Zipper Interactive has been in the military shooter market for quite some time, tearing up system after system with SOCOM U.S. Navy Seals exploits. We thought that the team would continue said exploits on the PlayStation Vita, but apparently it had a different approach in mind for it with Unit 13. Instead of taking you through a full-fledged campaign with objectives that span across huge levels, it instead takes the “bite-sized” approach, going with smaller, more intense missions. And surprisingly, this works for the better.
The game puts you in control of Unit 13, a team consisting of six military specialists. Though the story is hardly fleshed out, it doesn’t need to be. You’re simply provided a grid of 36 missions to complete, however you wish to go about them. After selecting your mission, you choose your specialist and their loadout, and then hit the battlefield.
One interesting aspect of Unit 13 is how you can go against the grain and actually choose someone that’s not entirely suited for a mission. One may call for stealth, but screw it, you’ll want to run in with explosives, and despite the ding in the five-star rating for the stage, you’ll have so much fun running ruckus that you won’t really care. Of course, if you’re a perfectionist, you’ll want to go with the best suggested soldier and go with either stealth kills or effective targeting.
Unit 13’s scoring system is similar to that of Bulletstorm, though without the over-the-topness, if you will. You get more points for kill streaks and head shots, or “handling” a land mine by shooting at it (our favorite way to defuse). The points you get through each stage are reflected through online leaderboards, which add a great competitive angle to the game and will keep you at it. Zipper’s also introducing daily missions to complete, so you have just as much of a fresh start on new terrain as the next guy. No more “mastering” a stage from step one, though there are those who will easily adapt to them, I’m sure.