Top critical review
8 people found this helpful
on June 29, 2012
Unit 13 is a tactical 3rd-person shooter by the Socom developers, Zipper Interactive. Unit 13 is one of the first games out of the gate that takes advantage of the Vita's duel analog stick. Their isn't really a epic story to partake in Unit 13. The game focuses on fast paced missions that are perfect for a quick break or a ride on the bus.
The gameplay in Unit 13 is your standard 3rd-person shooter affair. Your character is in the center of the screen, you can over the shoulder aim, aim down your sights, melee, switch your weapons, and there is a cover system. The Vita's duel analog sticks feel great in Unit 13. I had no problem aiming at enemies. The cover system could some work though. It doesn't feel smooth, kinda clunky. (I also don't like how you can't slide to another piece of cover without standing up and moving over to it, leaving you vulnerable to attacks.). Zipper did a great job though. They brought a feel of a console military shooter to the palm of your hand pretty well.
The touch screen does get used during gameplay and navigating the menus too. You can reload and use items with a press of the onscreen buttons. They don't hinder with the gameplay at all, the touch functions feel very natural.
The game looks good graphically. It isn't no Uncharted but it's still a very good looking game by portable standards. It looks nice but the environments can get repetitive by the way they look. There is no variety in the level design; you're either in a dusty, sandy, town, a warehouse, or a base.
There are 6 different operatives that you can choose to play as. They each have their own perks. The one operative is good at sniping and while a other operative is good at close range combat for example. You can level each of them up too as you complete missions to upgrade their loadouts and stats.
While there isn't a story, there are 46 missions you can play plus the daily challenges (More info about those later.). 36 of these missions are divided into 4 different mission types. These are action, deadline, covert, and elite. In action you just complete the objectives. Deadline is like action but your timed. In covert you want to sneak, if you get caught once it's game over. Elite is harder than the others as in the is no regenerative health, no check points, and supposedly the enemies are deadlier.
The other 10 missions are high valued targets. The point of these missions is to infiltrate the enemies encampment and assassinate the leader. As you play the 36 missions you unlock more and more H.V.Ts. which each of them get you a silver trophy. At times the missions start to blend together and get repetitive, so play in short bursts.
At the end of these missions you get scored on your performance with a 5 star rating. The scoring and rating system is the meat of the game. There is no competitive multiplayer in Unit 13. Each of the missions in the game has it's own leaderboard, global, friends, and people near you. The competitive aspect of Unit 13 is trying to get the high score in each mission. So make sure you have a buddy on your friends list that has Unit 13 so you guys can compete.
The daily challenges are missions that change every day. You got only one chance to do them. Once you complete the challenge you have to wait till the next day to do another daily challenge. So you want to try the best you can to get the highest score in that day.
Unit 13 does boast 2 player online co-op across the 36 missions that are not the H.V.T. (They're only single player.). Playing Co-op is fun if you can find someone. They do need to work on the matchmaking for it. You can still find someone but it could be better. The Vita has a built in microphone so everybody can talk. It's great for working out strategies. Something about just talking to someone without a headset feels great.
The one major flaw of the game though is the AI. The AI feels all over the place. At one point you can silently take out a guy without any problem next time you do it everybody even the ones on the floor below know about your presence. Sometimes you can shoot a guy to death and the guy next to him just stands there staring off into space. The AI can be good at times to though. They group up and flank you when they know they have an advantage.
While Unit 13 doesn't have a epic campaign to traverse or any real competitive multiplayer, it still has plenty to do, great controls, and fun co-op. The environments could use some more variety, AI could use a tune-up, and it could be less repetitive. Unit 13 is still a good game that'll keep you entertained for a while.