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Unit 13: PS Vita Review

by William Schwartz

FUN. Hellasatisfying. Those are the first words that come to mind when trying to describe Zipper’s newest gem; Unit 13. This is not just the first shooter for the Vita; it’s the first true shooter for any portable when you consider this is the first time a portable has had two sticks to work with. Unit 13 doesn’t waste the opportunity; this is a fun, deadly romp through over 36 terrorist-ridden playgrounds that will shock and surprise you.

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Unit 13’s control type is not only intuitive; but practical and just plain smartDon’t look for high Metal Gear drama here; the story that drives Unit 13 is emaciated with a lot left to your own imagination. it doesn’t claim to be a story-teller either; but rather what it does is drop you into a hotzone with a series of objectives on demand. The missions have a type such as stealth-based Covert (which can be super short!) irritating Deadline (Think time-attack) stand-up fight Direct Action (Have it your way) High Value Target (where you hunt down terrorist leaders) and the punishing Elite missions where one misstep equals a do-over. Add to this Co-op to each and every mission and the Daily Challenge which you only get one shot at AND the Dynamic mode which auto-generates mission objectives and enemy placement and you get a very deep game indeed; no stories needed.

13’s control type is not only intuitive; but practical and just plain smart. Zoom and Fire are on the shoulder buttons respectively. Need to Sprint? Just push the X button; no need to hold it down. You’ll run til you stop with full firing capabilities the whole way. O snaps to cover, which you can come out of simply by moving. Reload? (Are you ready for this?) Just tap the Gun icon in the lower right portion of your screen! Need a grenade? Tap the lower left portion of the screen where the grenade icon is! Interact with a lock, computer, or a bomb? Either tap the object or the icon that appears at the left of the screen. Beautiful, simple, effective.

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Unit 13 proves that the Vita has the ability to consistently provide good, quality games that are truly fun to play.Unit 13’s premise is straightforward; it is an anti-terrorist Spec Op task force whose purpose is to stop an Al Qaeda-like group from achieving its nefarious goals. Each of your five Operatives have a specialty that can be suited to one mission type or another but ultimately it is up to you to decide who goes. Each Operative also levels up on their own so if you want to earn some easy XP you can repeat a mission with one Operative after another. Firing controls work well and bullets are FATAL. I mean 1-3 shots and you are dead on the floor. Most mission types feature regenerating health, except Elite, and adding Co-op to any mission will disable Checkpoints; which isn’t so bad when you factor in the fact that your teammate can revive you.

I’ll be honest; I wasn’t expecting a whole lot out of Unit 13. Zipper has a solid pedigree; I loved SOCOM IV, but I have a natural apprehension when it comes to shooters and hand-helds. This erases all of that doubt. Fresh on the heels of Uncharted: Golden Abyss the release of Unit 13 proves that the Vita has the ability to consistently provide good, quality games that are truly fun to play. Countless times gamers have suffered through hobbled controls and sub-par graphics just to game-on-the-go but those days are behind us. Unit 13 is here: Mount up, soldier…

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Unit 13

  • Available On: PS Vita
  • Published By: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Developed By: Zipper Interactive
  • Genre: Third person shooter
  • US Release Date: March 6th, 2012
  • Reviewed On: PS Vita
  • Quote: "Fresh on the heels of Uncharted: Golden Abyss the release of Unit 13 proves that the Vita has the ability to consistently provide good, quality games that are truly fun to play."
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