7 expert reviews - 0 user reviews
We have collected 7 reviews of the Unit 13. Experts rate Unit 13 7.1/10. Reviewsor.com helps you find reviews, best prices, user reviews of the Unit 13 and PS Vita Games.
I can imagine the design briefing Zipper had with Sony before starting development on Unit 13. No doubt a very strict development cycle was given, along with the stipulation that the game must cater towards breezy bursts of gaming that you can do whether you have 10 minutes or two hours free. The good news is that for the first time a handheld platform could make use of two analogue sticks, and there's a handy touch screen to put extra controls on.The result, whether or not it came about like that or not, is a third-person military shooter that doesn't bother trying to tell a story or develop characters, instead giving the player 36 missions spread over four mission types: Direct Action, Covert, Deadline and Elite.Each mission comes with a difficulty and length rating, so you know roughly what you're getting into before you attempt it, but it's the mission type that will ultimately determine how much fun each is to play. Direct Action is easily the most entertaining, by virtue of being the least frustrating. You have objectives (disarm this, blow up that, rescue hostages, etc), but the only failure criteria is death.The other three types can still be fun, but numerous ways to fail and increased difficulty make them extremely hit and miss.
That's really the sole purpose and goal of Unit 13. Much has been made about the PlayStation Vita's dual analog sticks and their capabilities when it comes to portable shooter experiences, but Unit 13 is the first game to put that into practice. That means people like me have an opportunity to absolutely destroy this game in reviews. We might want to compare it to console-sized experiences or deride the tiny little analog sticks on the Vita, but Unit 13 manages to stand up to those attacks. This is mostly thanks to Zipper Interactive's long history of third-person shooters. With almost the entire SOCOM series under their belts, the developers make the PlayStation Vita their bitch. Controls are snappy, intuitive, and smartly mapped. Certain actions are mapped to the touchscreen, conveniently adjacent to where your thumbs will already be resting. Tap your ammo indicator to reload your weapon. Tap the interact icon when it pops up on your screen to plant bombs, hack computers, and more. In this way, Unit 13 sets the standard for every shooter that follows. Why wouldn't you tap the large screen for passive actions like these? Still, there is some left to be desired. Zipper definitely took the mobile-leaning route here, opting for bite-sized missions with little in the way of cinematic quality.
Sometimes when you're playing an action game, you don't want to be sidetracked by the lame story. You just want to jump in and start killing your enemies. It's a visceral reaction, and a pretty common one at that. I have a feeling Zipper Interactive recognizes this, and, to sort of make up for the somewhat average SOCOM 4 last year, it's produced a huge action opus for PlayStation Vita owners with Unit 13. What it lacks in genuine story, it more than makes up for with plenty of \"bang bang” and guys falling over dead. And for some people, that's all that counts. The game takes place across 36 separated missions, each with certain objectives that need to be met. You get to choose from six various soldiers, each specialists in certain fields, and choose their loadout. From there, you'll hit the battlefield and try to complete each mission either with the fastest time or the highest score. Despite the fact that the missions aren't fully structured together, Zipper Interactive makes them click with a good amount of depth. There's more than one way to approach your objectives in the game, and choosing a different operative can definitely add challenge to it.
When the Vita was revealed to have two analog sticks, many gamers' minds immediately thought of the console's potential for shooters. Sony's first-party Unit 13 is one of the first titles out of the gate to take advantage of its hardware in this fashion, and it features a developer that's well versed in the genre. After experimenting with the gigantic multiplayer shooter MAG two years ago, Zipper Interactive has boiled down the shooter experience for its first Vita title.Vita needs some shooters to take advantage of its dual sticks, and Unit 13 controls admirably. I didn't feel that any aspect of the hardware lacked when compared to console shooters, but I also didn't feel the game offered much in the way of originality. Multiplayer comprises a substantial part of Zipper's back catalog, but Unit 13 is all about bite-sized missions instead of online deathmatches. Rather than following a narrative, the game is broken up in a manner that resembles mobile games like Angry Birds or Cut The Rope. The game features 45 stand-alone missions, and player performances are judged at the end of each with a star rating. Online leaderboards let you compare your scores against friends, so you can track who's better at assassinating militia leaders, sneaking up on drug runners, or bombing enemy facilities.
Developer Zipper Interactive made its name on the PlayStation 2 with SOCOM: U.S. Navy SEALs. However, the studio has struggled to find an audience in the modern era with MAG and SOCOM 4 failing to live up to expectations on the PlayStation 3. Now, Zipper is taking on the PlayStation Vita with Unit 13, and while the title isn't a must own, it is a fun shooter for people on the go. There's no story to wrap your head around in Unit 13. Instead, there are more than 35 missions for you to jump in and tackle by yourself or with an online co-op partner. The gameplay will feel familiar to shooter junkies -- with your character anchored in the center of the OLED screen, you can melee, aim down the sights, and switch weapons with simple button presses. Sticking to cover can be stiff and the gameplay isn't silky smooth, but Zipper should be applauded for porting a shooter control scheme to the PlayStation Vita that feels so much like a console experience. The Vita's touch screen does come into play when reloading and using items, but they feel natural. You'll also use the touch screen to tap the mission you want to jump into. The meat of the game is a tiled menu that lists each operation. At a glance, you can tell if the mission at hand is a speed, stealth or "shoot everything" task -- each genre packing its own win/loss conditions.
A quote widely misattributed to George Orwell asserts that people sleep peacefully in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf. The members of Unit 13 are such men. Armed with state-of-the-art weaponry and code names like Animal, Zeus, and Chuckles, these grizzled soldiers venture deep into enemy territory to put the enemies of peace and freedom to the sword. Unit 13 lets you undertake these missions, and it makes accomplishing your objectives and surviving against imposing odds a suspenseful and satisfying task. There's not much of an overarching story here. You get 36 separate missions to complete, which see you trying to thwart the efforts of the terrorist organization Awlaad Al-Qowah by assassinating high-ranking members, rescuing kidnapped journalists, obtaining intelligence, and so forth. These small missions are well suited for gaming on the go, with some of them lasting just a few minutes, but the disjointed structure prevents you from getting engrossed in them the way you might with a cohesive, story-driven campaign. The nine environments your missions take you to include a stately embassy, a metro station, a Middle Eastern bazaar, and others.
I've only played a few minutes of Zipper Interactive's Unit 13 -- enough to say that it's a third-person tactical shooter for the Vita. It's not SOCOM -- that franchise emphasizes teams of players while Unit 13 focuses on pairs of players (either cooperatively or competitively). Going through a Direct Action mission with IGN's Ryan Clements shows that Unit 13 hits all the basic points expected of a tactical shooter. Ryan and I can duck behind cover, we can use voicechat (I completely forgot that the Vita has a built-in mic), and blindly running and gunning results in quick death for the both of us. Quite a bit has already been said about how the Vita's form factor -- now with dual analog sticks -- makes it more conducive to first person shooters. Hey, you can aim and shoot! So those types of games can play as expected, rather than go through severe compromises like when they were on the PSP. That stuff is all fine and well, but it's Unit 13's more social functions that make it a title to watch. Unit 13's core lies in its 36 short and replayable missions. Whether playing alone or in co-op, these missions shouldn't take much longer than 10 minutes to get through, and you get scored upon completion.
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