-based role-playing experience, set against a military backdrop, with both military and civilian paths from which to choose".
The artwork throughout the core rules PDF ranges from cool to crap with one of the worst images (in my opinion) making the people in it look like midgets. Unfortunately for me, they choose to use that image as the lead-in to most chapters. And for all the effort that went into making some truly evocative artwork for the rule book, the character sheets are rather bland.
To be fair though, their treatment of how MilGov and CivGov in the USA come about is, I think, far better than the original game. The designers provide hard information on how easily a modern Western city can collapse simply because transport itself is not available to bring in all the items a modern city needs to survive. I really liked the twist on the Central American druglords giving up coca production to focus in coffee production as the new cash crop of choice.
I do appreciate the effort the designers went into to make the environment more of a factor in the game, with numerous ways in which noise, lighting, precipitation and wind can affect the outcome of an event. There are also rules for having psychology play a larger part in a PC's or NPC's life and rules for repairing and scavenging to keep equipment from degrading to the point of uselessness. A major plus is the inclusion of rules for rebuilding damaged structures or constructing new ones.
There is a good 'cinematic' optional rule that allows a Player to sacrifice a piece of equipment (chosen by the GM) in order to prevent injury to their PC. They also include some good rules for animal training.
I would have rated this higher but the lack of research really bugs me considering how many fans from around the world were willing to offer contributions and how easy it is to do research thanks to the internet(personal idiosyncracy). Typos and bad grammar I can forgive but lack of research and crap artwork I can't.