If you would've asked me if Unit 13 was one of the best shooters we would see in 2012, I would've laughed and said no. The year is almost over and we have seen only a handful of shooters for the Vita and to this date, I don't think any one of the latest shooters, hold a candle to Unit 13. While it does have its issues, it one of the best launch titles to grace the Vita in 2012.
Unit 13: The Developer, the Operatives and more.
Unit 13 is a Zipper Interactive creation and has to be the best shooter that has graced the Vita in 2012. Unit 13 is a third person shooter, where you control six playable operatives; A Commando, a Technician, a Point man, a Gunner, an Infiltrator, and a Marksman. Each one of those men, have skills that benefit them in the game and the missions you use them in; While the game doesn't require you to play with either one of them in any specific mission. They do offer "Recommend Operatives" that will suit the mission that you are going to attempt to complete. Each operative can be leveled up with the score that you obtain, by completing a mission with them. The max level is 10 and with each level, you unlock a new weapon, scope, suppressor or grenade type. Giving you the ability to change the statistics of each weapon you unlock and how you can attempt a mission.
Unit 13: Solo Mission, Online Cooperative Mode and the HVTs
Unit 13 has 36 different missions, an online cooperative mode and a section where you can kill High Value Targets (HVTs); all the missions can be played cooperatively (Minus the HVT mode), and each mission features an unlock able "Dynamic" Mode, which changes objectives and objective locations, enemy weapons and locations, to random values and points in the environment. The online cooperative mode is what it sounds like; you and one other player can tag team a mission to earn points and level up a lot faster, but you will not earn any stars for that level. The points you do earn, go towards your rank on the online leader board. There is only one issue I have with the online cooperative mode and that is that you have to be close to your partner in order to advance to other areas that are locked.
In order to unlock the High Value targets, you will need to earn Stars in the solo mission mode. There are 9 HVTs in the game and with each one you unlock, it gets a little tougher to get to the target to kill them. In this mode, you don't have a checkpoint, so if you die, you will need to start from the beginning. Overall, making the game challenging, but not making you go insane, because of the varied difficulty.
Once you are done with those modes, you can always take part in the Daily Challenges. You only get one chance to post a high score, so make sure it counts. While there isn't much to it, it's always nice to have bragging rights for a set amount of time.
Unit 13: The Locations, The Enemies and the accessibility.
Unit 13 has about nine different locations in the game, some more enjoyable to go through than others. While some locations are bigger than others, the missions that you play, depending on the length will let you see how each location is different from the others. You could be either in a club, a train station, a building, etc... Wherever you go, you can tell that or adapt to the locations with ease.
The enemies in Unit 13 tend to keep their movement frozen until you; the player enters a specific area. In most cases, when the enemy comes to check out an area, they will react to a gunshot or finding a body on the ground, changing the indicator of the enemy on you mini map from white to yellow and from yellow to red, when they see you and start engaging in combat. The enemies are not the smartest, but they will shoot at you when they don't see you. Or shoot at your last know location until you start shooting at them again. If any point, they don't see you they will go back to just roaming the area and forgetting about you. As the difficulty goes up, you will tend to see how there are some problems with the enemy A.I.
The game is fairly easy to get use to and a great pick up and go type of game that you can play anywhere. It's a perfect fit for the Vita. If you have an online connected Vita (Wi-Fi or 3G), you can also take advantage of the Daily Challenges, to expand the life of the game and compete against people around the world.
In closing, Unit 13 came out, being a great shooter and will end 2012 being the best shooter the Vita has to offer in 2012. Will that change in 2013? Well that remains to be seen. With its varied solos missions (Co-op and Dynamic), HVT mode, the ability to level up 6 different operatives, online leader-board, plus more; Unit 13 has more than enough replay-ability to last the player a long time. Would I recommend this game? Yes, I would. If you are a player looking for a shooter fix on the go or just looking for something to shoot, I believe Unit 13 is the way to go.
It’s sad to see Zipper Interactive go.